Part of being a good catcher is being of service to your teammates. And being helpful to your teammates means being where you're supposed to be on time (or better yet, early) without being told by your coach.
Let's take a couple situations and I'll show you what I mean. First, let's look at the catcher's responsibilities to his pitching staff and bullpens.
Simply put, a pitcher should never have to wait on a catcher. Ever. If a guy is scheduled to throw a bullpen, you should be down there with your gear on a couple minutes before it starts.
Even if that means missing a few swings during batting practice. Better yet, communicate with the rest of your BP group and tell them you've got to leave early and get your swings in first.
Secondly, it's especially important during games that you're ready to warm up guys — both in the pen and between innings. Never disrupt a starting pitcher's pre-game warm up routine because you're late to the pen. You should be waiting for him.
And between innings, make sure that you've designated someone to warm up the pitcher until you can get the gear on after you hit or run the bases.
If you're not starting that day, pay attention to where the starting catcher is offensively so you can pick him up.
Basically, a good catcher should be everywhere without being told. In order to do this successfully, you've got to be a couple steps ahead of the coaches and pitchers.
Follow the game closely and recognize when you might be needed in the pen, or needed as a pitch hitter or defensive replacement. Be warm and ready when the coach turns to you and be there waiting for pitchers when they need to throw.
Doing this will keep you in the game, give your coaches one less thing to think about, and allow your pitching staff to complete their routines uninterrupted. Your team will appreciate and respect the fact that you care enough to be consistently in the right place at the right time.
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