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A good defensive catcher can change a game just by getting the border line pitches called strikes. He can do this by framing the pitches. Framing is an art form that many catchers spend alot of time practicing. Pitchers love any catcher that can make balls look like strikes. A catcher that does a good job framing can make a pitcher look like he has outstanding control.
Some younger catchers try too hard when it comes to framing the pitch. They want to frame everything, even obvious balls. This is not a good idea and can actually work against what you are trying to accomplish. When an umpire sees you doing this every pitch, he is less likely to give you the border line pitch because he thinks you are pulling it in the zone. The only real times that the pitches should be framed are if they are close enough to be called a strike.
The proper technique for framing a pitch is to catch the baseball out in front of you. Your arm should be bent slightly to absorb the catch. As the ball hits the glove you don't want to just jerk the glove into the strike zone. This is another trait that young catchers usually fall acustomed to. The right way to frame a pitch is by have a little give in the recieving of the baseball. When the ball hits the glove your arm should be out in front of you. However when it does hit the glove you should gently bring the glove closer to your body by about 3-5 inches and in enough over the plate. I wouldn't try framing anything off the plate by more than 6 inches (and that's only if you are set up there). Then again, you can have those days when an umpire is calling those. In that case, frame away!
The recieving motion in the catch should be smooth and look natural. The more it looks like you are not trying to frame the pitch, the better. Work on recieving drills that practice working on soft hands (see catching drills). One tip to remember when framing pitches is to keep your thumb underneath the baseball. This will help you bring those low pitches up and make the framing motion look more natural.
Another tip to try is having a little movement in your stance when framing. You want to gently sway to the pitch so you cut down the distance that the arm has to travel. This can give the impression that the baseball is closer than it seems. Once you catch the baseball and gentle sway back over the plate can help too. All of this should be one fluid motion. From the movement in your stance (which should be very very little, it's just a tiny extra to help, don't overdue it), to the soft hands recieving motion. Everything should look natural and smooth. It shouldn't look like you are trying to frame the pitch. It should just look like a strike. That's the point!