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Catching an Object


Catching is receiving an object with hands.  It involves the child visually tracking the object in flight and moving into a position to collect the object safely without dropping it.  Catching is important in many major games, e.g. cricket, baseball, netball, basketball and rugby. Following on from the previous sessions on throwing a ball then your child should have had experience trying to catch one.  Here are some pointers to assist your child to be able to catch an object with increasing success and accuracy.  

  • Ask your child to stand in a space.
  • As you throw the object towards them, encourage them to watch it. 
  • Remind them to move their body so that it's in line with the object.
  • Tell them to reach the arms and hands towards the object.
  • Keep reminding them to watch the object and adjust their hands to catch it. 
  • Show them how to present a large surface area in the 'ready' position (fingers spread and soft, hands in cup formation).
  • Catch the object in their hands only - do not use the chest to secure the object.
  • Hands and fingers to close around the object.
  • Receive with some give in the hands and arms, bringing the object close to the body.


Need A Stepping Stone?

If your child flaps or grabs at the object or moves away from the object and puts their hands up to protect their face, then they may have fear of the object hitting them so they can use softer objects such as a small beanbag, a beach ball or balloon to practise. 


Need A Further Challenge?

It's easier to catch a larger ball than say a tennis ball, but if your child is capable of catching a big ball already, then move to a smaller ball. Start by standing close to your child and give a gentle underarm throw, moving further apart if they can catch it successfully. If they are a capable catcher then you can give them another challenge by throwing at different heights and to the left or right of them.