If you are a pitcher or catcher, you understand the importance of the relationship. I’m not talking about just getting along with each other on and off the field.
I’m talking about situations like when catchers know you so well, they know what pitch you want to throw in any game situation. It’s like a sixth sense!
Here are a few pointers to help pitchers develop a better relationship with their catchers. Pitchers Beware! If you follow this advice, you will win more games!
Pitchers: Understand that you will get more called strikes if your catcher likes you! A catcher has much more pull than a coach does when it comes to the strike zone.J What? Yes, the catcher is the closest to the umpire every game. The catcher will work with you communicating with the umpire often to understand the strike zone. You want this!
Pitchers: catchers see all! They are the eyes and ears of the field. Some Pitchers struggle with this and never should. Why? Your catcher knows!J They lead the team, position fielders, control the tempo of the game, they protect you and they actually know of a certainty how big a lead a runner is actually taking.
Allow your catcher to tell you whether or not you should throw to the bag. Take the stress off, he’s got a better view than you.
Perhaps this is the most important tip of the day. Whenever possible, please don’t have your coach call your pitches for you. Allow your catcher to call pitches for you. This establishes trust in one another, you work things out together and you become a better team (partnership) if he calls your pitches.
Wouldn’t you agree anyway that the catcher has a better view of the hitter than the coach? In addition, catchers have more experience than most coaches and in reality there is more riding on the line for the careers of both the pitcher and catcher than the coach. You have to learn from your own successes and failures together. Make sure their not your coaches mistakes. Throughout your career you will have several coaches but ultimately you are responsible for your own success!
Quick story on a coach calling pitches: _I was at church today talking to a great friend of mine, a very experienced coach whose own boys have all played D1 baseball. _
He mentioned the pitching coach for a local team introduced a great change up to the team this year. Kids have been successful with it, but the coach often calls it when he shouldn’t and all kids can’t execute it all the same. Can anyone relate to that?
Long story short, during a championship game this week the coach called a changeup when the pitcher did not have confidence in it that particular situation. He shook off the pitch and threw another. As you can imagine, despite the positive outcome; the coach was upset. _
Listen, I see both sides, but being a pitcher you know what is working for you when it’s working and if you have confidence throwing a particular pitch in a situation, 9 times out of 10 that’s the pitch you need to throw. Your catcher understands why wouldn’t your coach right? _
During my career I had a lot of catchers, but three were complete studs! They understood my needs and goals. We understood each other. We hung out on and off the field. When I wasn’t throwing or feeling my best, they knew how to pump me up and get right back on track and vice versa. That’s what the relationship should be like; as you can imagine I pitched my best games with those catchers.
In conclusion, it’s imperative that your catcher is a person you should develop a great relationship with, much like your glove.
Have a wonderful day!
The Pitching Academy