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If you have no real catchers, who do yo send?


Softball fan
Feb 28, 2008
Montreal, Canada
Here is an interesting question. I have seen this happens quite a few times in my career.

You got no real catcher on your team because they injured or just happened not to have "the" catcher. You may have a couple of athletes that have caught before but that's it.

So, what would be the factors you would consider in picking who you gear up and send behind the dish?

Basically, you have to put a catcher behind the plate and no one on your team is a "career catcher", what makes you decide who you send?

May 7, 2008
Someone with soft hands that can recieve a ball well. Also quick feet would be important for bunt coverage and wild pitches. I would rather have a quick release with great footwork than a strong arm. A gritty, headsy, team leader wouldn't hurt.
May 5, 2008
Anyone who shows enthusiasm for the position. Like Ken said, tough position if you don't want to be there. There's nothing worse than a catcher who doesn't want to catch. They won't stop anything, then they don't hustle after balls that gets past them, they slump their shoulders, and hang their head and that is NOT what you need your entire defense looking at pitch after pitch.

So it's great when you have someone who has some kind of desire to be there. If they have a decent arm, that's always nice, but they definitely need to be willing o work hard and hustle all the time. Leadership ability would also be a plus.

Someone with these types of traits and someone who can work with the pitcher is what I would look for.
May 7, 2008
As with any other position, I believe two players should be trained in this position, well. I have watched many games lost by either lack of talent in this position or primary catcher injured. As a Yankee fan, I was relieved to see Jorge Posada back this week.

It's a tough position and requires a player with a lot of moxie. They must be able to maneuver in the equipment, have the ability to read the field, have a theoretical understanding with the pitcher, ability to withstand heat, strong legs and joints, quick arm movement, ability to anticipate opponent's move, familiarity with batters history at the plate, etc.

Coaches and scorekeepers help with these decisions, but I believe this is the type of minded person I would want catching.

It is unfortunate that there is an abundance of instruction for pitchers and hitters, but rarely do you find instruction for catchers. I had an exchange with "Catching Coach" who shared with me his son's interest in catching and found no individualized instruction for the position. He and his son became students of the position, and he now runs the New England Catcher's Camp. He is one of our members who has expertise in the catcher's position. Send him a message or visit his site at http://www.catchingcamp.com/.

Are you out there Catching Coach? We'd appreciate your input :)

May 7, 2008
I had to cancel a community college season once, because the catcher we had decided not to attend college. We were so slim in numbers that there was no one to catch. Plus, we had a really good pitcher, so not just anyone could handle her.
May 7, 2008
Hudson, NH

Thanks for the kind words.

I just have to agree with most of the things others have said. What you need back there plain and simple is the best athlete on the team. I heard it said that a catcher is a shortstop without the range.

It is a special player that is willing to go back there and take the beating that catchers do. There are no simple formulas for finding or making a catcher if you don't have one.

Every offseason I have a number of girls come to me for lessons saying that they have never caught before but the coach needs them to learn the position since they have no one else on the team to catch.
Jun 10, 2008
I actually had this situation when I hired into my current position. The previous catcher had graduated with the last class and the former coach did not prepare anyone at the JV level to be the full time catcher. I was unfamiliar with the team at the time, I knew that they had a very good pitcher but wasn't sure about any of the other positions.

I first asked the team who was willing to learn to be the catcher. I had two volunteers. One was an outfielder, who moved okay but didn't really have a great arm. The other was a utility player. One was a junior and had worked with the pitcher during bullpen sessions and warming up for games. That familiarity and her ability to catch and block balls once practices started ultimately made my decision. She didn't have the strongest arm in the world but ended up being a very important asset by the end of the season.

The key to her success thought was her great work ethic. She often stayed after practice to work on tag positioning, blocking, and throwing. She even worked with the pitcher outside of practice to get more comfortable with her as well.

She ended her high school career this past season and won the team's most improved player award because of the way she improved behind the plate, and in the batter's box.

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