Softball is a great sport for people who love playing against a more challenging opponent. In this unique game, players use a smaller ball and only hit it with their non-throwing hands. As such, the catcher is critical, and they need to be able to spot the ball early and get it to the pitcher as quickly as possible.
If you want to try slow pitch softball, check out our guide on how to play catcher in this game. It’ll give you the tips you need to become a top player.
What is a slow pitch softball catcher?
Slow pitch softball catchers are positioned behind the catcher’s mound and catch the ball. The purpose of the catcher is to catch the ball before it touches the ground. Slow pitch catchers do not need to be proficient hitters, but they do need to be aware of the gameplay and know when to step in front of the pitcher to block the ball if the batter hits it.
The position also requires a good deal of agility. Slow pitch catchers need to move quickly to reach foul balls and make tags. The catcher’s job can become very physically demanding. Catchers experience more shoulder and elbow injuries than others, particularly when blocking pitches thrown hard.
What Does a Catcher Do in Softball
When playing catcher in a slow pitch softball game, you must stand within a specific part of the field and catch balls thrown toward you. You must do this to protect the three bases, the home base, and the runners on your team. Despite not being a “fun” position, a catcher is a vital player for their team.
Step 1: Select a catcher. Often, the smallest player on your team will be chosen to play catcher. This is because it makes catching and throwing the ball more manageable for them.
Step 2: Position yourself behind the home plate, where the rubber meets the dirt. You must stand directly behind home plate with both feet and face the batter. That means you are facing third base.
How To Be a Good Catcher in Softball
To become a promising catcher in softball, you need to have strong throwing skills and quick reflexes. You also need to be able to judge the speed and direction of the ball in flight, as well as anticipate where it will land. Here is some advice that will help you to become a good catcher.
- One of the most essential skills for a good catcher in softball is being able to throw accurately. Although you may not be using your throwing arm as much as you are batting, it’s still important to be able to make throws from any position on the field.
- The throwing technique should be smooth and effortless, with your back leg leading the way.
- Your elbow should always remain close to your body, and your hand should stay relaxed and low to control the ball better.
- As for how best to catch softballs, keep things simple by placing both hands behind your back near shoulder height.
- When receiving a thrown ball, try not to stiffen up or arch your back; instead, focus on maintaining balance and keeping a low center of gravity so that you don’t lose control of the ball.
- If possible, use one hand only when catching balls in midair because this will allow greater flexibility while avoiding unnecessary contact with other players or surfaces.
- Frequently practice with a rubber ball by hitting it into various positions around the yard or field.
- Stay alert for balls hit softly off the bat that may suddenly spike toward you on an unpredictable path when playing live games.
- Once you’ve mastered these basics, work on improving your reactions using video simulation software or practice drills at home.
Some Exclusive Slow Pitch Softball Catcher Tips
Slow pitch softball is an excellent sport for anyone looking to stay active and have fun. Whether you’re new to the game or just want to improve your skills, here are some tips for catching softballs:
- Catch the ball with both hands near your chest instead of gripping it tightly between your fingers. That will help reduce stress on the wrists and armpits and make it easier to throw accurately.
- Keep a relaxed stance at all times. Don’t lean forward or back too much, as this can cause inaccurate throws.
- Use your peripheral vision to keep an eye on the ball while positioned behind home plate – this way, you won’t have to aim late in the pitch when you actually see the softball hit the ground.
- When catching ground balls, stay low so that you’re able to save throws from going over your head and ensure that infielders cannot easily reach extra-base hits off of them (assuming they are caught).
- Finally, be aware of how quickly players move around while batting. If possible, wait until they stop moving before reacting so that you aren’t distracted by their movements instead of focusing on catching fastballs.
The easiest way to catch a slow pitch softball is to squat down with your back leg bent and your body well forward, your left hand out to catch the ball, and your right arm protected behind your body.