Leadership in Catching
While leadership amongst all players is a great attribute, it's never more important than at the catching position. Regardless of talent level, there are basic ways in which a catcher can have a very positive impact on the team.
As the "field general," the catcher is involved in just about every defensive play in the game. Below are a variety of situations a good catcher should be prepared for, how to prepare for them and how they should be executed.
While catching is a physically demanding position, it is also a mentally challenging one as well. Here are a series of tips every catcher can employ to gain an advantage over the opposition and better lead his team.
Proper Catching Stances
As with every position in baseball, we want to start each play with a good foundation. The catcher's stance is the foundation from which everything happens off of. From here he will call the game, receive pitches and throw out runners. With each situation, the stance is altered in anticipation of the next play.
Receiving is a skill that can be developed if worked on properly. It's important to educate your catchers that receiving is a skill essential to their game. The better a catcher receives pitches, the more value he brings to a team.
The most common fallacy about catching is that the most important aspect of a catcher's throwing ability is his arm strength. While it is important for a catcher to have a strong arm, it is equally, if not more, important for a catcher to have good hands, agile feet and overall good athletic ability to be a good throwing catcher.
The catcher must understand that it is their responsibility and commitment to block every ball in the dirt with runners on base or two strikes on the hitter. The key ingredient to successfully blocking balls in the dirt is anticipation. Knowing when and where the ball might be ensures proper reaction to balls in the dirt.