There are two main ways that we can cut down on our pop time to 2nd base. The first, which I’ve written about before, is increasing your arm strength. This is done primarily by long tossing and also occurs naturally as our bodies mature. There are definitely ways to speed this process up by incorporating a long toss and pre-hab programs, but for the most part it is a pretty slow process. It’s hard to increase our arm strength by 6, 7, 8, or 10 MPH, and it doesn’t happen over night!
Other than strengthening our arm, we can cut down our pop time by decreasing the time that it takes us to get rid of the ball. Or, as you may have heard it said before, making our feet quicker. This is an area that most catchers have plenty of room to improve in…most of us aren’t known because of our lightning fast quickness!
Today I’m going to write about one of my favorite tools that we can use to improve our foot speed…the ladder. I’m going to refer to the ABC Ladder made by Perform Better
because I feel like it’s the best quality one there is and it’s reasonably priced between $54 and $89. Thats about 1/3 the price of a new mitt and it should last your entire baseball career!
|Click to watch video of Ladder Drills
The ladder is a great tool to help players increase their foot speed while also learning body control. If catchers can get both of their feet on the ground more quickly, they have a chance to release the ball faster…which means more base stealers are thrown out!
If you’ve never seen a ladder used before you should click on the video above and watch some of the exercises to do. Even if you are familiar with the ladder there are some excellent exercises demonstrated in the video. Think of it as “hopscotch for athletes”!
One of the great things about the ladder is that you can do these exercises everyday as part of your dynamic warmup for practice. You all know that I’m a big advocate of long tossing, but that should only be done a few times a week. These foot speed exercises can be performed every day if you keep your ladder in your baseball bag!
Every catcher who wants to improve his pop time (which is everybody!) can benefit from introducing ladder drills into your routine.