Being a catcher is a tough job. If you are lazy, this isn’t the position for you. As a catcher, you will be a part of every play. You will either be communicating with your teammates, catching balls or covering bases. Covering bases is very important as it will help prevent the opponent from scoring.
If you don’t know how to cover bases the right way, you can cost your team a lot of games. Below I am going to share with you how to cover bases the right way.
Backing Up First Base
Before playing catcher, you may want to familiarize yourself with youth catchers gear sets that are available. As a catcher it is your responsibility to make sure first base is always covered. Anytime a grounder is hit to the infielders you need to high tale it to first base. Your number one objective is to prevent the hitter from advancing any further. As soon as the ball is hit you will need to jump up and run as hard as you can along the fence line. Chances are the throw coming your way will be wild.
Be ready to react quickly. Pay attention to the angle from which the throw is coming. This way you can be ready for it when it gets to you. If you are forced to catch throws from third base, request the help of your second baseman and right fielder.
Even when there is a runner on first base, you still have the option of backing up first. Just know you will have to run back to home plate as fast as you can if things change. If there happens to be a runner on second or third base, stay home. Never cover first base in this situation. This way you will be ready if there is a play at the plate.
How To Cover Third Base On A Bunt
Sometimes the opponent will bunt the ball to help the runner advance to the next base. If this happens you may need to step up and cover third. Especially if the ball is being fielded by your third baseman.
Each coach is different and will handle this situation a little differently. In some cases the pitcher may be required to cover third base and the catcher will stay at home plate. Unless you are instructed to stay home, it is your responsibility to get to third base as quickly as you can. The moment the third baseman signals to let you know they are making a play on the ball, you hustle down the line to third base.
If need be, the pitcher will then drop back and cover home plate. The key is to make sure everyone is communicating effectively on the field. If communication isn’t in tact, it will be very difficult to win games.
As the catcher, you do much more than just catch the ball. You are constantly surveying the field to see what’s going on. In a moments notice you may have to jump up to run and cover a base. Always be aware of base runners. Your number one job is to make sure they don’t make it to home plate and score. You do that by ensuring every base is always covered. One of the top resource we have found devoted to catchers is this site dedicated to catchers gear reviews. It is never easy to find the right equipment!