Catching Tips: What Is The Point Of Giving Signs?
The Importance Of A Catcher
Baseball is a team game that consists of 9 individuals who each have different roles. Most people view the pitcher as being the most significant player on the field but believe it or not, catchers have the most significant jobs in the game. They are the only player on the field that has a view of everything that is going on. They are constantly studying opposing hitters tendencies and developing chemistry with their pitching staff. Depending on the level of play, the catcher is generally responsible for calling each pitch and managing the emotions of his/her pitcher. A great catcher can manage his/her pitcher and call a game with ease. Calling a game comes with tons of responsibility.
Develop an Indicator and Stick With It
Before each game, catchers should meet up with their pitchers and coaches to develop their indicator for that game. The indicator is the initial sign that tells you which of the following signs is the hot one. This can change at any point during the game, that’s your call, but make sure that you and your pitcher/coaches are all on the same page. You want to use an indicator primarily to help distract the opposing team from stealing your signs. If done properly, you can almost make it just about impossible for the opposing team to steal your signs, but pitchers and catchers must define and practice this prior to game time so there is no confusion during the game.
Signals & Signal Positioning
As a catcher, you absolutely want to hide your signs and get them off to your pitcher as quickly as possible so that players of the opposing team are not able to steal them. When the competition advances, and players are a lot smarter on the base paths, runners on second base are, sometimes, in good position to steal the other teams signs as they generally have a good view of the catcher. By using an indicator of their own, the base runner can relay what signs he has picked to the batter and coaching staff. A catcher therefore should shield his/her signal hand with his/her glove so that the coaches and runners of the opposing team are not able to see it. A catcher should also give signs as close to his/her body as possible. Catchers should also be aware of their positioning as well, by not relaying their signs too low or too high. By keeping such points in mind, they can eliminate the possibilities of coaches and/or the opposing dugout from stealing their signs.
Mix It Up
The great Yogi Berra once said that “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical”. With that being said you must play the game smart and find a way to outcoach the other team and try to gain any type of advantage that you can. As a catcher you must consider the possibilities of the opposing team trying to steal your signals. To avoid this, it’s simple; mix it up a little bit. You never want to play it simple by going with the first sign. Opposing teams will catch on to this quickly and start picking your signs with ease, thus giving them an advantage over you. Like stated above, develop an indicator and switch it up each inning to eliminate this possibility at all costs. If you’re not willing to put in the extra work, do not except to see better results.
Use Game Signs To Avoid Getting Crossed Up
Catchers and pitchers should try and avoid getting “Crossed Up” at all costs. Getting “Crossed Up” is when a catcher calls for a certain type of pitch (e.g., a curveball) but the pitcher throws another pitch (e.g., a fastball). This may lead to a passed ball, allowing the runner on base to advance and can even lead to an injury. One of the most common reasons pitcher and catcher usually get “Crossed Up” is when the pitcher cannot see which signs the catchers are relaying to them. To solve this alarming problem to baseball players, Game Signs have devised an innovative product; signal enhancement stickers. This unique product also eliminates the need of using any makeshift items by catchers to help enhance their signals to their pitcher. Back in the day, players used to paint their nails with whiteout, wrap their fingers with athletic tape, or dip their fingers in chalk. These all seemed like great ideas at the time, but also came with a lot of problems and concerns. Painting your nails requires a lot of time and effort; athletic tape makes it difficult to grip a ball, let alone throw it; and chalk just doesn’t stay on your fingers.
Game Signs are bright stickers that are applied on catcher's fingernails to enhance pitcher/catcher communication. Game Signs are quite convenient to use as well. They are easy to apply, easy to remove, and are durable enough to last throughout an entire game. Game Signs come in four different, fluorescent colors: Optic White, Optic Yellow, Optic Pink, Optic Orange and can be easily seen by the pitcher. By wearing Game Signs, you can assure yourself that you and your catcher are on the same page at and can eliminate the possibilities of getting “Crossed Up” during key situations in big games. Try Game Signs in your upcoming game and relay your baseball signals with confidence!