Protecting the catcher’s throwing hand

There are all kinds of risks for catchers. Most will show their bruises, knots, and scrapes with pride.

One area you don’t want to mess around with, however, is the throwing hand. It’s important to protect it from foul tips, balls in the dirt, and general wild pitches.

That’s why I’m amazed sometimes to see how exposed many of them still leave it. Some will set it on their legs, some will let it hang down to the side, some will even let it hang over between their legs. Any of those positions is vulnerable.

The way to assure the hand is protected is to take the thumb and pull it across the palm of the hand and fold the fingers over it. Then take the hand and hide it behind the shin guard on that side. This position protects both the hand and thumb, yet leaves the hand available to make a throw.

Be sure you keep the hand protected and you’ll keep your catcher in business a lot longer.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on March 15, 2008, in Catching. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. There is another technique, especially with right-handed batters, that I like the girls to try. Stand up and find the crease at your hip, between your leg and your stomach. Put your thumb onto that crease with your fingers pointing down and toward the back of your leg. It is completely safe for right handed batters while it completely protects the thumb and makes in very difficult for a ball to hit the hand for a lefty batter. It seems to me to be the fastest non-exposed position that allows the hand to move behind the glove when blocking and up to meet the glove when transitioning to throw.

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  2. I don’t have a lot of experience with that one, but I’ve seen it done. Is there any risk to exposing the elbow? Do you have to remind the catchers to keep their elbow tucked in, or do they do it naturally? I’m all for anything that keeps them protected and makes it easier to get the throwing hand on the ball for a throw.

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  3. You do have to remind the girls to keep the elbow in to the body, but once they do it is no more exposed than any other technique.

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