Written by Taber Watson - Head Baseball Coach at Drake High School. He shares a few quick tips to help young catchers with their pop-time.
What is pop time? The time from the moment the ball hits the catchers glove to the moment it hits the infielders. Elite catchers can deliver the ball in under two seconds.
Catch the ball first
I know - it sounds incredibly basic, but one of the most common mistakes catchers make is rushing and standing up early. Jumping the gun and starting to throw before you catch the ball significantly increases the chances of something going wrong. You can't assume you'll get a perfect pitch, and when you have to compensate for the pitch, your throws will suffer.
Quick-release > Winding up for velocity
Take your fastest runner and ask them to sprint as fast as you can away from you. I promise anyone on your team can throw a ball wrong-handed faster than they can run. Every moment the ball is in your possession it is losing value. The average MLB release time is anywhere between .5-.7. To often catchers get caught up with how hard they can throw it to second base, not realizing that the time they lost winding up was not made up in transit.
Where you miss matters: