Here we hope to give you some ideas on how to teach your child to catch a baseball. The first thing I would do is get rid of the hardball and grab a tennis ball. Children learn at a very early age to roll a ball and as they become toddlers they start to understand the concept of playing catch. Even if your child is older, start by rolling the ball back and forth without a glove. You may of heard the story of Cleveland Indians Shortstop Francisco Lindor catching balls rolled by his dad at the age of six in the Dominican Republic. It’s a great starting point for learning to catch a baseball.
One drill you can try with young players is cutting a milk carton in half and having them scoop slow rolling grounders with the milk jug while holding the handle. As they improve you can have them catch grounders with their bare hands. Repetition is the key. Eventually, they will be able to transition to a glove and snag grounders routinely.
Once they are consistently catching groundballs you can work on things like having a proper stance, moving towards the ball and keeping their hands out in front with their but down. We want them to develop soft hands.
For very young players catching thrown balls right to them is often more difficult then catching high flies and grounders. After grounders I would move to pop ups. Again, a tennis ball will be handy here. Have them toss the glove aside and use their bare hands. Simply increase the height as they become more and more comfortable. You can have them catch the tennis ball with one and two hands before transitioning to the glove. Very young players will naturally try to catch everything underhand once they get the glove on. Try to get them to catch with their fingers pointed upwards as well.
Balls thrown straight at t-ball or very young youth players are often very difficult to catch. Repetition is key. Remember you can start with a tennis ball and no glove before moving to a baseball. As the youth baseball player develops be sure to have him catch with his fingers pointed towards the sky when possible.
How to teach your child to catch a baseball often won’t even involve a baseball. Starting out you can use anything they will try to catch, from jelly beans, to ping pong balls to stuffed animals. Just get them catching something and they will begin developing the skills necessary to catch a baseball.