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Youth Football Blocking Drills

The most unheralded position on a Baseball field is the Catcher’s position. The reason being you are involved in all the action but receive very little of the glory. If you are truly doing a good job back behind the dish, you have a ghostly appearance. It is those who struggle that are at the forefront and stick out like a sore thumb.

With all this being said, the thing that I see most Catcher’s need to work on is their blocking skills. Too many out there try to catch the bouncing ball with the glove. That is mistake #1; because your main purpose at that point is to block the baseball, not catch it. I say this because you shouldn’t go into that situation thinking I need to catch this because more can go wrong than can go good. When you try to catch the ball your body tends to rise up, leaving a huge gap between the legs, or in terms of baseball lingo the “wickets”. I will bet 9 out of 10 times it find that gap.

So when blocking a baseball the first key is to have the right mindset, next think of your body as a pillow. Drop to your knee’s and let your arms fall straight down next to the outside of your legs. Palms up and relaxed the ball will bounce off the ground first and then off you preferably off your chest protector. If you have the perfect form the ball will be within a couple feet of you. Always try to round the ball off angling your body towards home plate. By doing this you can usually avoid the errant bounces to the backstop. Here are some drills that can help catchers blocking skills.

- Practice dropping straight down on your knees in full gear repeatedly and getting back up into the squatting position. This builds quickness and strength.- Use a flat glove and have someone throw balls at you for a period of a couple minutes. This constant repetition in a short period of time builds up your endurance and reinforces the mindset of not trying to catch the ball into your head. - Practice rounding your body off angling it always towards home plate. If the ball is a foot to the right than slide your feet over two feet to the right. Always exaggerate your movements.

I've coached many kids here in Omaha and a good catcher makes the team so make sure you praise them. At our store, PrimeTimeSportingGoods you can find the equipment you need for these drills - like the Mizuno training glove. You may also be interested in our youth chest protectors. For a little baseball commentary, come visit our baseball blog.