Alright, we’re almost there. The end of the season is right around the corner and you can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You’re tired, I get it. You’re hurt, I get it. Your team's out of the race, I get it. Trust me, I’ve been there.
But that’s still no excuse for not busting your butt till the end. Keep pushing yourself to hustle out to your position.
Challenge yourself to pounce on balls that get away from you--whether they dribble a foot or ten feet away, whether a man is on base or not. Sprint to back up first base on ground balls to the infield. Keep moving, keep bouncing, keep working hard!
The Importance of Hustle
Here’s why. As a catcher, you set the tone for the whole defense. You’re the focal point.
Do you think a third baseman or a middle infielder or an outfielder is going to dog it after he watches you bouncing all over the place in game 150? Absolutely not.
Your job behind the dish is fifty times more demanding than everyone else’s, and if you’re hustling they have to as well.
You can lead as much as you want with your mouth, but to me, this is the type of leadership that works. Leadership by example.
And if I can do it, or Jason Kendall or Mike Matheny, or any number of pro’s can do it after playing 150 games in 150 degree heat, there is absolutely no excuse for an amateur at any level not to do it.
You’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll be a better teammate, and you’ll give people evaluating you the impression that you’re tough.
Bouncing around also gives the illusion that you’re light on your feet and faster than you actually might be.
I know it’s hard. But I’m pretty sure it’s not as hard as a "real" job.
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.