Catchers – Learn from your pain
Although catching was never my primary position, I’ve done enough of it in games to know that it is tough on
the body. Foul tips off the shoulder and thighs, bouncing balls into your forearms, collisions at the plate, and many other painful events make catching a position many kids want to avoid.
For those who stick with it, it is important to learn from whatever pain you are feeling. Doing so will get you to make adjustments so the pain does not return again. You will never completely eliminate pain as a catcher but there are definitely things you can do to minimize it.
Here are some examples of pain that can occur during normal play and what adjustments you can make to avoid it in the future:
- When bouncing balls hit your forearms when in the blocking position, make sure your elbows are not too close together. Spread them out so the ball has a better chance of hitting your chest protector instead of your arms.
- If your bare hand gets hit by foul balls, you need to hide it better/longer behind your heel or back.
- If your bare hand’s thumb gets hit, you need to keep the thumb inside your fingers when you make your loose fist behind your heel or back.
- If a bouncing ball hits your neck/throat, do a better job of tucking your chin to your chest when you go down to block.
- If a bouncing ball hits your ear/side of helmet, you need to keep your head facing forward and resist the reflex of turning your face away from the ball. Let the mask do its job.
There are others but the point is, whenever you experience pain as a catcher, try to determine what might have gone wrong which led to the pain. And then fix it!
Tomorrow’s post: eBook – 50 Hitting drills!