To be a successful player you MUST…

TO BE A SUCCESSFUL OUTFIELDER YOU MUST

  • Know where Hitters have hit the ball previously
  • Anticipate Where the Ball Will Be Hit
  • Make ALL of the routine plays
  • Understand that If a Ball Gets By You Bad Things Happen
  • Communicate with your Fellow Outfielders on Every Play
  • Keep Proper Distance Between Yourself and the Other Outfielders
  • Know How Many Outs There are at All Times
  • Know the Count
  • Know the Hitters Tendencies
  • Work Together
  • Hit the Cut Off Man
  • Know When to Take Risks with Dives
  • Know the Situations in the Games when You Need to Play “No Doubles”
  • Get Your Feet in Position Before you Field Fly Balls and Ground Balls
  • Work Through EVERY Ball and Throw The Ball Hard THROUGH the Cut Off Man or Intended Base
  • Know what Base to Throw to if the Ball is hit to your Left, Right, Straight, In, and Back BEFORE EACH PITCH
  • Back Up Every Play Toward You From the Infield
  • Work Daily On Your Drills
  • Know Where the Sun is at All Times
  • Know What the Wind is doing at All Times
  • Know the Speed of the Runners
  • Know the Range of the Fielders In Front of You
  • Understand the Urgency of Each Play

TO BE A SUCCESSFUL INFIELDER YOU MUST

  • TAKE PRIDE IN NOT LETTING BALLS GET PAST YOU
  • Use Your Voice to Call For the Ball
  • Yell “GET OVER” on Every Ball Hit to the Right Side of the Infield
  • Know where Hitters have hit the ball previously
  • Make ALL of the routine plays
  • Be in a LOW Ready Position for EVERY PITCH
  • Keep Your Hands in FRONT of you at All Times
  • Field The Ball In Front of You, Not Underneath You
  • Know the Coverage’s (Bunts, 1st and 3rd,
  • Know the Situations and Understand when To play In, Even, Regular, Back, Right, or Left
  • Understand the Timing of the Play
  • Understand the Speed of the Runner
  • Anticipate where the Ball May be Hit because of the Hitter, Situation, and Pitch
  • Know How Many Outs There are at All Times
  • Know the Count
  • Know the Hitters Tendencies
  • Work Together with your Fellow Infielder’s
  • Work Through EVERY Ball and Throw The Ball Hard THROUGH Intended Base
  • Work Daily On Your Drills
  • Know Where the Sun is at All Times
  • Know What the Wind is doing at All Times
  • Know the Speed of the Runners
  • Know the Range of the Fielders Behind You
  • Understand the Urgency of Each Play
  • Understand Where the Middle Infielders Want Your Feed to Be.
  • Give the Second Baseman and Shortstop Quick and Accurate Feeds On Potential Double Plays
  • Know the Situations in the Games when You Need to Play “No Doubles”
  • Do Your Best To NEVER Let a Ball Thrown From the Outfield Get Past You at 3rd Base (3rd basemen)
  • Anticipate & Be Prepared for Throw To Third on a Ground Ball to Shortstop in 5 Hole with Runner on 2nd
  • Work On Footwork around Bag (Middle Infielders and 1st Basemen)
  • Stay Low and Anticipate a Bad Feed on Every Rep (Middle Infielders and 1st Basemen)
  • React to Get Bunts and Slow Rollers
  • Understand When You Really Need to Get in Front of the Ball and Knock it Down

TO BE A SUCCESSFUL CATCHER YOU MUST

  • Understand and Execute a Plan against Hitters
  • Plan TWO to THREE Pitches Ahead During an At Bat
  • Use Certain Pitches to Set Up Other Pitchers During the Current At Bat and Future At Bats
  • Use Your Body Language and Voice To Lead the Team
  • Catch Every Ball
  • Use Your Legs to Put Your Body In position to Receive Pitches and Make them Look like Strikes
  • Put Your Body in Position to Block Balls Within 2 Widths of your Body
  • Anticipate a Bad Pitch Every Pitch
  • Do the Following Items If There is going to be a potential play at home plateo Clearing away bato Check Runners

    o Getting Cut Off Man in Position

    o Getting into position to receive the ball

  • You can help an infielder determine if the ball is in play or out of play
  • Determine if there is going to be a potential play with an advancing runner
  • See Any runners that are in motion (Potential double play)
  • See and alert any bases not covered by fielders
  • Make sure the pitcher is backing up the proper base

BE PREPARED TO AND BE VOCAL WHEN TELLING OTHER FIELDER’S ON THE FIELD:

  • Number of Outs
  • Bunt Coverage’s
  • 1st and 3rd Coverage’s
  • Where to throw on Bunts
  • Where to throw on Cut Offs/Relays
  • Where to back up (Pitchers)
  • If there is room in Foul Territory on Pop Ups
  • Positioning for Certain Hitters
  • Throwing to First Base on a Ground Ball with a 3-2 2 Out Count
  • Telling the Pitcher to “Get Over” or cover first base on a ground ball to the right side when a
  • Left- handed hitter comes to the plate.
  • To go to an uncovered base if needed (One base further than the runner)
  • Work the Umpire
  • Speed Up or Slow Down the Tempo of the Game
  • Protect the Pitcher

    FIELD
  • Check the Wind
  • Check the area from Home Plate to the Backstop
  • Check the Sun/Lights
  • Check the Area between the dugouts for holes, weird angles, anything that you would need to know how the ball is going react behind you.
  • Roll Balls Down the Lines to See how the Ball Rolls (Fair or Foul)
  • Throw Balls Against Backstop to see how balls bounce
  • Look to Dugouts to see where openings are (to know where to run to for backing up throws)
  • Look at area in front of home plate – is it hard or soft
  • Check to See if Home Plate is Soft or Hard
  • Check to see if Home Plate is SlipperyOPPOSITION
  • Get Lineup and stats if possible
  • Know who runs
  • Who is the best hitter
  • Who is the worst hitter
  • Where in the box do the hitters stand?
  • Front or Back?o Front usually looking Breaking Balls or Off Speedo Back – Usually looking Hard
  • Where are the hitters feet?o On top of plate (Weakness Away)o Away from plate (Weakness In)
  • How does the hitter stand?o Straight Up (Low ball hitter)o Crouched Down (High ball hitter)
  • Who is hot?
  • Who is not?
  • Who is the best contact hitter?
  • Who has the biggest strikeout potential?
  • Who hits in the clutch?
  • Who takes certain pitches?
  • Who swings at the first pitch?
  • Who will take a walk?
  • Who will take a hit by pitch late in the game?PITCHERS ON OWN STAFF (Both Starter and Relievers)
  • Go over opposition line up hitter by hitter.
  • Know all signs with no men on base and with men on base. (Before they go into the game)
  • Come up with a game plan each day – Some hitters will get hot or cold during a series
  • Understand each pitchers strengths and weaknesses.
  • Know what each pitcher likes to do in certain situations (ex. First pitch after a home run, with two strikes and no one on base etc.)
  • Know how much time the starting pitcher needs to get ready and at what time he wants to start getting ready.
  • What is the pitcher’s command pitch?
  • What is the pitcher’s go to pitch?
  • What is the pitcher’s ranking of his pitches?
  • What is the pitcher’s out pitch?
  • Can the pitcher pitch inside?
  • Where is his command side of the plate?
  • What pitch does the pitcher go to when ahead in the count?
  • What pitch does the pitcher go to when behind in the count?
  • What pitch does the pitcher go to when even in the count?
  • Can the pitcher hold runners on with a pick-off move?
  • What is his time to Home Plate?
  • Understand how does the pitcher handle pressure?
  • Understand how does each hitter match up to the pitcher?
  • Understand where does the pitcher tend to miss with each pitch?
  • Can the pitcher field his position?
  • Can you use complex signs with particular pitchers?
  • Can the pitcher see the signs?UMPIRE
  • Know all the umpires’ names
  • If you have worked with an umpire before, know the strike zone that he/she features.

PERSONAL PREPARATION TO PLAY

  • Know when to get loose and how much you need to get loose to be ready to play
  • Know how much to throw before getting the pitcher in the bullpen
  • Know how much you need to catch in the bullpen before being ready for the game
  • When to do drills or extra hitting
  • Know workload limitations for hitting, throwing, drills etc.
  • Make sure that you manage the available time to get all of the above events completed

Ryan Sienko is founder and CEO of Catch and Throw, a catching instruction, information, and conditioning company. He played professionally for eight seasons with the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and in independent baseball where he was an All-Star. In early 2010 the Joliet Jackhammers inducted him as the inaugural player to their Hall of Fame. He is also an associate scout for the Baltimore Orioles. Ryan can be reached at ryan@catchandthrow.com

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