Keep in mind that the Pop-times are generally a bit slower due to the emphasis of adding throwing extension. The reflection of a good throwing session by a catcher (with this emphasis) is when their range is within .10 seconds for all their pop-times. This shows a repeatable delivery that is a bit more fluid, with a better extension, but harder to attain for our newer catchers. Our other sub-skill for throwing was on having a fluid arm-stroke and good awareness on our release point for accuracy.
Our block-times are a fairly new measuring tool that we have used this past year. It measures the time (with the stop-watch) from when the ball hits the dirt, to the time the ball pop’s the mitt of the infielder at second base. We use those start and stop times because good base runners will be coached to read that ball down in the dirt early, they do not wait to see how far it goes off the catcher. A good varsity base runner will have an approximate time of 3.5-3.6 seconds from their jump to their slide into the base. High school catchers, let’s use that time as a reference or standard for your block times. College catchers and youth catchers, let’s subtract and/or add .15-.20 of a second to slide the scale a bit up or down. Either way that time difference is miniscule and hovering around that time will bring an exciting, bang-bang play if the accuracy of the throw is on point. Remember…this is a multi-skilled play, block>>recover>>throw. Missing just one of those skills will allow the base runner to advance. Quickly think about how that changes the inning for your pitcher…
Challenge yourself to get some quality reps in the next few weeks and we will move on to the other skills for our upcoming clinics.
Please view our brief video “block/recover sample” to review and learn more about proper blocking technique and the different elements that we drill into our catchers. Feel free to Facebook or share these video’s with others who want to learn more about catching.