By Kelly Paris
Kelly Paris is a retired professional baseball player who played in the Major Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox. He played as third baseman and shortstop.
TOPIC: Intro to Catching
Catching is a skill that anyone can learn — all you need is a ball, a broken-in glove and a little bit of hand-eye
coordination. Practice following a few simple steps and catching a ball will become second-nature! Before you
know it, you will be snagging baseballs all over the field!
TIP #1 Your GLOVE is your most important piece of equipment!
● Your glove becomes an extension of your hand when you catch the ball, so your glove should be
comfortable and fit correctly on your hand.
● If you throw with your right hand, then wear your glove on the left hand. If you throw with your left
hand, then wear your glove on you right hand.
● Gloves are measured by length in inches from the tip of the fingers, down through the pocket and
then all the way to the heel. As a general rule, young ballplayers (under 12) should use a 10 to 11
inch glove. Older players (age 13 and up) will typically use an 11 to 12.5 inch glove.
● It’s important to break in your glove. The best way to break in a glove is to play catch! However,
when you are still learning the basics of catching, it may be ideal to use a glove that is not brand
● Your broken-in glove should be easy to open and close. If you can squeeze your glove shut, then it
will be easier to secure the ball in your glove.
● Love your glove! Take care of it by storing it properly and keeping it clean.
TIP #2 Keep your eyes on the ball!
● “You can’t catch what you can’t see.” In other words, catching a ball is WATCHING and TRACKING
a ball from your partner’s throwing hand all the way (don’t take your eyes off the ball!) until it
reaches your glove.
● Pay attention to the speed and trajectory of the ball.
● If you find yourself dropping a lot of catches, then focus more on watching the ball all the way in.
TIP #3 Position your body!
● Get into an athletic position when you are preparing to catch the ball. Bend your knees slightly and
spread your feet about shoulder-width apart.
● You want to be an easy target for your partner. Stand directly facing your partner with your
shoulders square to him or her.
● Be light on your feet! You want to be ready to move quickly!
TIP #4 Position your glove!
● Hold your glove out in front of you with your fingers pointed upwards and your palm facing toward
your partner…it should act as a target for his or her throw.
● The direction of the throw determines how you catch the ball.
● If the ball is thrown ABOVE your belly button, then go ahead and catch it in the fingers pointed
upwards/palm facing outward position.
● If the ball is thrown BELOW your belly button, then you must adjust your glove position. In order to
catch a LOW throw, you must turn your wrist over so your fingers are pointed downward. In other
words, your glove is upside down, with the pocket on the bottom. This presents a much larger
opening for a low ball to enter the glove.
Tip #5 Use 2 Hands!
● It’s a good habit and skill to learn to use two hands to catch. Using two hands will help you avoid
dropping the ball!
● So, when the ball finally gets to you, catch it in the pocket and close your glove with your fingers to
secure the ball inside. Use your other hand to trap the ball inside your glove….and YOU CAUGHT IT!
KEEP ON PLAYING!
Categories: Tips From The PRO