Baseball Catcher-Most needed player


Baseball Catching-Most needed playerBasseball catching

The catching position is the most important as well as the most under coached position on the baseball field. A great baseball catcher can make pitchers better, make a defense stronger, and keep a game plan on course.  So why don’t coaches spend more time educating themselves and players about correctly fielding the position?

Introducing Greg Creager

This article is going to be the first in a series by a fellow coach. Greg Creager has played catcher his whole life. He played D1 college baseball until an injury ended his baseball playing career. As with most of us with a passion for the game, his dedication to the sport has never stopped. He is now a partner at the Fort Smith Baseball Academy located at 10818 Old Hwy 71 Fort Smith, AR.

I became acquainted with Greg through a Facebook group called “Coaching Baseball – Tips, Drills, travel teams, and more…” Greg often posts great information and comments. When he posted the following tips on catching I had to contact him and see if he would let me bring his knowledge to more people.

Greg’s words are top notch information about the catching position and if more coaches take the time to teach good athletes how to catch the future of baseball will be a lot brighter.

Importance of a catcher

Baseball catchingCatchers, as you know if you read my page about the position, is the most important position on defense. A great catcher is a leader both physically and emotionally. Catchers are an extension of the coach on defense.

The catching position is the brain of the baseball team, yet most youth coaches but kids behind the dish that they can’t play at another position. Or worse they put a good athlete behind the plate and don’t give them any instruction. With inferior ability, lack of coaching, or both, players develop many bad habits that are hard to break.

Coach G’s words of wisdom

I work with a lot of catchers. One thing I notice that is becoming an epidemic is the bad habits that get started at young ages.  I have also seen these problems are the result of a couple of things, 1.) the coach knows nothing about catching and doesn’t spend any time, and 2.) at an early age (coach pitch) they just throw a kid back there that they don’t necessarily want to play in the field. So having said that I hope to change that with hopefully one child and one uninformed coach at a time.

So here is Coach G’s first catching tip of the week. Baseball catching

Primary stance: this is the usual position catchers are in without runners on, the threat of stealing or two strikes. This setup allows you to sit more comfortably while still performing the most typical duties of calling and receiving pitches.

You want to be low in your stance giving the pitcher a good low target. Being relaxed with your legs slightly wider than your shoulders with your toes angled out, which allows your hips to be open. (A good rule of thumb is the plate is 17 inches wide, and your knees should be on each side of the plate when you squat.) Your mitt should be in the center of your body, away from your chest with your forearm (not elbow) resting on your knee. Be sure to have your mitt at about the same height as your batters knees which should be the bottom of the hitting zone. Keep your throwing hand down at your side behind your leg NEVER BEHIND YOUR BACK.

*When the catcher puts their throwing arm behind their back it puts them in an off-balance position. It also causes the shoulder joint to be in a more open position making the catcher susceptible to foul balls causing injury to the shoulder.

Also don’t set up so far back off the plate. Get as close as you can while still being out of the batters swing to get those low strikes instead of those low balls that should have been strikes.

Stick the strikes,

Coach G.


Coach G’s words are a description of the primary catching position. There are other positions that a catcher needs to learn. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to bring you all of those stances as well as the mental responsibilities of the catcher. We will also get into the differences between coaching youth players (Little League) and older kids (Travel and 90-foot basepath).

Thank you,

Coach Wood

*Coach Wood’s added note


Free Youth Baseball Practice Plan Template


Free Youth Baseball Practice Plan TemplateFree youth baseball practice plan template

Are you coaching by the seat of your pants? Are you like a lot of new youth baseball coaches showing up to practice with your bucket of balls and a couple of bats then figuring out what to do next? I will tell you that the difference between a good team and great team starts with the coach’s preparation. You have to have a practice plan. This article is a free youth baseball practice plan template that will help you to be ready when training starts.

Coaches who do not have a plan for BP hold their teams back.

Your players won’t reach their full potential if you are scratching your head thinking about what to teach them or how you are going to do it. To begin with, you need to ask yourself a few questions Who, what, when, where, why and how.

  • Who are you trying to improve? (pitchers, hitters, fielders, baserunners, offense, defense)
  • What are you going to do to help them improve? (drills, exercise, mental)
  • When are you going help them during practice? (beginning, middle, end)
  • Where do you want to implement this on the field? (infield, outfield, batting cage, tee station)
  • Why do your player’s need this help? (no power, no velocity, poor mechanics, lack knowledge)
  • How to you get them to improve? (what way will they learn best)Free youth baseball practice plan template

These questions will help you to prepare a youth baseball practice plan that will make your practice efficient.

The standard template

Youth Baseball Practice Plan: Date

Two hr. time 6:00 to 8:00 (Note amount of time you have and when)

6:00 – WARM UP/ STRETCH (10 min. throw, 10 min. stretch.)

6:20 – Individual Defense Drill 1 (insert what drills you want to do see example below)

Infield – Soft Hands, Quick Feet.

Infielders will pair up. One ball for two players. Players will not need gloves for this drill. Players stand to face each other about 8 to 10 feet apart. One player gets ready to field the other to toss. Player 1 rolls the ball to player two the ball is caught and then reversed. The players switch roles and do the same thing. Then the ball is rolled to the players right. The player shuffles feet to get in front of the ball and fields it. Then reverse. Finally, roll the ball to the left, and the player will shuffle feet to get in front of the ball and field it. Then it is reversed.

Outfield – Drop Step, Open Hips

Outfielders pair up. One ball for two players. Players face each other. Player 1 is active player two is tossing. The second player throws the ball to the right of player 1. Player 1 takes a drop step opens hips in the direction the ball is going and runs under it catches it and tosses it back to player 2. Then the drill is repeated except the ball is thrown to the left. Then the drill repeated with the ball being thrown straight back over the player’s head. After all three tosses, the players switch and repeat the drill.

6:45 – Individual Defense Drill 2 (insert drills that you want to do)

Water Break

7:00 – Infield/ Outfield (Be sure to note times that you want to start each new segment)

All players take their positions. Start with the outfield. The fielders will throw the ball to second base. Setup cutoffs. Then each player gets a ball and throws to third base. Followed by throws to home plate. After that, you move to the infield each position will get one to 2 balls hit to them and throw to first base. Then all players will get a ball to turn a double play. Finish with all infielders getting a ball hit to them and throwing to home plate.

7:20 to 7:30ish – Team Defense – Situational Baseball

Set up your defense. Use all extra players as base runners. Give them situations. Example (Runner on first nobody out.) Then hit a ball let the defense make the play and see what happens. Make corrections where needed and redo the play if necessary. After three outs you should replace base runners with players from the field. You control everything.

7:50 – Run

Have players line up at home plate and run to the right field foul pole and back together. Then team runs to left field foul pole and back together.

7:55 – Finish  

Clean up equipment. Talk about practice. Release to parents.



The information above is a basic template for laying out your practice. Understanding what you want to do, where it is going to take place on the field, and when you are going to do it is a perfect way to start.

What to do and with whom

You have to come up with different drills to improve parts of your team’s abilities. Knowing several drills is very helpful when creating your youth baseball practice plan. The problem is if you are like most coaches just getting started you may not have played baseball since high school or college. You may have a limited number of drills you know or might not remember exactly how you did them. You are going to need a library of drills and advice you can lean on.


I like to get advice from coaches that are successful and engaged in the game of baseball. Coach Free youth baseball practice plan templateTube is an excellent reference for all things related to coaching baseball. You will get to watch videos of drills and techniques on hitting, pitching, fielding and baserunning. Some of these videos are free and others you will have to buy, but most of them are worth it.

Another great resource is Play Sports TV allows you to access video courses Free youth baseball practice plan templatefor baseball. You will be able to watch over 200 videos, get 20 step by step practice plans, and print field notes and tips. All of this information is available for a monthly fee, but it comes with a free 3-day trial, so there is no risk.

When it comes to helping young players the best tool you have is your knowledge of the game. Nobody knows everything about baseball. We have been playing this game for over 100 years. Being able to pick the brains of multiple high-level coaches and former players can only improve upon what you already know.

So answer the questionsFree youth baseball practice plan template


Now that you know what the youth baseball practice plan looks like it is time to make your own. Grab your paper and a pen. Pick the players that you are trying to help, for example, pitchers.


Choose the drill that is going to help them become better pitchers, i.e., bucket drill for accuracy. At this point, you will need to decide when during practice this drill best fits.


At this stage, you will need to decide when during practice this drill best fits. Since the pitchers are going to throw a lot of balls, so you need them to be warmed up but fresh. Right after stretching and warm-up tosses would be good.


Now you need to pick a spot. If you put them on the mound, you won’t be able to get anything done on the field. You will need to use the bullpen area or create a spot on the side for this drill.


You need to explain to the pitchers why you want them to become more accurate. Accuracy also allows pitchers to throw more strikes where the batter doesn’t want to hit it. If a pitcher can locate a ball where he wants, he can keep a hitter off balance.  Make sure your players know why they are doing a drill they will work harder at it.


You have to know how your pitchers are going to understand this drill the best. What teaching method are you going to use? Are you going to tell them, or show them, or will you let them do it and correct them along the way. A good coach knows his players.

Break it all down

You have a good foundation for building your youth baseball practice plan. You will be able to get the most out of your team with the limited time you have to work with them. Now all you have to do is get out there and make it all happen.

With the desire of the players and discipline of the coach a group of individual baseball players can become a team, most of all you have to have a plan. Start with a good youth baseball practice plan.

Thank you,

Coach Wood