If you are looking for training programs for catchers then you will find a lot of options on the web. In this article, I will give you the top 10 list so you can get the most benefits out of your hard work. The keywords here being “focused, hard work.”
The ideal training or workouts for a catcher is going to cover a broad spectrum of player development. The focus will not just be on “arm strength” or “feet work” but all aspects of the makeup of an elite catcher. To truly understand the makeup of an elite catcher we first need to know the demands of a catcher and then how an elite catcher meets these demands. All of this will be covered here in this article along with the Top 10 Training Programs for Catchers.
At the end of this article, you will not only have a good understanding of the elite catcher but what it takes to develop one or become one. You will also learn about the best training program for catchers when it comes to incorporating the training from the top 10 training programs for the catcher into your work ethic.
The Makeup of the Elite Catcher
This is a challenging topic because everyone has their perspective of what makes an elite catcher. I will not try to go off of my opinion but more on my research of the science behind high-performance catchers.
Here is a study called, Body Type and Performance of Elite Cuban Baseball Players, which defined some elite anthropometric values for Cuban catchers:
Outfielders and catchers had the lowest bone mass value, while catchers had the highest mean fat mass value, followed by outfielders…
Tukey’s post hoc test revealed that catchers were significantly more endomorphic than infielders and outfielders, catchers and infielders were significantly more mesomorphic than pitchers, and infielders and pitchers were significantly more ectomorphic than catchers and outfielders…
Mean muscle mass values between these two positions were not significantly different, although the mean value for catchers was higher. Other authors have found that catchers are tall with large musculoskeletal development. (1)
Not that it is easy to influence these anthropometric values of the elite catcher but it shows you the body types of the elite catchers. Now for the metrics that you have more influence over. Here is another study called, Assessing Running Speed and Body Composition in Professional Baseball Players. This study lists not only the anthropometrics of professional catchers with comparison to other positions but also 60 yard dash times which gives us an understanding of how fast these elite catchers are.
Time (1) = time sec over first 30 yards.
Time (2) = time sec over second 30 yards.
Time (3) = total time over 60 yards
Pretty impressive to see a man who is just under 6 feet tall and weighs around 200 lbs can run almost a 7-second 60-yard dash.
If typically professional baseball players perform at a higher level than amateur baseball players it is impressive to see pop times around 1.8 seconds and arm velocities in the low 80’s at the amateur level. We could definitely expect those measurements or better in Major League Baseball.
In summary, I will put together for you here the complete list of the metrics that define the elite catcher as taken from this research.
Elite Catcher Profile
- Weight (lbs) = 199
- Height (inches) = 70.5
- SLG = .424
- Body Fat = 9-13%
- Muscle Mass (lbs) = 99
- 60 Yard Sprint = 7 sec
- Pop Time = 1.8 sec
- Throwing Velocity = Low 80’s mph
Top Ten Training Programs for Catchers
Now that we have the elite catcher profile we can now go over what it takes to develop one on the same level. Here are the top ten training programs for catchers to develop the elite catcher profile.
- Olympic Lift Training – This is an explosive resistance weight training program for developing the power that is the driving force behind improving the 60 yard sprint, pop time, throwing velocity, slugging percentage and even lean muscle mass. Studies show Olympic-style lifts and their derivatives (e.g., power clean, snatch) are also considered the best training exercises to maximize muscular power and dynamic athletic performance because they are multi-joint exercises, they do not have the problem of deceleration phase, and they produce some of the highest average human power outputs of all the resistance-training exercises for performance (3). It is ideal for catchers to perform clean pulls, snatch pulls and power cleans to maximize power in the low squat positions.
- Power Training – On top of the power training from the Olympic Lifts incorporating plyometrics helps convert more of that power into the field movements. It is also ideal for catchers to perform plyometrics from low squat positions.
- Strength Training – This is resistance weight training focusing on building a base level of strength to enhance power production. This would include squats, deadlifts, bench press and more. This will promote lean muscle mass and the ability to enhance performance defensively and offensively.
- Speed Training – This is speed and agility workouts that will help promote not only more speed but anaerobic ATP which is the energy that fuels power. These exercises will include sprints, rapid response, ladders, hurdles and more. Catchers do not need to have the best 60 yard sprints in the game but they do need to train for speed to promote faster pop times, throwing velocity and bat speed.
- Mobility Training – This includes exercises to improve joint mobility which will enhance performance in the skill. Exercises like dynamic stretching, foam rolling, body and voodoo bands are extremely effective. By having a greater range of motion for the joint to travel through, there is more opportunity to train the muscle more efficiently and promote greater muscular development.
- Joint Integrity Training – This includes exercises to improve joint integrity which is the balanced strength of the joint. Workouts like light dumbbell Jobe workouts, Body Blade vibration workouts, resistance tubing and more. This will promote arm and total body health.
- Core Training – This includes exercises to increase core strength which promotes better movements due to a more stable and connected kinetic chain. Lifts like front squats are the best core exercises you can perform. On top of these Olympic Squats all the core stabilization exercises like planks and rotational medicine ball throws also promote performance enhancement for the catcher.
- Motor Coordination Training – These exercises include throwing drills to train the mechanics of the more effective and efficient movements of the elite catcher. Mainly working on the central nervous system to convert more of the catcher’s power production into ball and bat speed.
- Visualization Training – Repetition is critical to improving the skill of catching and you can double or triple your repetition with visualization training of performing a throw down to a base or hitting the baseball. This will help the catcher more quickly apply the workload need to become an elite catcher
- Performance Training – It isn’t enough to practice in a calm, comfortable environment the skill of catching at the elite level. The final step is transferring the elite skills to the stressful game. This will include performance training where the environment has been stimulated to simulate game stress. Exercises like competing with opponents in throwing or hitting drills is critical to simulate the pressures of the game.
2X Velocity Sub 2.0 Program
The 2X Velocity Program and the 2X Sub 2.0 Pop Time Program was created to develop the elite catcher. These two programs are a revolutionary approach to improving not just pop times to the sub 2.0 range but throwing velocity into the mid to high 80’s. These programs incorporate all of the workouts or training listed in the top 10 training programs for a catcher. These programs have been proven successful over and over again. Take your game to the elite level and get started on the 2X training programs today! If you have any questions about the 2x training programs please contact Coach Brent at 415-877-4850.
Learn more about the 2X Velocity Sub 2.0 Program or get started TODAY adding 5-10+mph!