How to Catch a Baseball
Learning how to catch a baseball is not a difficult thing, but it can be quite intimidating nonetheless. The biggest obstacle to overcome is the fear of being hit by a fast-flying object. Follow these easy steps to replace that fear with fun and you'll be enjoying your first game of catch in no time!
Things You Will Need:
- Baseball Mitt - snug but not tight, with just enough room to extend the fingers.
- Place your mitt on your non-dominant hand. If you are right-handed, place the mitt on your left. Using your throwing hand, begin dropping the softball into the palm of the mitt to get used to the feel of grasping the ball. Once that feels comfortable you are ready to play toss.
- Minimizing the distance between yourself and the thrower and the speed in which the ball is thrown. Use the softball at first. To start, position yourself only a few feet away from the thrower with the softball be tossed softly, underhand. Use the softball to avoid injury as, at first, the ball is likely to bounce off the chest a few times. As you grow more comfortable snagging the ball with your mitt, increase distance and speed.
- Once you become comfortable with underhand toss of the softball it is necessary to work on your stance in order to catch an overhand baseball thrown with some speed. Plant your feet in the ground, facing straight ahead with your legs spread about six inches apart, knees slightly bent. Spreading your legs evenly distributes your weight and keeps you sturdy. It also enables you to catch the ball in front of you as opposed to by turning to the side.
- Catching the baseball requires you to follow it through the air with your eyes. Never take your eyes off the ball until it is firmly in your glove. The easiest way to get hurt is by losing focus on the moving ball. Keeping your focus also helps you to prepare for how the ball will carry and the direction it moves.
- Until you become comfortable catching the baseball with only the mitt, employ two hands to catch the baseball. Let the ball hit the palm of your mitt and then use the second hand to secure it in place. Catching the ball with this padded glove will feel strange at first, the two-handed approach will aid the transition.
- Practice. The more you practice, the more catching a baseball will become natural and instinctual.
- Helpful Tip: It is important to have a mitt that is properly broken in. If you are using a new mitt, place a baseball in the palm of the mitt and wrap two tight rubber bands around it. After 24 hours the mitt should be ready for use. See that you can open and shut the glove fluidly before using it to catch a baseball.