April 10, 2019

softball catchers bag with wheels

Being a catcher at any level is not all it is hyped up to be. It requires many responsibilities and little glory. But if you’re up to taking on these responsibilities, you are on your way to becoming great at one of the hardest positions on the diamond.

Direct the Defense 

You're the field general. As a baseball catcher or a softball catcher you know the lineup, you know what the team has done. You are also the only position on the field that can see the entire field and every player. As that player, you must direct the defense to the current position, if you know the current hitter is prone to pull the ball, move your third baseman closer to the line. Is there a play at home? Is there a play at third? You have to make it known by telling your defense! As a catcher you have to speak up and direct the defense, in almost every situation. 

Be Selfless

If you’re already a catcher, you know that it’s not about you. You touch the ball as much as a pitcher, but most of the time you’re barely noticed and that is okay! As a baseball catcher, you have one primary responsibility, make the pitcher look good. In almost every instance of every game, the pitcher will get all the credit and that is something you must accept as a catcher. If the pitcher looks good after everything is said and done, that simply means you, as a catcher, did your job!

Let Nothing By You

This is a big one. You are the only position on the field with gear on, use it! You must use your body as a shield and do everything you can to stop the ball!

Have a High Pain Threshold

Just because you have gear on, doesn’t mean your completely protected from injury. As a catcher, you will take foul balls off every part of your body, batters will hit you on the back swing, wild pitches will find you where your gear isn’t. You’ll dive, leap, and collide with runners.

 All in all, you will leave the game with the most bumps and bruises. But this is in your job description and you must wear every foul ball, collision, bump and bruise with honor.

Keep the Umpire Happy

Umpires are human, and you’d be surprised at how your actions can impact borderline calls. Umpires are your friends and the way you act towards them can help you and your pitcher out.

As a catcher, introduce yourself, ask him about his job, and his family. When the umpire takes a foul ball, call time! Ask him if he is okay, he’s human! The little things matter.

Be a Leader

Every team needs a good leader, in every sport. As a catcher, you need to be a positive force. When your pitcher is struggling, it is your job to uplift him, and steer him to the finish line.

Be vocal! As a baseball catcher or a softball catcher you are behind the plate and have a great view of any play. Make sure you are vocal and expressing where to throw the ball, where the play is at, EVERYTHING!

Make Smart Throws 

As a catcher you have a great responsibility with runners on base. In a split second, you have to make the decision to throw or not to throw. Is the runner already there? Are there multiple runners on the base paths? Which one is an easier target? When the batter lays down a bunt with a runner on first, do you have time to get the runner out at second, or take the easy out at first? As a baseball catcher you have a split second to make that decision and put your team in the best position possible. 

I think we can all agree the life of a catcher definitely isn’t glamorous or one to lust over. It is dirty, difficult, and painful. But with every successful team, there is an elite catcher behind the dish. 

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