This month’s article we are going to talk about how to take our blocking drills we do in practice to the game!!! As a catching instructor, I am routinely asked about how to help catchers block better in games. The main obstacles for catchers when it comes to blocking in game that I have seen is recognition, or simply knowing when to block.
Recognition is the most common problem catchers struggle with knowing when to block. In other words, knowing when to block versus when to receive. Many young catchers get caught in the middle and stuck, which takes away from their ability to block the ball. A classic blocking coaching cue is to anticipate a bad pitch, so that you are always ready to block. I work hard with my catchers to be able to “react’ vs. “anticipate” to balls in the dirt. I always joke with my catchers that if as a coach I am anticipating the ball in the dirt with my pitcher it's time to make a pitching change.
How do we work on reaction vs anticipation?
A catcher’s ability to recognize when to block is something that can be trained. These are daily ways to help your catchers make better athletic decisions behind the plate!!!
Jack Ferrick is an award winning baseball coach and instructor from Northern Virginia with over 15 years of experience. He is highly regarded as a premier catching instructor and has helped numerous players continue beyond the high school level through coaching and his company Catchers U. Jack played two seasons at the United States Naval Academy before a short stint in the Navy. Jack enters his eighth season as the head coach for Osbourn Park High School and also serves as an associate scout for the Milwaukee Brewers.