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The Hesitant Coach

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,654
113
California
The Hesitant Coach about
Catchers Throwing Back Picks

This is one of those topics that seems to pop up several times every year. Parents, catchers and even coaches asking how to prompt coaches on the team to implement picking runners off.

Back Picks are a defensive strategy.
Definitely like defense on the ATTACK!

Yet not all coaches utilize this.
Why are some coaches hesitant to throw back picks?

For those who do coach utilizing Back Picks
~How does it help your team?

( sure at young ages there may be the response players dont have the skills.
Hmmm? Can they throw and catch? Need to learn sometime right?! :) )

GO DEFENSE!
 
Last edited:
Sep 17, 2009
1,596
83
At young age good to start working on this (or anything, really) in pool games. Want to see a huge cheer from the crowd and an excited team? Pull off a hard play, like a catcher pick-off. Builds confidence and is...fun!
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,654
113
California
Adding to the topic

The infield responding quickly covering bases is a skill set!
Encouraging Train Skill Sets!

Thinking this through a bit more...
Your current team may not be utilizing back picks,
Your next team very well could!
At the competitive levels back picks are an expectation of skills sets on the field.
Encouraging Train Skill Sets!

Are you a middle infielder?
Are you able to cover 1st, 2nd or 3rd base in time from the pitch crossing the plate, reacting to the batter doing something or not, to then hussle and beat the runner to receive the throw from the catcher and tag for the out?!
Encouraging Train Skill Sets!

Are you a corner?
Here comes back picks at you also.
Hows your reaction to the batter, footwork and readiness for a throw?!

Encouraging Train Skill Sets! :)

GO DEFENSE!
 
Last edited:
Mar 6, 2016
229
43
I use it ALL the time in every game. Even sometimes when a runner isn't really a threat...just to make sure the coach of the other team knows I will be trying to pick you, so they have just a slight hesitation on getting big leads.

We picked off 3 at 3rd base earlier this fall in one game and 2 in the next (different team). 2x with bases loaded. Other coach called me later and asked how the hell we are so successful at it. "Lucky I guess." ;)

I also like back picks at 1B w bases loaded w 1st base coming in from behind and squeezing in front of runner and the base. For some reason some coaches/girls think if its bases loaded nobody cares about the runner at 1B and they get like 20 ft off the base.

We also have a backpick play call at 2B when the runner isn't paying attention as she walks back to 2B with her head down not looking at catcher before she throws back to pitcher. We put in time with our catchers practicing "acting" like they don't pay attention to 2B for an inning or so to set it up for later.

I compare setting picks up like a OC in football. You run certain plays or do certain things early to set up bigger plays later bcuz you see what the D does and how they react and start to see a pattern.
 
Jul 16, 2013
4,038
113
Pennsylvania
I also like back picks at 1B w bases loaded w 1st base coming in from behind and squeezing in front of runner and the base. For some reason some coaches/girls think if its bases loaded nobody cares about the runner at 1B and they get like 20 ft off the base.
This ^^^^^ And some runners will literally walk back to first not even watching the ball. It's like if they are not the lead runner, it doesn't matter. I would hate to even guess how many of these runners we have picked off over the years.
 
Feb 15, 2017
340
43
This ^^^^^ And some runners will literally walk back to first not even watching the ball. It's like if they are not the lead runner, it doesn't matter. I would hate to even guess how many of these runners we have picked off over the years.
Do you play 1st behind the bag with two outs?

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
 
Mar 6, 2016
229
43
Do you play 1st behind the bag with two outs?

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
90% time yes w 2outs unless there is a lefty that I know is a good at drag bunting. Also sometimes depends on the pitcher and how well they field their position.

Ive seen more 2 out bloopers behind 1st base drop than I have 2 out bunts in the many years Ive coached or watched games.....so I go with the odds and play back. It bugs the crap put of me when I see a coach play his 1B in the same damn spot all game and really irritated when a 1B is in front of bag 3 feet w 2outs and a big slow RH power hitter up. Why in the $#!# are you playing your 1B up!!????

Also just bcuz we play 1B back doesnt mean she's not charging possible bunt. We may start her back w less than 2 outs and then run her in on the pitch...which also leads to back pick options. 👍😜
 
Jul 16, 2013
4,038
113
Pennsylvania
Do you play 1st behind the bag with two outs?

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
@Quigs10 provided a very good answer, and we manage this the same way. It depends on the situation... What is the score, who is hitting, which pitcher we have in, etc. At younger ages we typically played 1b back with two outs. If less than two outs, sometimes we would have the 2b sneak over behind the runner. We have seen some runners stretch their lead to the point the 2b can walk to first and beat them there.

My last two years of coaching I coached 23u. Our entire roster was college players. Frankly, I just stayed out of their way ;) We did have a lot of great conversations between and during innings though. College teams have different strategies, so when I would see something unusual, I would ask questions. They would explain what their team does and then someone else would jump in and explain their strategy for it. I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun it was to coach players at that level.
 

RADcatcher

Possibilities & Opportunities!
Dec 13, 2019
2,654
113
California
@Quigs10 My last two years of coaching I coached 23u. Our entire roster was college players. Frankly, I just stayed out of their way ;) We did have a lot of great conversations between and during innings though. College teams have different strategies, so when I would see something unusual, I would ask questions. They would explain what their team does and then someone else would jump in and explain their strategy for it. I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun it was to coach players at that level.
👍
Also Player / Coached womans open div.
Played and coached at same time
:) (wasnt limited to 23u)

Talk about fantastic fastpitch!

Would like to see this older division be part of the regular travel ball tournys.
Especially considering the MANY who lost out on some recruitment showcasing.
Think it would be a great time to add it!
Still could showcase too!
Even if only 10 womans teams signed up at each event. Simple to add it, just piggy back same tourny schedule.

Could be an option~
For those that could not make it onto a college team or decided to stay local to go to college and live at home or have to pick up jobs... Just practice with your women's team one day on a weekend and maybe play one tournament event per month. Perhaps only getting in six or seven tournaments in the year it still keeps you active in the sport. Keeps you around your friends who keep competition going. Even a great option for people who want to go to JC at their local community and not have to spend so much time every day practicing with a college team. Much less time consuming to play women's ball
and still compete.

Also give t.b. coaches another level to step up to!
 
Last edited:
Mar 6, 2016
229
43
👍
Also Player / Coached womans open div.
Played and coached at same time
:) (wasnt limited to 23u)

Talk about fantastic fastpitch!

Would like to see this older division be part of the regular travel ball tournys.
Especially considering the MANY who lost out on some recruitment showcasing.
Think it would be a great time to add it!
Still could showcase too!
Even if only 10 womans teams signed up at each event. Simple to add it, just piggy back same tourny schedule.

Could be an option~
For those that could not make it onto a college team or decided to stay local to go to college and live at home or have to pick up jobs... Just practice with your women's team one day on a weekend and maybe play one tournament event per month. Perhaps only getting in six or seven tournaments in the year it still keeps you active in the sport. Keeps you around your friends who keep competition going. Even a great option for people who want to go to JC at their local community and not have to spend so much time every day practicing with a college team. Much less time consuming to play women's ball
and still compete.

Also give t.b. coaches another level to step up to!
Having been only w my own daughters 12 and 16 and then mainly in baseball world for years, I didn't think of that....but that's a great point RAD. What are the options for women 20+ yrs if they aren't playing in college or just graduated?

There are mens leagues for baseball all the way till 70-80 yrs old. After college I took 10yrs off but then jpined a Sunday mens baseball league at 31.

Are there any fastpitch options for women? I know there are the top Pro leagues but that is the Top 1% of college players. Maybe some leagues in other countries...but for most I think most just go into slowpitch coed leagues but probably would love the opportunity to play fastpitch still on a more local level via a Travel Ball team.

Make it happen RAD!!! 😜
 
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