How to Be a Baseball Catcher
So, you think you have the stuff to be a baseball catcher? Well, you will need some critical equipment before you begin your journey into becoming the next Mike Piazza.
Equipment you will need to be a baseball catcher:
- catcher's mit
- catcher's mask and helmet
- chest pad
- shin guards
- baseball cleats
Join A Team
Now that you have all the equipment you need to be a baseball catcher, it's time to join a team. Prior to high school, you should consider joining a local little league organization. Most of the time, no one is "cut" from the team in little league. This allows a low pressure environment for you to work on your skills behind the dish. In high school, go out for the team! Sure, the odds increase that cuts are made, but if you make the team you will be brimming with confidence, knowing you were one of the top players in tryouts.
Get In Shape
While the classic image of a catcher may be Hamilton "Ham" Porter from The Sandlot, thetruth is If you want to become a catcher, you need to be physically fit. Flexibility is especially needed at the catcher position. A catcher may spend a majority of the game in a crouched position. Without the proper flexibility, this can cause excessive wear and tear in the knees and ankles. Additionally, lack of flexibility can cause a catcher to miss plays that an otherwise flexible and "in-shape" catcher would make.
A catcher also needs to have excellent hand-eye coordination. It is not easy to catch a fastball from the pitcher, while watching a bat swing past simultaneously. Many beginning catchers have a tendency to close their eyes as the batter swings. This habit tends to go away as the catcher becomes more comfortable behind the plate. Hand-eye coordination also comes into play when making the transition from catching the ball, to attempting to throw out a baserunner who is stealing.
Learn The Game
A catcher calls a game for a pitcher. As such, to be a great baseball catcher, you need to know which pitches to call for in a variety of situations. A good catcher knows a batter's tendencies in any given situation to aid him in making the call. This can include watching advanced scouting film on upcoming opponents to learn how the opponent will react.
Good catchers act as another coach on the field. The catcher is an extension of the team manager who can make the correct calls, and even play psychologist to his pitcher if need be.