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Catcher calling her own game in 12U

Sep 19, 2018
386
43
My dd pitcher is 11 and just moved to 12U last month. Her catcher is the same. I've always thought I wanted the girls to call their own game. Longterm, learning from your own mistakes is more valuable than being told what to do. For now coach is letting them call their own game.

For whatever reason, the catcher is neither moving in or out, and does not call for a CU. I've spoken to my DD about talking to the catcher about setting up on the black, both inside and out, and throwing the CU. For whatever reason, she is too....shy to do so.

After giving up more 0-2 and 1-2 hits than I'd care to remember, I am begging the coaches to call pitches. I fear she will have to totally get her head beaten in before she is willing to take the next step in her pitching evolution.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,294
113
California
My dd pitcher is 11 and just moved to 12U last month. Her catcher is the same. I've always thought I wanted the girls to call their own game. Longterm, learning from your own mistakes is more valuable than being told what to do. For now coach is letting them call their own game.

For whatever reason, the catcher is neither moving in or out, and does not call for a CU. I've spoken to my DD about talking to the catcher about setting up on the black, both inside and out, and throwing the CU. For whatever reason, she is too....shy to do so.

After giving up more 0-2 and 1-2 hits than I'd care to remember, I am begging the coaches to call pitches. I fear she will have to totally get her head beaten in before she is willing to take the next step in her pitching evolution.
Whom is calling the pitches and where the catcher sets are up are not relevant to eachother.
I prefer catcher to move slightly.
However not all do, and may not be an expectation for her to do.
Thats a learning moment for her.
As you commented you dont know why.
Have a conversation can move things forward.
dd & catcher +coach.
Not all coaches are aware of these nuances. Speak up in the right way!!! Encouragement!
As for change ups Agree need them in the mix.
Thats a conversation your dd/pitcher needs to make it a BIG point...EVERY inning befor going on the field, or on the field in the huddle.
Perhaps the coach can signal a change up reminder!
Or adjust to sides reminder!
 
Last edited:
Mar 28, 2020
102
28
I finally get why the girls should have some ability to call a 12U pitch

Last weekend we played a tournament were our ACE was off her game. Multiple times we got to 2 strikes One Ball and somehow walked the girl. The team beat us without one hit all game.

My daughter at the end of the game asked me how can she call a pitch? She went on to say the pitcher was trying to win the game by her self with hard strikes but she would lose control every time she got up in the count. "Only if I could have called a slow meat ball over the plate the other team would have been forced to swing or take the third out....."

When I originally read this post I didn't understand why a kid would need to understand how to call a pitch at 12U, but after that conversation with my DD this forum popped into my head and I get it now......
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,294
113
California
I finally get why the girls should have some ability to call a 12U pitch

Last weekend we played a tournament were our ACE was off her game. Multiple times we got to 2 strikes One Ball and somehow walked the girl. The team beat us without one hit all game.

My daughter at the end of the game asked me how can she call a pitch? She went on to say the pitcher was trying to win the game by her self with hard strikes but she would lose control every time she got up in the count. "Only if I could have called a slow meat ball over the plate the other team would have been forced to swing or take the third out....."

When I originally read this post I didn't understand why a kid would need to understand how to call a pitch at 12U, but after that conversation with my DD this forum popped into my head and I get it now......
While i like catchers to be able to call pitches.
This is really about whom-ever is calling pitches (or throwing them)
to pay attention to patterns and make adjustments when necessary.
Good story of a 12 year old can
'use their thinker for solution'...
...wheres the coach?
 
Jan 3, 2014
336
18
You will never convince me that youth baseball and softball catchers shouldn't be calling pitches. Coaches should give them input. But, the kids should play the game. Let them play. Don't make robots.

Edit - I see that double negative and that sentence is hard to read. My point is, let kids call pitches.
 
May 23, 2018
49
18
DD's team was at a tournament last weekend. Between games I was watching two other teams play.

The catcher for one of the teams, both C level teams (one should probably be B, not the one I'm referencing, but that is another story) was calling her own pitches for the pitcher. I paid attention and not once did she look towards her dugout for any type of sign for pitches and I didn't see anyone else signaling to her from the infield.

The catcher is easily that team's best player and could probably play for any team in the area from what I saw that game and the game where we played them. I'm not an expert, but it would seem she must have an exceptional understanding of the game to be calling her own game at that age. Is this common or am I just impressed because I haven't seen it before with this age of players?
DD's team was at a tournament last weekend. Between games I was watching two other teams play.

The catcher for one of the teams, both C level teams (one should probably be B, not the one I'm referencing, but that is another story) was calling her own pitches for the pitcher. I paid attention and not once did she look towards her dugout for any type of sign for pitches and I didn't see anyone else signaling to her from the infield.

The catcher is easily that team's best player and could probably play for any team in the area from what I saw that game and the game where we played them. I'm not an expert, but it would seem she must have an exceptional understanding of the game to be calling her own game at that age. Is this common or am I just impressed because I haven't seen it before with this age of players?
This is one of my pet peeves at the higher levels. I've umpired games with 14U, 16U, and 18U coaches call games for the catcher. I am a big believer in letting the catchers call their own games. If you are a parent, why would you ever let your daughter that is a catcher play for some control freak? Since most of the 12U pictures cannot throw different pictures with any sort of consistency, it would be okay to have the coach called the pitches. However, the coach has absolutely no idea of the depth perception of the catcher. In other words, they cannot see how close the batter is to the plate, or how far off the pitcher is throwing the ball. The catcher has a much better view and a better idea of where the pitcher is placing the ball. I am a big believer that at 14U the catchers should be calling their own games. My other pet peeve is the infrequency of the use of a changeup. You will see a girl with a great changeup having that pitch only called only a few times in the course of a game. Why? If she has a great changeup, use it! You want that to be in the back of the hitter's mind at all times that this girl can and will throw a changeup at critical times. That causes the batter a little bit of hesitation. If you only call it a few times and it is only done on 0-2 or 1-2 , then it is absolutely useless. I also teach pitching in one of the benchmarks that I use is whether or not a girl is just as comfortable throwing a changeup on a 3-2 pitch like a fastball. Roughly, a good picture will throw anywhere from ninety-four to about a hundred and twenty pitches a game. In my mind, a minimum of 10% of the pitches should be changeups. This gives the opponent time to think that a changeup might be thrown. It causes just a little bit of hesitation and tentativeness in the batter.

My other pet peeve is the well-meaning parent that brags that their daughter throws a gazillion different pitches. They always wonder why their daughter is getting lit up, and my experience tells me that they have not mastered other pitches, and their so-called other pitches all look like a fastball – no variation in spin, no variation in speed, no variation in direction. Some parents claim that their daughter has a great rise ball, when in fact it is nothing more than a fastball. Especially at 12U! To throw a real rise ball, the minimum speed that you need to get a little bit of "hop" on the ball is 56 mph. My advice to any young pitcher is to master the fastball, changeup, and the drop before you endeavor onto other pitches. I have a couple of girls that throw absolutely fantastic drops. Everybody in the ballpark knows that they throw it, yet girls cannot get it out of the infield.
 
May 23, 2018
49
18
You will never convince me that youth baseball and softball catchers shouldn't be calling pitches. Coaches should give them input. But, the kids should play the game. Let them play. Don't make robots.

Edit - I see that double negative and that sentence is hard to read. My point is, let kids call pitches.
I am in total agreement! Young catchers are going to screw up. You talk to the catchers in the pictures between innings and you would be surprised how effective that can be. If they're throwing changeups to a very weak number nine hitter with a very slow swing then you talk to them. It is amazing how much kids will respond if given that added responsibility. If there are mistakes along the way, talk between innings, so that the pitcher the catcher in the culture all on the same page. The problem that you have is that to be a good coach, one must be a good teacher. Some coaches are well-intended parents but are not very good at teaching. I am a firm believer in the Socratic method of teaching young players. Ask them why they did a very specific task. It forces them to think about what they called, why they called it, and are they aware of a game situation. For example, if a girl is on first base with blazing speed, do you really want to call a changeup?
 
May 23, 2018
49
18
My dd pitcher is 11 and just moved to 12U last month. Her catcher is the same. I've always thought I wanted the girls to call their own game. Longterm, learning from your own mistakes is more valuable than being told what to do. For now, coach is letting them call their own game.

For whatever reason, the catcher is neither moving in or out and does not call for a CU. I've spoken to my DD about talking to the catcher about setting up on the black, both inside and out, and throwing the CU. For whatever reason, she is too....shy to do so.

After giving up more 0-2 and 1-2 hits than I'd care to remember, I am begging the coaches to call pitches. I fear she will have to totally get her head beaten in before she is willing to take the next step in her pitching evolution.
Perhaps a compromise would be in the best interest of your dd's development. If the catcher doesn't have the skill set or mental acumen to adequately call pitches then your coach could have her call pitches in selective innings only ( 7,8,9 batters coming up. The problem with making a blanket statement about calling pitches is that it presupposes that the catcher does have the mental wherewithal to call pitches. The other problem is that you need somebody watching the catcher - if she's setting up in the middle of the plate, waist-high, this won't help your pitcher develop. It comes down to how developed is the catcher. I'm surprised at how many teams neglect or don't work on catching concepts. How do you make a lousy pitcher better? Give her a catcher that knows the game. How do you make a great pitcher mediocre? Give her a clueless catcher. I'm amazed at how much bad catching is out there. Is your catcher setting up properly? Is she framing correctly? How's the target that she's giving the pitcher each pitch? Does the catcher know the game situation and the batter?

It's probably not your daughter that's wrong - it's probably the coaching/catching. One of the things I looked for is the catcher set up. If that's okay, then I would look at the catcher's elbow each pitch. If the elbow has to move in or out each pitch, then it's an issue with the pitcher not hitting the right spots. I used to make a game of it - I'd count how many times the catcher has to move the elbow. The more the catcher has to move the elbow, the more likely it's either a control issue or poor catcher set up. next game, watch the elbow and watch the catcher set up on each corner.

I umpired a game where the 12U pitcher was so great that the catcher only had to move the elbow 3 times in the course of the game. But, the pitcher walked 8 batters. The coach was getting on me about not calling strikes, but I told him they were all outside. I told him to look behind the plate if he doubted me. He did, and he could see that the catcher was setting up 4 inches off the plate to the outside. I talked to the pitcher's dad and the pitcher after the game and told them that she hit her target almost 100% of the time, but the target wasn't even near the strike zone. The next game I umpired with this pitcher, she walked none. Having imparted this little vignette, the lesson is the coach has the worst seat in the house in seeing whether the catcher is doing her job properly. The other issue is how does a 12U girl dictate to the coach and catcher that she's not giving a good target. Older girls have no problem telling their catcher to give batter targets, but a 12U pitcher might have a difficult time without appearing to be a bossy Flossie.
 
Sep 19, 2018
386
43
This past weekend our 2nd catcher caught my dd. She is one of the few 12's on the team and (outside of pitcher), is probably the best defensive player at all 8 positions. She called pitches the whole game, moved in or out on every pitch. More than a few Change-ups were called. On a few occasions, when he wanted something specific coach called the pitch as well.

Truthfully the team was not very good, but she pitched 4 shutout innings, and threw 34 of 52 strikes. She gained a lot of confidence in throwing the Change. After the game, I told her how proud I was that she was that she was pitching instead of throwing. She responded by saying she was mad she did not hit her spots enough. It is a step in the right direction.

The one of the major draws of this Org is the off season program. There are position specific clinics all winter. Corners, MI, Outfield, Catcher. Any player for the org can attend as many clinics as they like. So i am excited to see how my DD and the catcher work together come spring time.
 

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