The Baseball Zone Blog

Kevin Hussey | Feb 17, 2015 1:22:00 PM

4 Simple Tips for Young Catchers to Follow

So you made the decision to become a catcher. The catcher position in baseball is a physically and mentally demanding position. A great way to try and deal with the different demands as a catcher is to learn some different aspects of the game and try and learn from other catchers' experiences. A lot of times there are no right or wrong answers but here are some tips that may be able to help you in the future as a catcher. Here are 4 simple yet essential tips for young catchers as they start out in the game.

1 - Heels on the Ground 

One common misconception for catchers is they’re supposed to be on their toes while in their catcher’s stance (doing so while giving your signs is ok). If this is something that you do, try catching with your heels on the ground. It may be uncomfortable at first, but once your body is used to this technique, it can make being in your stance a whole lot easier and keep you more stable, balanced and athletic to react to the outcome of the pitch.

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Topics: baseball skills, catching, catching skills, catching fundamentals, pitch selection, receiving skills, catching tips, pitch location

Rick Johnston | Jan 26, 2015 6:00:00 AM

The Significance of Good Catchers to Baseball Team Defense

Next to the pitcher, the second most significant player on the field is - you guessed it - the catcher. This is not to say that every defensive player is not important. However, it is simple - without a guy behind the plate that can catch, the game is very difficult to play and have success as a team.

In an earlier blog pertaining to catching, I spoke of the lack of ability of catchers to simply catch the baseball and that there was a great de-emphasis on this discipline; or that the receiving of a pitched ball was an area that has fallen secondary to that of trying to throw runners out stealing.

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Topics: defence, team Defence, defensive baseball, catching, catching skills, catching fundamentals, baseball team defense, team defense, Defense

Kevin Hussey | Nov 19, 2014 1:24:03 PM

4 Opponent Tendencies That Catchers Can Look For

Being a catcher is a difficult task for any young baseball player. It’s important to be able to learn from your surroundings and pick up on certain subtleties that your opponent may accidently show you. Learning the different ways an opponent can give you information is crucial for any catcher trying to gain an edge on an opponent. Catcher is the only position that can see the whole field and can adjust the game accordingly with the information that’s been given.

Here are 4 areas to be aware of in a game:

1 - Reading Coaching Tendencies

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Topics: baserunning, lead offs, catching, catching skills, catching fundamentals, coaching signs, opponent tendencies

Rick Johnston | Nov 5, 2013 8:10:00 AM

10 Baseball Scenarios Where You Need to Expect the Unexpected

Life is full of so many unique occurrences every day. Events, issues, incidents and matters unfold countless times right before our eyes. Sometimes stranger things occur or are said and instantaneously a light goes on and presto, we react with little or no thought and great things happen or on the contrary not so great things happen. Either way, these types of day to day instances do occur and do affect us. There is no avoiding them. But how we were prepared for them and how we reacted to them is they true key to how they will affect us both short and long term.

Think back to an evening you have had in the past. Did it play out the way you wanted it too? In some cases it may have, while in others it probably wasn’t even close to how you thought it would go. In fact, it would be safe to say that factors came into play that you had no control over, yet you were able to overcome. . Imagine what life would be like if everything was expected? Hey, what about baseball? What about a game? What if every ground ball and fly ball were fielded or caught (yes for a pitcher that is great). It is not going to happen. What if every hitter got a base hit of some kind? 

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Topics: baserunning, hitting, pitching, Outfielding, catching, dealing with failure

Rick Johnston | Oct 23, 2013 10:28:00 AM

20 Baseball Pet Peeves Courtesy of Our (Usually) Beloved Catchers

Ok catchers, it’s your turn...that’s right; you inspire just as many Pet Peeves as the other position players!

As I continue on with some Pet Peeves shared by myself and other baseball coaches, it is now time to reach out to the leaders on the field, the only players on defence that play in foul territory, the defensive players who are supposed to be the field generals...the catchers. Yes, that’s right, the ones that are to lead by example & take ownership with the pitcher. Well, guess what guys? As much praise as you get for being these types of players, you do inspire a number of baseball Pet Peeves that drive coaches up the wall and some of these Pet Peeves are simply unwise and unproductive as far as your own development behind the plate. In addition, these Pet Peeves can have a major influence on the outcomes of games - therefore, it is critical you all take note to these and minimize any that you know can be controlled:

1.Walking to and from your position...my lord, you are only talking about 60-75 feet from the dugout. In some cases, the distance might be less. In any event, if you can’t sprint to the plate and always beat the pitcher (unless on base when inning ends or on deck), then there is a major problem. Hey, have you ever heard the word hustle? Well that goes for you catchers as well. You are not special; you do not get special hall passes; you are part of the team and that means hustle on and off the field. Because your distance is the closest (corner positions could be just as close), you had better be one of the first three position players to get to and from your position every start and end of inning.

2.Holding the frame...

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Topics: baseball coaching, baseball pet peeves, catching, catching skills, catching fundamentals

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