Give the catchers practice time
This is a big issue for catchers. They spend the entire practice tossing balls to the coach while he hits them to the infielders, or they are sent to the bullpen to catch pitchers (By the way, I'm not knocking bullpens! They are very important for pitcher/catcher success). There needs to be specific time for the catchers to work on, and advance their knowledge of, the position. At the very least, you could give them 25 minutes of practice for specific catching training.
(Download the 25 Minute Catcher’s Practice Plan Template here.)
Work on the fundamentals
I always say, if you can’t receive the ball, don’t worry about blocking. If you can’t block, don’t worry about throwing. Each of these builds upon the next. Think about it. We need to catch the ball to be catchers, right? The fundamentals (receiving, blocking, and throwing) are so important and need to be worked on everyday! These are instrumental to the make up of a solid catcher.
Break things down
You don’t just frame. You don’t just block. You don’t just throw. You never "just" do anything. There are so many smaller parts that make up these big moves. You need to spend time with your catchers breaking things down and working on the small things. Then, when it is all put together it becomes a fundamentally sound frame, block, or throw.
Switch up the drills
Don’t you hate doing the same thing over and over and over again? I certainly do. You need to switch up the drills you do with your catchers. Don’t keep tossing them balls and tell them to “Hold it there” or “Just stop the ball.” There are so many drills that hone in on the specifics for each skill. Use a combination of drills to keep things interesting and help improve the catcher overall.
Work on advanced skills
Did you ever get yelled at for doing something wrong that you had no idea how to do in the first place? You were put in this position without any instruction or direction? Well, a lot of catchers experience this, especially the younger ones. There are so many responsibilities a catcher has, and it’s very important they understand what to do in certain situations. Spend time working on advanced skills like bunts, ball recovery, and drop third strikes. Talk to them about pitch calling and game situations. These, and more, are all important for catchers to know. Just remember: they have to know how to do them, before you as a coach can expect them to make it happen.