Once in a while during a game I'll notice a catcher acting inappropriately. Let me present a situation which happened the other day and I'll explain.
It was the first game of the season and the pitcher was obviously nervous. The poor kid was all over the place, bouncing some pitches and air mailing others. He was trying, but really struggling.
Meanwhile, the catcher was throwing attitude. Judging by his body language, he seemed sort of annoyed. Like the pitcher was inconveniencing him by making him chase the ball around a bit.
Whether the catcher actually felt that way or not was irrelevant. It's how I saw it.
And if interpreted it that way, do you think it might be possible that a college or pro scout might too?
Why Body Language Matters
Simply put, your body language is VERY important. People are always evaluating and trying to make judgements on your attitude.
Many times, these snap judgements are based on how you look. Most folks just don't have time to get to know you as a person. It's along the same vein as wearing your uniform correctly. The point is, don't give anyone an excuse to write you off.
The Role of a Catcher
And the reality is this: as a catcher, you're there to help. You are there to be of service to the guy on the mound and make his life easier. Not the other way around.
You're the focal point of the field and need to lead. A lot of good leadership can come without words, just by your body language.
Turning Lemons Into Lemonade
Honestly, I loved it when a pitcher I was playing with was struggling. While I obviously felt bad for the guy, what a golden opportunity.
It's a chance to show off my range and blocking abilities. Plus, helping a pitcher out of a bind builds trust and that strong, intangible pitcher/catcher relationship.
Brent Mayne is a 15-year veteran of the Major Leagues. He ranks 75th in the history of baseball with 1,143 pro games caught, and his .993 career fielding percentage is 4th all-time. Brent is the author of the book "The Art of Catching"--a comprehensive guide to teaching and building defensive catching skills.