Archive for Catching

5 Ways we are Failing to Prepare THEM

Raising and developing people…

THIS is what our job is as adults. Realize it or not, most everything that happens on a ball field can be related to life in some way. The problem is, most are failing to see what this is all about. We have become obsessed with the outcome and fail to recognize and believe in the process. We often hear “The Process” referred to but then find that those that frequently use this term simply do not understand what it really means.

“The Process” requires patience. It calls for us knowing what the end goal is. It takes us ADULTS teaching, then stepping back and letting them figure it out while resisting the urge to step in at the sign of failure. Failure is THE key to long term success. They are moments disguised as disappointment and embarrassment but are actually blessings in disguise. The problem though lies with how us adults lack patience for failure and see our players and children’s failures as a reflection of our ability to teach and lead. That’s when we see the adults making it about them when we all should know what this is really all about…THE KIDS.

Here are 5 things that are happening on fields across the nation that are stunting player and individual growth…

Pigeon Holing Players:
We need to stop viewing them as “The Shortstop” or “The Center Fielder”. They are Baseball players. They are “Athletes”. The goal is for them to be able to confidently tell their HS coach at their freshman year tryouts that they can play any position they need them at. A player who played only SS his whole youth life is limited. Sure not everyone can pitch or catch but know this, we are not helping them develop “Options” when we develop them as a one dimensional player. Teach them and help them learn the game from multiple angles on the field.

Calling Pitches:
Robots don’t think, they wait for commands. Why do we feel the need to call pitches from the dugout? I congratulate you that you know how to get youth hitters out but that’s not your job. The ball is not in your hand. Relinquish control, teach them how to observe the situation and the hitter AND LET THEM PLAY SOME BASEBALL. Will they make some poor choices on pitch selection…You bet! That’s where we help them between innings to learn so they are better prepared for the next time that situation comes up. Not only is this not good for them to develop as thinkers and observers, it’s horrible for the pace of a game. Talk about a tempo killer. Teach them to work together, work fast and get their boys back in the dugout as soon as possible. Bosses tell people what to do, leaders teach people what to do. Which one are you?

Undeserved Playing Time:
When a player is involved in too many things at once and continually fails to attend team practices…When a player continually displays poor body language…When a player is disrespectful towards the umpires, their teammates or coaches…Playing time is NOT deserved. By rewarding these behaviors with the privilege of seeing the ball field, we are making a huge mistake. Talent shouldn’t matter…Opponent shouldn’t matter…The importance of the game shouldn’t matter…RAISING AND DEVELOPING THAT PERSON MATTERS. You ARE instilling ego and entitlement and you may not even realize it. Many things are bigger than the game and this may be the biggest of all. The greed of wanting to win is taking over common sense and blinding many to what this is really all about.

Ignoring Defensive Fundamentals:
Knowing how to read the play. Knowing what their job is. Knowing where to back up and where to throw the ball. Knowing how to properly run and rundown. Developing instincts through repetitions. Too many games and not enough practice. Many HS players know what they should do on a play but when it comes down to it, in the moment, they have underdeveloped instincts as they simply have not practiced these fundamentals enough. Pitchers working on their craft is often ignored because “It takes too much time”. The fact is, pitching and defense is what wins ball games. If you can’t take care of the ball (throw strikes, field and catch the ball) the other team will make their way around the bases whether they are a good hitting team or not. There should be just as much defensive work as there is offensive work, if not more.

Instilling Ego, Entitlement and Un-Coachable Attitudes:
Help them develop confidence but keep them humble. Take ability out of the picture and treat them all as people. Help them understand there are many ways to be successful in this game (and in life) and for them to grow as much as possible, they must look for as much information as possible, ask questions whenever possible and NEVER go into a situation of opportunity with a closed mind. Talking down about their teammates and coaches is a HUGE parenting mistake. It’s the good old fashioned term, “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!” Realize it or not, you are teaching the skill of gossip, you are instilling a sense of being better than everyone else and you are instilling habits that WILL get them in trouble at some point later in life. Lastly, teach them that success is earned. Find different ways to make them earn their keep. Teach them that talent will only get them so far, that their work ethic, their character, their dedication and perseverance will all be the deciding factor as they grow.

ALL of these things happen on and off a field during a baseball season. Some may read this and take it personal, that’s fine. Some may read this and feel pain as they have, or are, living this. I’m nearly 40 years old, have been blessed with a life where I got to play and now teach the game of baseball. I understand I have been able to experience things that most will never get to and that keeps me humble. Now I have the privilege to teach what I have learned, and am still learning, every day. It’s up to you if you want to be coachable (yes adults should be coachable too), or if you read these words and disagree. However you take it is fine with me. I’m here to help and teach from what I have experienced, that’s it.

I’ll end with this…”The Big Picture”…Our one purpose as adults is to provide for the young. This happens in many different ways. PLEASE don’t ever let pride and greed blur your thoughts and cause you to miss out on the countless character development moments that happen on a daily basis. Lead by example, pour into THEM and help them prepare for LIFE.

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


What Opened My Eyes

IMG_6323In 2012 I accepted a minor league pitching coach position with the LA Angels. I spent the next 3 years around some great Baseball minds, learned a ton about development but was slapped in the face when over 50% of our new draftees each year came in with a zipper on their arm (that’s a name for the Tommy John surgery scar). What the heck is going on??

Before my third season, I informed them, the Angels, that would be my last year. I would be committing my time to my family, and the families I worked with back home, full time. They needed me home and my students and their families needed someone to not just help develop their kids as players but they needed someone to help educate them.

While in the pro game, the more and more I got to know my players, build relationships and helped them achieve their dreams, the more and more I started to learn why these kids were coming in as damaged goods.

The odds of a full recovery from one TJ are pretty good now. The odds from a full recovery after your second drops from around a 90% success rate to 65%. The odds of recovering from a third, well let’s just say it’s not that good.

So that means that these young men are coming into pro ball one major injury away from a dream shattered. Let’s remember that this is an injury that should only happen to grown men who have played baseball for a living for many years. Not something that kids who have just started shaving are having to go through.

Overuse as a pre-teen, teenager and college player. Not enough rest for their arm in the off season. Attending showcases in the off season months. Training to throw harder but lacking an arm care program. Poor mechanics but no one suggesting a fix for them because the player is having success and generating wins. Pitching in multiple games in the same day. Pitching multiple innings and catching multiple innings in the same day or pitching a high number of pitches one day and then catching multiple innings the next day. Continually throwing more pitches than what their arm is conditioned for year after year. The overwhelming desire to throw fast, faster and to be the one who throw the fastest. Too much down time, no mound work or pitching competitively, between tournament weekends where the arm loses stamina and strength and then making an extraordinary amount of throws over a 2-3 day period and then repeating this cycle week after week, month after month and year after year. There are so many different factors that are leading to this that weren’t present in the youth baseball world before this injury epidemic.

Bottom line, they came in damaged because of what they went through and how they were handled as a young player. Between their 9 year old season through the college years, something went wrong.

When I was drafted in 1996, it was a truly rare thing to hear about a major injury. Fast forward 5 years, the game changed. It slowly started to become the norm to see more and more of these major injuries each year. The more and more I learned about the timeline, the more obvious it became that it all started around the same time that tournament style and showcase baseball exploded. These two things can absolutely be done right, but they obviously are not. There is no one holding anyone accountable when there obviously needs to be. Adults are playing with kids’ future because their desire to win supersedes their common sense.

We will continue to talk about this. As I have said, there is no argument that anyone can bring up that will make any of this ok. It’s abuse, it’s ignorance, it’s ridiculous, it’s absurd, it’s nonsense and it’s flat irresponsible. Adults, it’s time to wake up.

It’s time to make some changes…

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


Calling Pitches

IMG_5939We talk a lot about helping the players develop game awareness. This is a big.

Let me remind you that this is THEIR game. Teach them to think.

Pay attention to what the hitter is doing in the box…
– Is he far off the plate?
– Where is his stride foot going?
– Is he late or early?
– What is his pitcher doing well with and not so well with…
– Is he yanking everything off the plate?
– Is he missing arm side (3rd base side for righties and 1st base side for lefties)?
– Is he commanding his change up well?
– Is he getting his fastball in well on right hand hitters but not lefties?
– What the situation is and what we want the hitter to do…
– Is there a runner on 2B and we want the hitter to hit the ball to the left side so the runner doesn’t advance?
– Is there a runner on 3B with less than two outs and we want a strikeout?
– Is there a base open and we want to be careful with the guy in the box as we don’t want him, their best hitter, to beat us?

This is Baseball. This is developing a smart player. When coaches call every pitch, and don’t teach from what they are calling, all they are doing is creating a robot. It was always disappointing to me when we would draft a new pitcher or catcher and would find out that they have never been allowed to call their own pitches. Instantly, they were so far behind. So much to learn.

Coaches…Let loose of the reins. Let them think. Let them learn. Coach’me up!!

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


Baseball Weekend

With the 3 day holiday weekend approaching (Memorial Day Weekend), there is a lot of baseball that’s going to be played across the nation.

I’m going to be honest, it makes me nervous. I’m concerned for all of the young pitchers and catchers out there.

Coaches, follow pitch counts, not inning limits. If they’re not a teenager, DON’T pitch them back to back days. Even though our chart here says it’s ok for 11-12 year olds to if they throw less than 15, if it’s not 100% necessary, don’t do it. Think about all of the other throws they are going to be making this weekend.

DON’T forget about those catcher too. For every pitch made, that’s a throw back to the pitcher and that’s another squat. No player should pitch and catch in the same day once they pitch or catch more than 30-40 pitches. And to be on the safer side, just stay away from the combo in the same day all together. Again, these choices are for their future.

DON’T pull a pitcher just because you take an early lead so you can save him for another game. If he’s the starter, use him. Let them reach their pitch count (whatever they are conditioned for), tell them great job, and use your other pitchers for the rest of the weekends innings. STOP making foolish decisions, that aren’t what’s best for the kids, just because you want to win some “big” tournament. And don’t ask the kid if he thinks he can pitch again, of course he’s going to say yes. Don’t ask the parents either if he can throw again, you are putting them in an uncomfortable spot. Man up and make some morally right decisions.

So many kids are going to get overused this weekend. Parents who follow us and read our words, LISTEN, it’s not worth it. Pay attention, be observant, know right from wrong and if you see something foolish happening, DON’T let it.

Their future is SO much more important.

Click here to view and download our pitch count chart

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


Game Tempo Killers

IMG_9870Tempo may also be referred to as “Pace” or “Speed” of the game. “Tempo” is controlled by the pitcher and catcher. Working quick may be the number one way to make a hitter uncomfortable, put the advantage in the pitchers hands and keep the flow of the game moving which also greatly benefits the focus of our defenders on the field. This can be judged by the amount of time between innings and pitches. At the professional level, we would shoot for 8-12 seconds from the release of one pitch to the release of the next. Obviously, this will be different when the ball is put in play, a mound visit is taken, etc.

Hitters HATE to feel rushed. They want time to go through their routine. They want time to get comfortable in the box. Some can act as a human rain delay (just as some pitchers can act). Hitters hate nothing more than to get in the box, look up at the pitcher and see him already in the set position or already starting their delivery.

If a hitter has to call time out because of this, pitchers should take pride in that. You are doing and important part of your job by making him uncomfortable without even throwing a pitch! And if they have to do it multiple times, bingo…You are swimming in their head now. They are losing their focus. When they lose their focus, they lose their approach. When they lose their approach, the pitcher will win nearly every time.

When pitchers are taught this concept, taught this part of the mental game, it doesn’t matter their talent level, they will have an advantage and be able to take control of a game.

With that said, there are some coaching tactics and things young ball players simply aren’t being taught that can put the kibosh to the Tempo of a game in a matter of seconds…

1) Micro-managing during every pitch of the game. The whole team has to look in the dugout to see where to move, what pick off move to put on, what pitch to call. TEMPO KILLER

2) The pitcher and catcher not being on the same page. The catcher doesn’t know what the pitcher likes to throw in certain counts, thus the pitcher is constantly shaking off the catchers suggestion. Pitchers, put some faith in your catchers and remember that any pitch in any count can be effective as long as you execute it. Catchers, take time to talk to your pitchers and see what they like to do. Boys, we need to communicate better before the game and in-between innings. TEMPO KILLER

3) Pitchers walking around the mound between every pitch (sometimes necessary though to clear your head). TEMPO KILLER

4) Pitchers walking half way to home plate, after they throw a pitch, to catch the ball from the catcher and then having to walk, or jog, all the way back to the rubber. Personally, I have witnessed this being done and being taught more often than it should be, which is NEVER! The common reason for this is to protect the catchers arm or make a shorter throw for the catcher. Wrong reason guys. If the catcher has a hard time throwing the ball to the mound, then it’s our job to teach them how to throw properly. TEMPO KILLER

**After a pitcher throws a pitch, ideally, they are back peddling back up the mound and are on, or within one step from being back on, the rubber ready to get the next sign. This is pitching boys. This is how we take control of the game. This is how the best go about their business. This is what position players LOVE to play behind.

5) At the youngest of ages, Tempo proves to be a constant struggle. Finding kids that are fearless behind the plate and who have a sense of urgency to keep the ball in front and to go get it QUICKLY when it gets past them, is often hard to find AND hard to develop. We must take time to really give our young backstops a lot of attention on receiving, blocking and retrieving passed balls and wild pitches. If we fail to recognize the importance of this…TEMPO KILLER

Pitchers and Catchers…Have a plan. Be on the same page. Work quick. Be the first ones on the field after the third out is made. Jog to your positions. Get your warm up pitches done in a quick manner. Make it a point to make the hitter uncomfortable. Take pride in them needing to call timeout. Take pride in the other teams players and coaches getting frustrated with this. Don’t back down. This is YOUR game, OWN IT!!

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


Pitch Smart

DSC_0008Parents and Coaches…

I URGE you to take some time to read through the website “PITCH SMART” by MLB. Youth Baseball is in a time of weekly tournaments (4-6 games in a 2-3 day period). These tournaments are an amazing opportunity for hitters to get in a ton or reps in a short period but CAN be (with poor coaching decisions) the worst possible situation for pitchers to be in. Pitching in multiple games in the same day. Pitching on back to back days even after throwing 20+ pitches on the first day. Exceeding a proper number of pitches in a game because you feel the need to save your other pitchers for a later game. Having a pitcher pitch through fatigue. And let’s not forget about the catchers!!

If your team doesn’t have enough pitchers to cover all of the innings that your squad may play, then you should not be playing in that tournament. Once again, these type of decisions come down to what’s right for that player. What’s best for his future. You can’t preach development and then make decisions that put your players at an elevated risk of injury because of your drive to make it to the championship game. PLEASE take a moment and think about what’s best for the players.

Coaches, thank you for all you do and always remember that these kids development and future is in your hands when they are on your roster. The words you use, the choices you make and the manner in which you carry yourself can make a bigger impact on their future than you may realize. Take pride in what you do and don’t ever forget that this game is 100% about them.

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


Don’t Let The Game Speed Up On You

2015-04-16 11.11.33As a young player, I have no idea how many times this happened to me. I do know, though, that it was more than I would have liked. But to this day, all those moments have helped mold me into the parent and coach that I strive to be today.

I was working with one of my college students the other day. His mound work started off good but as the session went on, he started to battle his command. When I have worked with a player for a period of time, and I have come to know them emotionally and see where their strengths and weaknesses are, I will give them a chance to to work through these moments on their own. The worst thing a coach can do is say something to a pitcher between every pitch. Trust me, been there, experienced that. No bueno!

As the miss fires kept coming, you could see him getting more and more frustrated. With that frustration came a lose of focus which, in a game situation, would lead to disaster. After about 10-15 in a row, I finally stepped in and helped him realize what was going on. Physically, mechanically, nothing was wrong. What was wrong was what he was allowing to happen between his ears. He was throwing pitches while still focusing on what happened with his last pitch. He was trying to force command instead of trusting in his ability and letting his natural talent take over. It had had “Sped Up On Him”.

When this happens, we lose all rational thought. We are letting the situation control us instead of us controlling the situation. We swing at pitches out of the zone because we have no plan. We make poor pitch choices because we have become emotional. We make mistakes that we should know better than to do.

This happens often on the other side too. Us coaches in the dugout are just as prone to this as the players on the field are. My first year coaching, this reality slapped me in the face one night. Our pitcher was out there struggling. Things just weren’t going his way and I, as the coach, was in charge of keeping the pitch count. The longer the inning went on, the more mistakes I watched happen, the quicker I started to lose control of my job. We had an organizational rule that no pitcher was to throw more than 35 pitches in one inning. My boss happened to be in town, and in the dugout with me, when he came up and asked me what he was at (pitch count). When I looked down, he was at 30+ and we had no one up in the bullpen getting ready. Well, our pitcher ended up throwing too many and I got a good talking to after the game was over. Needless to say, lesson learned, it never happened again.

In the heat of the moment, on the field or in the dugout, staying mentally in control will allow you to make those rational decisions. The correct pitch selections, mound visits in the correct moments, making the last out at third, pitching changes, keeping track of pitch counts, etc.

Take a deep breath, gather your thoughts and do your best to…

“Don’t Let The Game Speed Up On You”

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


Pitch To Contact

2015-05-11 09.13.06My last session of the day yesterday was with two of my High School students. Both are great kids, both are talented pitchers and both have the ability to play past HS, if they so desire.

As they were playing catch, I was chatting with their parents I came to learn that they both had walk rates, during their seasons, that needed some attention.

After they were done with their mound work, we sat down for a few minutes and dug a little deeper into the topic. I wanted to hear what their approach is with every pitch. Is their catcher moving around, side to side, too much? What is their thought process in 2 ball counts? What is their intent with the first pitch to each batter? Are they looking to get contact or trying to get swing and misses?

A pitcher’s #1 job is to throw strikes. The goal is to do this 65% of the time. In my book, a pitcher has two counts where he can purposely throwing a pitch, out of the zone, to get a swing and miss. 0-2 and 1-2 counts. With that said, there is nothing better for a pitcher than getting a punch-out on 3 pitches, especially when you freeze the hitter with a fastball in an 0-2 count. This is proof that you are in the dome, you have them thinking too much and you have out thought them.

Besides those two counts, EVERY SINGLE PITCH should be thrown with the intent of inducing weak contact on the ground. Too often, young pitchers are pitching to get swing and misses. When we do this, pitch AWAY from contact, we WILL throw more balls than we should be. Remember, our job is to throw strikes. Nothing drives me more crazy, than seeing a catcher set up a foot off the plate, trying to steal strikes. This is not efficiency and this is not development.

Very few youth pitchers have the ability to hit the corner 6-7 times out of 10 pitches. With that understanding, catchers need to be using more of the plate, to give their pitchers a little wiggle room when they miss, some, side to side. Unless it is an 0-2 or 1-2 count, have them sit thirds of the plate or just stay middle. If you do have a pitcher who is advanced with their command of the baseball, then sure, keep them progressing in their development and learn how to work the strike zone.

Two ball counts are a huge count for pitchers. One of our main goals should be to do what we can to stay away from the dreaded 3 ball count. Staying away from these counts will allow us to stay away from those free bases. There is nothing worse than giving the batter first base for free. We have to make them earn it. A mentality of Pitching To Contact, will most definitely, help us achieve this important goal.

They first pitch to each hitter IS the most important pitch of the at bat. I don’t have specifics, but there is a HUGE difference in a hitters batting average when they start the count 0-1 vs. 1-0. The first pitch to a hitter NEEDS to be thrown with the intent of getting contact, preferably, on the ground. Focus on executing the pitch down in the zone. Getting an out on one pitch can’t be done if we don’t throw a first pitch strike.

Pitchers, learn to trust your stuff and throw pitches with the goal of the inducing contact. Coaches, help your pitchers and catchers understand this. Help them keep their pitch count down which will allow them to give you more innings.

“PITCH TO CONTACT”

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


Calling Pitches From the Dugout

IMG_1938I have written on this before but after a couple recent brief conversations, I promised I would go into it further.

I have called plenty of pitches from the dugout (never every pitch though). Always with the intent to help my pitcher on the mound work on developing a certain pitch they need to build some confidence in or to show them how effective a certain pitch/location can affect the hitter and their comfort level.

With this though, there was always an understanding with my catcher that if the pitcher shook him off, he was to go with what they wanted. If they have a plan, are thinking, and feel confident in another pitch, then by all means, go for it. If they believe in a certain pitch in a certain count/situation, they will throw that pitch with more conviction than they will the pitch that I am suggesting.

If it ends up being a poor choice in pitch selection/location, then we can talk about it after the inning is over, or after the game is over and work through thoughts and ideas. With that in mind though, believe this…a pitcher can throw any pitch in any count and if they EXECUTE that pitch, their chances of success are very high. Too often we will get caught up in saying “That was the wrong pitch to throw, that’s why it was a hit” but it ALWAYS comes down to the execution of the pitch. Everyone on the field, and in the stands, may know the pitcher is going to throw a breaking ball and if he throws it where he is suppose to, he will win. If he leaves it up, the hitter should do with it what he trains to do, and he will win. BEFORE YOU SECOND GUESS A PITCH SELECTION, FIRST LOOK AT THE EXECUTION OF THE PITCH.

Now, if we have a young, raw pitcher, on the mound who is so new to it that there is no way they can try to repeat their delivery, focus on the glove and think about pitch selection, at the same time, AND a you have a young catcher who lacks experience too, then sure, let’s help them with pitch selection.

As you all know, I am a strong believer in development. Calling every single pitch for your pitcher and catcher, is not development. If you have a pitcher and/or catcher who has shown you that they are out there thinking, then let them go with it. If you feel that they made some poor choices in pitch selection, then talk through it later. Let them learn. Let them make some mistakes. Let them build some confidence in their own choices. LET THEM LEARN AND FIGURE IT OUT.

It always amazed me when we would get a pitcher, who was just drafted, and he had no idea how to call his own game. At that level, you are expected to be able to do this and when a young pitcher has his hand held every time they took the mound, as an amateur, this is the product. All talent, no smarts. The player who can think, play the mind games and out think their opponent, is the player who will advance quicker.

Coaches, please give the kids, your pitchers and catchers, a chance to call their own pitches. You saying that the pitch you call is the final word, that the pitcher has no option to shake off the catcher, is you saying you have one thing in mind, WIN.

Once again, it all comes down to development. Develop first, win second.

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


Controlling The Adrenaline

20130707-125550.jpgIf you are fortunate enough to play this game for a long time, you will have many firsts. The first time you walk into a clubhouse. The first time you meet your teammates. The first time you take a swing in the cage. The first time you throw a pitch off the mound in a bullpen. These are all firsts that will get the butterfly’s going a little.

What really gets the nerves is that first at bat or that first inning of the season. Like I said, hopefully you get to experience a lot of these. The question is, how do you handle these moments? I personally got to experience many and yes the nerves are always there. There was even some nerves pitching in an alumni game that meant nothing!!

The level I am coaching at this year is where a lot of newly drafted players go to get their first taste of pro ball. All of these young men will experience nerves, and pressure, like they have never experienced before. Some thrive in these situations and some allow the nerves to take over and take them off their game. The ability to slow things down at times like this is a learned ability. Experience is the only way to learn how to “Control The Adrenaline” in these moments.

I have written before on “The Weeding Out Process” and this is another layer. I have seen some players who have this elevated level of adrenaline outing after outing and at bat after at bat. They can’t seem to get a grip on how to handle it and end up never reaching their full potential in the game.

Learn how to handle your nerves/adrenaline in this game and watch yourself thrive.

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


Pitcher-Catcher Relationship

3872577533_a269d2baefThis is way more important than most players, parents and amateur coaches realize. Without good communication between the pitcher and catcher, it can be hard to get in a rhythm. When the pitcher has to consistently shake off the catcher’s signs, it is almost impossible to get in a groove. A pitcher and catcher should meet up before every game and talk about what that pitcher likes to throw in different counts and situations. What is his go-to pitch when he needs to throw a strike? How does the pitcher like the catcher to set up on different pitches? What are his favorite put away pitches? Make things easier on everyone and take a few minutes to see what your pitcher’s plan is.

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.


Be a Leader

Cubs-CatcherYou can see the whole field from your position. Make sure everyone knows how many outs there are at all times. Step out in front of the plate, raise your voice, and let everyone know. Don’t be afraid to take a free out, and set up picks with your fielders. Make sure your fielders know where to throw the ball in different situations. Besides the pitcher, you can control the thought process of your entire team. If you want to be a big league catcher, get comfortable being vocal!!!

Chris Gissell (140 Posts)

Founder of Baseball Dudes. Blessed with three beautiful children and an amazing wife. Baseball is my life, after my family, and I love sharing what I have learned from it. Thanks for taking the time to view what we offer here at Baseball Dudes.