Fundamentals of Catching the Ball

Pat Ahearne, former NCAA College World Series Championship pitcher with more than 16 years of pro ball experience shares his fundamental approach to catching the baseball.  A great video for youth baseball players and coaches working to improve the basics.


Hi, this is Pat Ahearne and you're On the Way of Baseball. I want to give you a couple of real quick tips on catching the ball. Some young players, I see them make mistakes and have a tough time catching the balls, so this is a really easy way to get yourself ready and make good catches.

So when you're playing catch, first of all, get in an athletic position, bend your knees, a little flexed at the waist so you can move. You have balance, you can move. Now, what you use, with your glove, you give your partner a target to throw to right in front of your glove side arm. Now, from this position, you can get to about any ball that's thrown to you.

If the ball is to your left, you can just reach across. If it's above you to your left, if it's straight up and now if the ball's coming on this side of you, you can reach across really easily and make the catch. If the ball is straight across, you can reach this way on the backhand and make the catch.

Now, one of the problems that I see with youth players, when a ball comes down too low, they're not sure what to do. So when you start with this position and the ball comes below your waist, you turn your palm up and make the catch that way. So if it's right below you, come down here, catch it this way. If it's down and opposite your glove side, you can reach down on the backhand and catch it here.

Same thing on your glove side. You can just turn your palm up and catch it this way and you always start from the athletic position and expect, especially when you're in the field and playing the game, if you expect a bad throw, a good throw will be easy. That's what you'll be ready for. So if you're here and you're athletic and expect a bad throw, if it comes way over here, you can move, move your feet and get to it.

So, catching isn't only a skill with the glove but it also involves the feet. You got to be able to move. You got to be ready to go. So now there's a good tip for helping you catch the ball. Anything else on your mind, you can find me at and I'll give you help, and tips, and advice on how to go better and farther on your way of baseball.

Release Date: Jul 22 2013

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