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What Are Softball Catchers For Anyways?


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By Coach Marc

It’s a fact that pitching is the name of the game.

Any coach knows that they can’t win without at least decent pitching. It’s the same as a quarterback in football or a goaltender in ice hockey.

So, what are catchers for anyways?

To most people that are not too familiar with the game, their job is to squat down behind the plate, make a target for their pitcher and catch balls. That’s it.

Pretty much like bucket dads catching their daughter in pitching practice.

Thankfully, most coaches and players realize that catchers are important to their team’s success.

But do you realize how much difference a good catcher can make?

You usually don’t know until you have such as a catcher.

Wow! Things are much easier and better when you have a catcher that knows what she/he is doing behind the dish.

Your pitcher is better. Your whole team performs better.

I am sure I am not telling you anything new.

But I wanted to point out how…

“catching is a thankless job!”

It’s a tough job and catchers rarely get all the recognition  they deserve. Even from their own teammates and coaches.

How often do you work exclusively with your catcher on their individual catching skills such as blocking, framing, fielding balls, recovering passed balls and so on?

Probably not often enough and not long enough.

Most catchers, during practices,  catch balls coming in during  drills, catch the pitchers when they practice and get involved  when the team practices their game situations and defensive strategies like pick-offs or first-and-third situations.

But do they get that same individual attention that pitchers  get to work at refining their catching skills?

Probably not as much as it should on most teams.

The reason I’m talking about that is that I have main thing
I want to emphasize:

1) We need to have an even greater appreciation for what  catchers do and how important they are to us and our success

2) We need to realize that we need to work more on an individual basis with them and need to give them even more recognition for the job the tough thankless job they do.

What’s the last time a pitcher throw a perfect game by themselves?

To all the catchers out there… thank you soooo much. You work is really appreciated. Over the years, I have certainly learned the value of a great catcher.

Make your catchers important and see how much better your pitchers and your team will be.

 

Comments on What Are Softball Catchers For Anyways? »

January 21, 2009
(Pingback)

Softball Practice Drills - Three Throws from the Catcher @ 1:29 am

[…] To practice receiving three different throws from the softball catcher. The catcher is working on the techniques involed in three plays at the same time: passed ball,  […]

February 16, 2009

Lime @ 11:33 am

I have to disagree with this omment. I play catcher on my softball team and I get almost all the credit when we win,along with the picher, but it’s mostly me.

February 23, 2009

Marc Dagenais @ 10:07 pm

That’s good. Most of the time, catchers don’t get enough credits though which is sad…

March 3, 2009

Madeleine Cho @ 1:37 am

I’m going to play catcher, and softball, for the first time tomorrow for my school team. I’m a goalie in two sports, ice hockey and ringette, and I was told that catcher would really help my glove hand in ice hockey and ringette.
I’m definitely use to getting no credit for a win and all the blame for a loss.

What tips or advice would you have for me, my school team is a 8-12 team and the league isn’t that serious; it’s more for fun.

Madeleine Cho @ 1:39 am

I’ve watched countless videos on the internet, read tips, watched international and collegiate games on the internet and pretty much whatever else I could find.

Thanks,
Madeleine Cho

Marc Dagenais @ 8:49 am

Hi Madeleine,

I think the best thing is to buy a catching DVD. I can recommended Stacy Nuveman (search on ebay or amazon) or the one from Coach Weaver at http://catchingcamp.com/

Madeleine Cho @ 7:41 pm

Thanks, I’ll look into those. Maybe I should suggest that the school invest in buying a copy.

[…] To let softball catchers practice getting to the ball quickly and accurately and throwing it back to the […]

March 17, 2009
(Pingback)

Softball Catcher Drills - Slow Roller @ 12:37 am

[…] This drill gives softball catchers a chance to practice getting out of their stances quickly and fielding balls that stay within their […]

May 4, 2009

Catcher love @ 7:35 am

I’ve been the starting catcher for my high school since I was a freshman. It is very true or at least at my high school that catchers don’t get reconized. Thats why a catcher has to be a tough kid. They have to be able to take a lot from their coaches and just shake it off when they blame you for things out of your controle. Where I play our pitcher is a “God” (to our coaches) so she never does anything at all. Not saying she isn’t a good Pitcher because she is very good, but having a big head only causes problems for you and your team when you have a key player like that. So for everyone out there play softball/baseball for the sport. Dont get a huge head when you have a good game, Doing a great job in your game is kind of what you are suppose to do. And Coaches dont keep venting on oyour catchers they can only take so much, and you are doing nothing but making their season not fun for them at all. Make sure you give them some reconition. I mean they are the ones calling the pitches and framing the all the pitches. Making the pitcher look good.

June 9, 2009

bestcatcherever@chocowinity @ 4:31 pm

i play catcher and i fell very important when he pitchers makes and bad pitch and i make a throw down or when a girl stills home andthe pitcher backs me up

June 23, 2009

bella @ 4:18 pm

My daughter is 10 now, when she started in little league she was in outfield. The coaches of her team could see how well she caught and threw the ball and trained her as catcher. She turned out to be the best they had ever seen. She then went onto All Stars that year at 8 years of age, she went on the next year as well. She again did little league this year and again is on the All Star team. Over the fall and spring she played on an ASA team that just played in State Tourney and got 3rd place, they were invited to go to Nationals, but, seems not enough players could go 🙁 What a chance of a lifetime for these girls to go and now they are gonna miss out 🙁

My daughter has played several positions since catcher, she has played, 3rd, SS, 2nd, 1st and getting involved in pitching, I have found that she is an all around good ball player in any position. But, the best that she plays is as Catcher!! She knows it is the most important position and as I read of other comments. It is a thankless job and yes they are awarded for keeping someone from coming home and scoring and yet they are blamed when a run comes in 🙁

The catcher makes the team, I agree, they keep their pitcher in check as well as the other players or plays on the field.

Sincerely,

A Softball Catchers Mom 🙂

October 13, 2009

6 Pack @ 7:30 pm

I just want to point out that catching is NOT at all a “thinkless job” and no, it can not be taught to anyone. A catcher has three jobs to do, they are to frame pitches, throw people out, and block pitches in the dirt. If you’ve ever caught before, then you know how hard it is at first to block the ball. It’s human nature to get out of the way of the ball that’s coming at you at 60-65 mph. I believe that catching, other than pitching, is the hardest position on the softball and baseball field.

February 3, 2011

ducttapesoftballchic @ 5:45 pm

this explain it very well i am 13 and a catcher. i have found out that the catcher does not get told thank you untill they get injuried and stay in the game or block the last out and their team wins the game. and the pitchers always get all the praise. i really dont like that. so i actually want to thank you for expressing my feelings and hopefully alot of catchers feelings well.

March 27, 2011

E Bookworm001 @ 12:22 pm

I just started catching a few weeks ago for my high school team and already I see what you said to be true. I get really bored at practice because all I do is catch for drills.

April 15, 2011

catcherchick @ 11:35 pm

I caught my entire life and my senior year in high school I caught for an all-state pitcher. She had a perfect game, and countless no-hitters and one-hitters. I always felt under appreciated until I graduated. Now she is dealing with amateur catchers and is now expressing how good of a catcher I was. Catchers need more attention and I want to say thanks!

May 3, 2011

SB Mom @ 9:38 am

This is so true. My daughter is the starting catcher for two teams plus a summer team and she feels like she gets a lot of criticism when she is catching for a wild-throwing pitcher and little praise or recognition from most of her coaches. Since she is the best catcher on her various teams, she rarely gets a chance to try another position or even get as much batting practice because she is catching for the batting practice, too. Frankly I think she wishes she had become a first baseman rather than a catcher.

June 8, 2011

mystars @ 11:32 am

My daughter has been a catcher for 3 years and plays select ball and little league ball! She is definitely under appreciated! We do not have a relief catcher, so she will be catching 4-7 games straight for weekend tournaments. She never complains and is always the first one on and off the field. On top of that she also has asthma, but I have to say she is very determined. I appreciate what you are saying and I will definitely be printing this out and giving it to my daughter!!

June 19, 2011

Pjgertz @ 11:16 pm

My daughter is a pretty good catcher of about 3 years and she lives for catching. Her coach often tells the entire team of everything she does for the team. He says things like not everyone can be a catcher they have to work very hard, get hotter in than any other player, enjoy getting dirty, sometimes hurt but also have the mind to think about so many things at once.  Yes… it takes a special type of girl to be a good catcher.

pjgertz

September 24, 2011

Guest @ 3:19 pm

I really appreciate what you wrote. I have been playing softball for 7 years and all I have been catcher. My name got spread around and people did appreciate me. But now that I play for my high school, all the other coaches from the other schools give me more credit than my own coach does. He thinks that I'm just fine and never really talks about my movements at catcher never. I also never get to practice them either. Through most of my career, I have been the only catcher on the team. Even at the weekend tournaments. And my coach never really told me that I was so good. Yeah he would say “you are so aggressive” and things like that, but he never says what I truly am. He will say all the negative things, that do not even relate to my catching and my attitude before he talks about me which would be something like good job, do it again. I plan to play college softball and I am trying my best to ignore how my coach is not giving me the recognition I deserve. I am glad there is somebody who knows how us catchers feel.

April 13, 2012

Guest @ 10:16 pm

When everyone is a little girl they say “oh I want to be a pitcher!” they never say they want to be a catcher because it's so hard, and it's the most criticized. If a catcher messes up it's the end of the world because catchers are supposed to be that constantly reliable player. No one, including pitchers, players, coaches, and even parents appreciate a great catcher until their gone. Then their left there wishing they had that reliable player back. Sometimes I get down cause I feel so underappreciated but if anything catchers are just the “unsung heroes” of the game, and that's what always keeps me going. Catching has taught me how to be a tough player, not the player who cries when they lose the big game, but the player who keeps their head up and helps their team knowing they won't get a thank you.

July 1, 2012

Pjgertz @ 10:45 pm

My daughter has been catching for about 5 years.   she has caught for pitchers of all speeds.; the starting pitcher and fastest on JV is about 60 MPH. When she has a game where she missed a wild pitch or two she thinks she had a terible game.

every catcher new or experienced  has to realize that they are involved in every play of the game weather it is just catching a pitch or making an out at home. If a catcher only misses a few in an entire game compared to an outfielder or even an infielder those are pretty good odds. 

My daughters coaces are pretty appreciative of her catcing but to all you catchers rememberyou are involved in every or most every play of the game and a few missed pitches is a very good record.

June 13, 2013

Lexi @ 8:41 pm

I have caught for some of the fastest pitchers in my county and received no recognition. You explained how I feel perfectly. There are always pitching coaches and those coaches who think the history of softball revolves around the pitcher. Everyone wants to be a pitcher. For catchers I have a piece of advise.
Get ready to work hard, be the sweatiest person on the team, feel the sting of a fast pitch, leap up and down side to side, for major knee issues, and prove to people YOU ARE MORE THAN THE GIRL BEHIND THE GEAR.

September 10, 2013

Big Red @ 4:58 pm

thanks, i have been catching for 5 years and it took a ton of work and effort and practicing to be able to to my job. My last coach (who has been coaching for 20 years) said that i was the best catcher he had seen in 20 years which means a lot and im the team leader and not a lot of catchers on my team are. The problem I am having is that my new coach who is my best friend's dad so i hav known him quite awhile but for some reason he won't let me catch, any advice?

May 16, 2014

fastpitchsoftball @ 10:53 am

he or she is soooooo right I am 12 and my team and coach just think I am a backstop and then the pitcher pitches a bad ball and my coach is like “why didn't you get that!” well it was over even the umps head so I couldn't have possibly got it. also my pitcher has a big problem, she pitches one bad inning and she wont pich anymore for the rest of the game!!! and they say its my fault because I didn't catch the ball!

fastpitchsoftball @ 10:56 am

oh and I forgot I have tournament today tomorrow and the next day double elimination. fun.

March 10, 2015

gabrielle @ 6:46 pm

I recently got hurt in a game since my pitcher pitches almost 52 mph fastballs (she’s 14 i’m 13) and it hit my knee guard it bounced back to the mound cause of the impact. I still went down. I got taken out the game and a back up catcher got all my credit. what you wrote is incredibly true, us catchers don’t get any credit unless we get hurt or we actually ask to be recognized. my coach has given me credit once or twice and it feels amazing. I don’t think teammates realize how much we do for the team and how lost theyd be without one of us.

[…] What Are Softball Catchers For Anyways … – Softball … – I’m going to play catcher, and softball, for the first time tomorrow for my school team. I’m a goalie in two sports, ice hockey and ringette, and I was told that … […]

April 12, 2016

Catcher12 @ 8:06 pm

I agree, catchers don’t get enough recognition. I have been injured for the past 3 seasons between high school and club, and my coaches are starting to realize how important having a good catcher is.

June 27, 2018

Michael @ 1:16 pm

Hi,
I coached a 12u team this year and I’ll tell you what. Besides the pitcher the catcher was the most important position on our team. Our boys weren’t great hitters, so with teams that had poor catchers we were able to steal and get some runs in to score. On the defensive side we gave up a lot of bases and runs due to our catcher being slow, couldn’t catch the ball, block and couldn’t do throw downs. Later in the season I had to put my son in to play catcher just to stop the bleeding. Little did I know he’s not a bad catcher at all. He truly helped. So catchers out there you are very important to a team. Coaches you need to praise your catchers often. They take a beating behind the plate, sweating their butts off and calling a game. Without them your team would not do so well.

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