The Ole Ball Game

~ Baseball Receiving, Rookie Level; Work To Develop Confidence And Eliminate Fear! ~

Baseball receiving, rookie level, one of the building block skills to master on their way to a successful and enjoyable experience.

Forever interlocked with throwing, from the time they have that first game of catch, that combination will become one measuring stick for their success within the game.

Virtually everything within baseball revolves around a players ability to successfully catch, and throw a ball.

If those initial experiences lead to getting hit, it takes a great deal of effort and patience to remove the fears and apprehension that were created.

The material within is designed to help instruct receiving at the Rookie Level, providing young players a solid base, for this very essential skill development.

Receiving Tips ~ From the Dugout

receiving tips ~ from the dugout

It's the purest reward for a baseball coach when you see the smile emerge and the eyes light up, as all the effort comes to fruition. A 6 year old catches a ball above his waist with his thumbs together, keeping the ball from rolling up his glove, straight at his face.

He is on his way to a skill which helps eliminate the fear of being hit with a thrown or batted ball, dramatically increasing his safety, self confidence and level of fun!

They are special moments indeed, and some of life's greatest pleasures, no matter what level you coach!



Goals And Expectations

  1. Eliminate Fear.

    • It is absolutely essential to keep fear from being a part of their experience. If they have already had that bad experience, start back at the beginning creating successful and painless experiences that you can build upon.
  2. Demonstrate rules of thumb.

    • If the ball is above waist, have your thumbs together.

    • Ball above waist, thumbs together


    • Below the waist, pinkies together.

    • Pinkies together
    Use two hands.

    • A good analogy for using two hands is to have players think of a short cord, 7-8 inches long, attached to both of their wrists. When their glove goes, their throwing hand goes also. Not because they are beginners; but because it will make them quicker when they go to throw.


  3. Catch in center of body.

    • To accomplish this, players must learn to move their feet, to get around the baseball, catching it in the center of their body.


Teaching Progression

Receiving Balls On The Ground ~ Start On Knees


  • Players, kneeling just behind foul line.


  • Players reach out with both hands on the other side of the foul line ~ Glove hand, palm up. Bare hand, palm down.


  • Coach/Parents/Partners roll balls at their targets (glove.)


  • Have them catch the ball before it hits the foul line.


  • Progress to infield stance to field ball on the ground.


  • Ground Ball Perfection


    Receiving Balls At Chest


    • Players line up on foul line.


    • Players should be giving a two handed target, with elbows down and all fingertips pointing up, glove spread.


    • Coach/Parents/Partners first underhand balls into target. Progress in intensity/distance to ensure success.


    • If the ball is above the waist, have your thumbs together. Below the waist, pinkies together.


    • two handed target, elbows down, fingertips up
      pinkies together, for balls below the waist

      Receiving Balls Above Head


      • Players line up on foul line.


      • Players should always be giving a two handed target, with elbows down and all fingertips pointing up, only this time above their head ~ be sure glove is not blocking vision.


      • fielding flyball
      • Coach stands above player on a chair, bleacher, etc, and drops ball into target.


      • Coach/Parents/Partners, underhand easy pop-ups into target. Progress in intensity/distance to ensure success.


      Coaching Tips


      • Be sure to hit their target when tossing to them! Make your players have success.


      • Get players to use an appropriate size glove. Often younger players show up with their dad's or older brother's glove, which is way too big. This creates bad habits, due to lack of player control.


      • When practicing receiving, try progressing from rolled socks, whiffle balls, tennis balls, and safety balls. If you are able to eliminate the fear factor, you are well on your way to success, and so are the players.


      Additional Related Receiving Topics

      Advanced Receiving

      ~ Get your players to move their feet.~


      return from baseball-receiving-rookie-level to theoleballgame.com

      baseball's basic tools













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