Catcher's Guide to On-Field Communication

As a catcher, you MUST communicate.

You don't need to be a "rah-rah" guy, a cheerleader, or possess an out-going personality. However, you've gotta come out of your shell enough to risk embarrassment and verbally help your teammates.

Coach on the Field

You are the focal point of the infield, the closet player to the coach, and the only defender who looks out onto the field of play. You have a perfect perspective from which to direct traffic.

Here are a few simple suggestions passed on to me from Australian coach/scout Peter Gahan. These are automatic catcher responses to particular game situations. Memorize them and speak up every time they occur.

Backstop Vocab

1. A bunter at the plate: "Stay alive", etc.
2. Left Handed Hitter up to bat: (to pitcher) "Be ready to cover 1B."
3. Ground ball to the right side: (to pitcher) "Get over!"
4. Two out, runner on 2B: "Diving, keep the ball in the infield."
5. Two out, full count, runners moving on the pitch: "Going over to 1st base on a ground ball."

These are just a few of many opportunities you'll have to help out your teammates and become the defensive leader of your team. Pay attention and add to this list.

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.

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