Who should call pitches: Coach or Pitcher?

Would love to hear your thoughts on who should call pitches – the coach or the pitcher? And at what ages?

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Catchers at as early age as possible. Give the pitcher some room to shake off as needed. Catchers are in the best possible spot to see what’s working and what’s not. Reduces time necessary to send in from the sideline.


Agree 100%.
Every team my son has played for with one exception from Babe Ruth up into college the coach is calling pitches. Part of the reason is coaches tend to be control freaks with some of this stuff.
It amazes me when coaches talk about teaching the game yet want to micromanage every aspect of it. The one team where the coach let the catcher call pitches was the one team that has had great success, winning a state title. He also let the kids decide on amount and focus of practice and other aspects of game and prep.
One thing for sure letting catchers and pitchers call games for sure teaches a ton about the game it also keeps them engaged and more focused. If I were coaching HS ball the JV or Freshman teams would be calling their own stuff from day one. Have a catcher and pitcher work together in that way for four years…look out.

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Agree 100% with the comments above.

They will buy in to its importance to their game development.

We are having a terrible time with my sons HS JV coach calling pitches the way HE would pitch a game. My son is consistent low ball strike pitcher with a new curve that while nasty does not always place well. The HS school coach consistently calls high change ups and curves, when the Kid has a 85 mph fast ball that he can place on either side of the plate. When he pitches fastballs, and mixes it up with a curve or change with 2 strikes he dominates, He struggles with placemnts on first pitch curves and high change ups which leaves him down in the count. He dominates in summer league ( high major/Prospect) but can not buy a win in JV. He is very dejected right now, not sure how to handle this. Any suggestions. He does his best to listen to his High school coach, but is very frustrated, that he can pitch the way he KNOWS will win him games.

Just like a football quarterback calling a different play at the line or in the huddle than what was recommended by the staff. When you stray from the plan, you had better execute.

I had a coach who called every pitch and didn’t want you to deviate. I’ve had another coach who sent in a suggested pitch each time and we had full veto power, but we had to explain why we went against the suggestion when it didn’t work out.

Every pitcher is different and there are untold ways to get hitters out, but strategies are often very similar when you boil them down. Whether you are going with the called pitch or what you want to throw, before you start your delivery, you had better believe in that pitch in order to execute it.

Ask yourself this…Is your son just as much of a control freak as the coach and your son’s predetermined attitude about the coach’s call impacting the execution of the pitches? That’s something the two of you need to consider.

Good question. I would not say he is a control freak. Just

knows his arm really well, and what will work especially when runners are on base. I would agree with you that he does not have the confidence in his curve yet. which probably plays into his frustration a bit. Solid thoughts to think about. thanks

In another post sometime back I went after coaches—and managers—who persisted in calling all the pitches, and I pointed out how so many times this tactic would blow up in their faces. Guys like Chuck Dressen who, when he managed the Dodgers, thought he knew his pitching staff and then got hit in the face with the reality he refused to face—coaches with that hardheaded “I’m the boss” who would not only call all the pitches (even when they were wrong) but would pull a pitcher out of a game just to show that they were The Boss. And I let them have it both barrels, slider, knucklecurve, the whole arsenal. If a coach wants to micromanage, let him do it in a fast-food restaurant and not on the baseball field! It is, and should be, up to the catcher and the pitcher to call their own game.