Blocking. In many ways, this is where the rubber meets the road for a catcher. Blocking is where you find out how much someone really wants to catch. It can be a very difficult, and sometimes painful, aspect of catching. The catcher’s job when it comes to blocking is essentially irrational - they are asked to throw their body in front of a hard object that is moving at a high rate of speed. Granted they are wearing equipment, and the following skills and drills will teach how to get into a position that uses equipment best, but anyone who has caught before knows that the ball has an amazing way of finding parts of your body that are not protected by your equipment.
And yet, blocking well is essential to be a great catcher. If a catcher is able to block well, then the door is opened for the pitcher to use every pitch he has in his arsenal. The ability to call any pitch in any situation that has the best chance of getting the hitter out, without worrying about the ball getting past the catcher, is a huge advantage.
There are four essential skills that a catcher needs in order to Block Every Pitch and Be a Wall:
- Mindset = #1
- Proper Blocking Position
- Beat the Ball to the Spot
- Control the Ball