Playing baseball requires learning and acquiring challenging skills. These skills include batting with accuracy, running, pitching, and catching the ball.
Therefore, catching a ball is a core skill that requires frequent practice. Indeed, a player does not learn catching overnight.
Although catching might seem easy to the ears, it is not to the hands. Learning or acquiring the skill of catching a baseball requires practice, a lot of it.
Besides, an unguided practice can be counter-productive. It will only cost the baseball learner unnecessary time and effort.
Make sure to read below the right tips on how to catch a baseball with two hands to gain productive learning.
What to Prepare
Go for any baseball since there is only one baseball size: 9 and ¼ inch-circumference. It should ideally weigh 5 and ¼ ounces.
The best baseball brands are namely DeMarini, Adidas, Easton, Marucci, Louisville Slugger, Rawlings, Nike, Wilson, etc.
When choosing a baseball product, always set your eyes on the exterior or shell covering. The two main types of baseball covering are synthetic and leather.
High-quality leather material for baseball, although expensive, is a common choice among baseball players.
2. Baseball Glove
Many might ask, “can you catch a baseball with your bare hand?” The answer is you should not. It is advised to be geared with suitable gloves.
When choosing the perfect baseball glove to use for practicing to catch a baseball with two hands, go for its three standard qualities: fit, break-in quality, and overall feel.
Among the three, the break-in quality tends to be the utmost priority if you are just a starter.
But even before looking into these, make sure the baseball glove size fits you based on your age. Here is a baseball glove sizing chart you can refer to.
Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Break your gloves in first
Since baseball gloves are often made of leather, they will feel stiff at first. When the glove is too stiff, you will not be able to close your fist, causing your grip to fail.
That’s why we need to break them in the right way. Check this article to see how you can break in a baseball glove.
Step 2: Learn the right stance
Do warm-ups before setting up to catch baseballs. Warm-ups remove unnecessary tension in the body.
Find the core of your body when catching a baseball. The core should serve as your springer or your source of momentum.
To do that, position yourself directly opposite the person throwing the ball. Then, loosen your feet and shoulders at a sufficiently parallel position.
Finally, squat a bit to feel enough tension on your thigh and knees. Allow the balls of your feet to spring you in an instant to either a forward or backward direction.
When learning the right stance, make sure to train your body to become flexible, agile, and responsive.
You also need the training to respond to moving quickly.
Step 3: Wear the glove properly
Wear the glove just right – not too loose nor too tight.
Once worn, bring the palm of the glove up and out, and face the person throwing the ball. Maintain this position as you tackle the ball.
Observe the direction of the ball when catching. When the ball is thrown, let your whole body respond in its direction.
Do not think too much of your hand, it will distract you from watching the trajectory of the ball.
The glove hand should only act as an extension of your body. It should naturally go along the motion of your body whenever, for instance, you have to bend down a bit to catch a ball thrown closer to the ground.
The same thing applies when you are catching a fly ball. However, in this case, you will need a lighter but firm glove.
Step 4: Train your feet to move quickly
As mentioned earlier, your feet importantly act as the springer.
Moving across directions would prove most challenging in catching a baseball without a flexible and agile pair of feet.
Shuffling is one of the best exercises or techniques for training the feet to move quickly.
Shuffling comes in various forms. Choose the shuffling style that eases your movement, more like a dance.
Step 5: Focus on the ball
Focusing on the ball with the eyes comes as a very basic technique in doing the catch in baseball.
The eyes play an essential role in the act. They serve as the visual entry of the brain.
To help you train your eyes, try vision drills to improve your eyes in the field. If you have near-sightedness or any eye condition, consider wearing prescription glasses.
But always remember to consult an ophthalmologist before wearing these.
Step 6: Use both hands for catching
When preparing to do the act, exercise both hands for coordination.
Meanwhile, choose a lighter baseball glove to avoid distracting your brain with uneven weight in the hands.
Turn the direction of the palm wearing the glove towards the direction of the player. The other hand should smoothly move in parallel with the other.
When catching the ball, respond with both hands and feet. At this point, keep your focus on the ball and avoid thinking about your hands. Let your bodily response move freely.
Lastly, cup your hands when apprehending the coming ball.
There you go – the quick and effective tips on how to catch a baseball with two hands.
But as implied in the tips, a baseball catcher must go through several training, drills, and preparations to get the perfect coordination.
That is because catching a ball is never an easy feat. It requires extensive mental and physical control to smoothly exercise a well-coordinated rhythm in the body. Without this rhythm, there would be no accuracy.
A powerful swing and the ball is flying across the field, just one hit, and we might never forget the thrill it brings. I do not know about you, but I never do. Every baseball game is the chance to compete with others and cooperate with your teammate. It is among my biggest passions.