So you want to be a catcher? Are you are a catcher and you want to become better at it? Here are 7 things to work on to become a better catcher in dodgeball:
1. Plant Your Feet
Moving side to side while trying to catch can be pretty difficult. Remember that time where you were trying to dodge 3 balls coming at you and you had your hands in a weird spot and somehow, a dodgeball stuck? Is this skill? No. It is impressive though! While learning to catch, plant your feet and try to focus on those balls as they come at you.
2. T-Rex Arms
Hold your arms in close to your chest with your elbows close to your sides so you are ready to snatch an incoming ball. Having your arms in the ready position will aid in grabbing that one coming straight for you.
3. Don’t Reach!
Try to avoid sticking your arms out to the sides or above your head to grab a ball. Using your own body as a backboard will help you keep control of the ball. Put your body whole body in front of it instead of reaching from side to side. This will also reduce the risk of you hurting your fingers!
4. Make A Pocket!
Stick your butt out and let the ball fall into the pocket that your body has made. There will be less chance for the ball to slip though!
Are multiple balls coming at you? Try to focus on the one that you think will get to you the quickest and try to catch that one.
6. Close Your Legs!
Many times people come so close to catching a ball but it slips through their arms, through their legs and then down to the ground. Keep your legs closer together so that they can stop the ball from slipping through.
Don’t try and catch a ball with crocodile arms (one arm coming up on the ball and one arm coming down on the ball). There are too many ways the ball can slip through. Instead, try to use both arms to ‘scoop’ the ball up as it is coming towards you.
Now let’s hear some advice from some of the best catchers in NSD:
When it comes to catching, it has to be instinct. You can’t “want” the catch. A good catcher lets it almost be like a reflex. If you are trying for a catch (multiple balls coming at a time) focus in the threat – IE the ball that you expect to get to you first.
- “Catch the ball with your hands” – The single most important aspect of catching. Catching the ball with ‘soft hands’ will make it easier at any speed.
- Hand position in an athletic spot ready to get them in front of anything
- Looking the ball in will help you focus on catching and once you make contact let the ball sink into your hands.
- Use your peripheral vision to focus on snipers. Try to trick them into thinking you are not looking at them – much like they do when faking throws
- Pick your spots – my biggest Achilles heel is that I reach for balls I have no business reaching.
“What helped me become a better catcher was good old practice, I got a ball and I bounced it off the wall, the couch and played catch with folks…a lot. I basically dial in my hand/eye coordination for the size and feel of the ball. Also don’t be afraid to try during games. I see a lot of new players catching well during warm-up and then not at all during a game. Remember you can’t win a game dodging! Oh – Have large hands, that’s quite helpful!”
With all these tips and advice from some of the great catchers in NSD, you should be ready to get out there and start catching. If this is a goal for yourself, good luck in the perfecting this skill!