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Slide-retrieve for the catcher? Teach this?

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  • Slide-retrieve for the catcher? Teach this?

    Okay, passed ball/wild pitch somewhere a good distance behind the catcher. Runner on third base. How do you teach the catcher to retrieve the ball and make the throw to the pitcher? Why?
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  • #2
    Not an expert, but the way my son's catching coach has explained it...

    You want to make as good a throw as possible to the covering pitcher. That is almost always going to be an overhand throw. Underhand throws may be faster, but tend to be inaccurate.

    Now, in order to make an overhand throw from a standing position you are going to need to bend over to get the ball, then bring the ball all the way back up for the throw. Slow.

    If you slide to the ball, you put yourself in position to make an overhand throw without having to bend over and then stand up. Faster.

    Made sense to me.


    • #3
      My sons team practiced this which was good to see last season. Catchers need to inspect the ground behind the plate before hand. Checking for uneven spots, rocks, fence. If right handed slide on left shin guard stay low and throw no unwanted movement. Sliding helps not running into the fence


      • #4
        OMG, why do you slide in to a base? One reason is that you can get there faster. By sliding, you don't have to sprint to the ball then slow momentum down and then bend over. Also, you can control that slide enough that the catcher can retrive the ball and throw the dart. I teach a "dart throw" because it is efficient and fast. We practice this as a part of what we call "multiple infield" where we involve the catcher and pitcher in infield practice.
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        • #5
          These are good explanations.

          In my experience young catchers enjoy learning this skill, and need very few practice reps to be "sold" on it. In other words, a high rate of return at a minimal cost in practice time.

          If you put the best 10yo SS in your league behind the plate for his first time, he'll probably do the slide-retrieve intuitively, without being taught.


          • #6
            If you're talking a big field with 50+ feet from the plate to the backstop, catchers will often need the slide for the reason that Cannonball mentioned - to slow their momentum so that they can pop up to their knees and flip it back to the plate.

            On many fields for smaller kids, by contrast, the backstop is only 20 feet away and may even be entirely of wood (and thus causing the ball to pop around like a pinball) and so the kid will either have such a short distance to go or will have to be able to change direction as the ball bounces around so that sliding doesn't make sense.
            sigpicIt's not whether you fall -- everyone does -- but how you come out of the fall that counts.


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