The Catcher’s Role

In youth baseball training, the role of the catcher is often overlooked. But the catcher is a very important position and should be trained just as thoroughly as the pitcher. The catcher is the only player on the field that can see everything going on at all times. The catcher should and can be the team leader.

When coaching youth baseball, the coach should identify players that have a thorough understanding of the nuances of the game as well as leadership potential, and then train these players to be catchers. There isn’t much glory in being a catcher, but this is probably the most important position on the field.

Once identified, training catchers should include:

-How to give signs effectively. The pitcher must see the catcher’s signs from the mound. The catcher needs to know how to make his signs so the pitcher can see them but the batter can’t.

-How to properly set up on the plate. How the catcher sets up depends on the pitch being called for and whether the pitcher is up or down in the count. And the catcher should never give his position away to the batter too soon.

-Working on the proper catcher stance.

-How to watch the field so that appropriate decisions can be made once the catcher has the ball.

-Throwing. The catcher should have a fast and accurate throw to get players out at base. Overthrowing during a steal at third can be brutal.

-How to stop the ball with their body and not get hurt.

These are just the basics. Once a catcher gets good, you can move into more advanced training. In coaching youth baseball, training effective catchers can mean the difference between a killer team and one that won’t be seeing the playoffs.

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