I can write forever about the necessity of good communication for a pitcher with all his teammates. It's not something that's taught very often but it can affect the outcome of the baseball game.
What can be more frustrating than losing a game because a catcher got crossed up and missed a pitch because he thought the fastball was being thrown and was surprised by the curve ball? Or losing a game because an infielder throws the ball away when throwing to a base where he had no chance of getting the runner anyway? Those are just two examples of breakdowns in communication.
Talk on the baseball field and then talk even more!
A pitcher can be MOST helpful to his catcher and infielders. On popups or fly balls, he should both yell and point. On pitches that get away from the catcher, yell and point.
Speaking of balls that get away from the catcher and the catcher can't find the ball, here's what happened back in 2005. My son was playing in a game and the catcher on his team could not find a pitched ball in the dirt that he had blocked. He looked left, right, in front of him and behind him. Some loud mouth spectator, standing on the side of the backstop yelled, "Left foot, left foot." The catcher then looked down by his left foot and there was the ball, just about an inch from his left heel. Neither of the two runners on base was able to advance.
The man who yelled loudly will remain anonymous. It's someone I know very, very well. (Okay, okay, I couldn't help myself from yelling.) My big question is why weren't the players on his team yelling that to him instead of me?
Probably because kids are not taught the value of communicating with their teammates.
Some Examples Of Communication For Pitchers :
- Your fielder makes a great play. If he's an outfielder, point to him, give him the thumbs up sign, and let EVERYBODY see you doing this.
- Your infielder makes a great play. Walk half way toward him and point to him and tell him how great he is. Say something like, "You are the best third baseman I've ever seen."
- Your fielder makes a terrible play. At the end of the inning, he very well may be hanging his head. Walk over to him and tell him, "Don't hang your head Johnny. You make 20 great plays for every one you have trouble with. You're the best around."
- Your first baseman or third baseman is going near the fence to catch a foul popup. Tell him something like, "You've got room Johnny, you've got room."
- A slow roller down the first base or third base line and your catcher and fielder don't know who is going to pick it up. You be the one and shout out the name of the player who you think should field the ball. What's more frustrating than have them both come to a halt because each of them thought the other one was going to field the ball?
Communicate with your teammates. It is a huge part of successful baseball!