DON’T Catch with 2 Hands

catch one hand reaching necessary fence flyball stretching dive ball infielders outfielders catchers

In regards to catching a ball with 2 hands, there are some definite advantages: things like getting rid of the ball faster on a throw, or fielding balls with a lot of crazy spin.

But do you know the times when it’s actually better to catch with one hand?

It’s true that catching a ball with 2 hands has some great advantages. For example, throwing the ball after a catch because the throwing hand is closer to the ball, or keeping a crazy spinning groundball or flyball in your glove by covering it with your bare hand.

However, there are also some advantages to fielding a ball with only 1 hand. While this might go against the standard softball grain, let’s take a look at 2 examples where Catching with One Hand might be preferred:

  1. When Reaching is Necessary
    • Players reaching over or into a fence for a flyball (as shown in Figure 1). This can be infielders, outfielders or catchers.
    • 1st basemen reaching or stretching for a ball. While this isn’t the case on every ball thrown to 1st base, it is the case when the 1st baseman has to reach or stretch for a ball on a close play (as in Figure 1)
    • Players reaching as they dive for a ball (Figure 1). This can be infielders or outfielders.
catch one hand reaching necessary fence flyball stretching dive ball infielders outfielders catchers
  1. When Protection is Necessary
    • Catchers are the one position where protecting their bare hand is more important than using it to help catch a ball.
    • Catchers will receive, or catch, all pitched balls with one hand (Figure 2).
    • And catchers will also block all pitches using one hand (Figure 2)
    • NOTE – Some people will teach the catcher to place their barehand behind the glove when catching and/or blocking, as a means of protecting the barehand while still having it closer to the ball when having to make a throw.
catcher one hand protection necessary bare hand receive block

I don’t agree with anybody tying a player’s bare hand behind her back to help teach her to only use one hand in these certain position since doing so is a safety issue.

For more help with fielding and defense check out our resources:

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