Catcher's Influences

If you’re have some problems with locating your pitches, perhaps, indirectly your backstop is influencing you in subtle ways.

One of the most influenential ways that a backstop can have you pitching down in the dirt is to be so far back from the plate - possibly being apprehensive of the swinging bat. Being so far behind the plate can be unnoticed by the pitcher because of the distance of better than 60 feet away. It’s very hard to judge a distance that actually works for you as a pitcher, but excessive distances from the plate will definitely get you - pitch after pitch, cause you problems.

For example. A very low glove position can have you driving your pitch into the ground. Sometimes without realizing it, your backstop can position his mitt so low that you inadvertently target that mitt- but, because you’re over 60 feet away, the downward trajectory is just too “downward.”

Another example. Let’s say you pitch is to be outside. If your backstop positions himself too outside, you’re targeting something that is off the plate without realizing it.

So the next time you’re just not cutting it for whatever reason(s), think about your backstop’s influences behind the plate.

Now I’m not suggesting a blame game here, nor am I suggesting how to coach backstops. Coaching backstops I am NOT qualified to do. Just be mindful of the subtleties that can influence you, pitch after pitch.

My freshman son, on JV, recently had an unusually wild outing when his catcher was in a constant state of motion and not giving him a good target. Another parent noticed the problem and mentioned it to the varsity coach, who happened to be strolling by. Next game, problem solved! I don’t know that a catcher can make a pitcher … but he can undo a pitcher!:slight_smile:

Catchers definitely have a huge influence on the game. My catcher is great, we have a good bond, and if I’m having trouble locating pitches, he knows exactly how to get me back into the zone. Trusting your catcher to block is also very important, I had a really rough game where I hung a whole bunch of 0-2 curves because the catcher had multiple past balls… not a good result. I switched catchers after that, and that has helped me notice the huge difference a good and a bad catcher make. Any average catcher can do a good job catching you when you have your A stuff, but on a day when you have your B or C stuff, an excellent catcher can help make that day into a respectable outing.