with Boo Gillette, Arizona State University Assistant Softball Coach; 3x All-Big Ten catcher at the University of Wisconsin, former Assistant Coach at Purdue and University of North Carolina
Former All -Big Ten catcher Boo Gillette delves into one of the most critical positions on the diamond - the catcher - dissecting and analyzing the skills necessary to ensure top performance. Coach Gillette covers every aspect of catching such as characteristics of a good catcher, communication with the pitcher and umpire, equipment, stance and framing, fielding bunts and plays at the plate. She also demonstrates a comprehensive progression of catching drills that her players use daily to improve fundamental skills.
Throughout the video Gillette provides a valuable mix of coaching instruction and live teaching as she coaches her players through a practice.
Basic Drills and Catching Circuit - Coach Gillette demonstrates four basic framing drills that her catchers use daily to improve their receiving skills. This challenging circuit builds strength, improves agility and reinforces basic catching fundamentals. The circuit consists of various skills like catching pitch-outs, catching foul balls, blocking, framing and making plays at the plate.
Receiving - On a borderline pitch, soft hands and good framing can be the difference between a called strike and a ball (and keep the umpire in your corner). Coach Gillette explains the essentials on how catchers set their stance and call pitches. In addition, she shares two ways to get the catcher's body to the pitch. She also discusses the strategy of setting up late, hiding the signal and how the catcher should position the glove when catching the ball.
Blocking - Effective blocking can stop runners from advancing and keep runs off the board. It gives the pitcher confidence that the catcher can knock down a pitch in any situation. Coach Gillette demonstrates the correct mechanics for blocking pitches in the dirt and to either side of the catcher. She also demonstrates how to get down to the ground quickly.
Throwing - A quick throw to the bases can prevent steals or keep runners from advancing to the next base. Coach Gillette discusses throwing from the knees and throwing from the feet. She shares footwork techniques and body positions for each, using demonstrations with a batter in the box.
Fielding and Plays at the Plate - To ensure the out, Coach Gillette demonstrates how to split the plate and shares the proper mechanics for accurately fielding a bunt down the third or first baseline. Understanding how to make plays at the plate is critical since, in these situations, the catcher is the only person standing in the way of a baserunner scoring. Coach Gillette explains how the catcher should position her body, awaiting the throw from any position on the field. She also discusses how to block the plate with either one or two knees, depending on the situation.
Boo Gillette shares her passion for catching in this "A to Z guide" to this key defensive position. Use this resource to prepare your catchers for any situation the game - or the pitcher - may throw at her. This is a must-have video for any coach at any level! 66 minutes. 2014.