It is no secret that whether its baseball or softball, that if you do not have the pitching then your team will probably not be very successful. More so in the case of softball, you can get away with having just one ace carry you to many of your team goals. One ace can without a doubt mask some of the deficiencies that your team may have; lack of defense, offense, base running, or even coaching (yes I am a coach and am saying that).
There is something about throwing a no hitter or a perfect game that is just so very impressive, and you see it much more frequently in fast pitch softball as opposed to baseball. Why is that? Well I have stated before in my blogs that hitting a softball is so very much harder than hitting a baseball. With that being said I think about 99% of the coaches in this country would start a team with a stud pitcher. I probably would too, but I have always thought outside the box on many things whether it being in coaching, playing, business, and life, so why stop with this.
The position of catcher has been so overlooked and so undervalued, that the lack of catching can and will hinder the success of a great pitcher and a great team.
You can have the best pitcher on the planet, who has an untouchable riser, a change up that may seem like it stops in mid air, a curveball that cuts sharper than a Mariano Rivera cutter, a drop ball that drops off the table or a fastball that simply jumps off a radar gun. But remember that someone has to be there catching the pitch.
A pitcher is only good as their catcher. The catcher can greatly enhance a pitchers greatness and can also hinder them as well.
It does not matter how good your pitcher may be, if your catcher cannot handle them , there is no point is having them , you might as well have someone on the mound who pitches to contact and play good defense. Between coaching, watching and playing fastpitch there have been many instances where I have seen a dropped third strike and a passed ball, passed ball, passed ball score a run.
What makes a pitcher even better is having the confidence that she/he can let one rip and snap one off and no matter where is goes the catcher will be there to have their back. If there is any question in the back of the pitchers mind that she/he can't stick that drop ball or cant snap up and get that rise ball, or block that nasty change up in the dirt then the effectiveness of the pitcher and confidence to make that pitch will go down.
The importance of developing a catcher at the youth levels has drastically gone down which is why finding great catchers coming out of high school are few and far between and we are seeing more and more athletes being converted to this position when they are already in college. The position of catcher is merely overlooked when the importance of developing pitchers and hitters are certainly on the rise.
You should not try and simply develop a pitcher, it is a must to develop a catcher and nurture the very important Pitcher/Catcher relationship!
|Bryan Ingalls : Bryan began coaching Softball at 19 years old while still playing baseball and began coaching at the college level at 21. He has spent 5 years as an assistant for Herkimer County Community College an SUNY Cortland and one season as a Head Coach at SUNY Canton. Bryan has also played competitive Men's Fastpitch for the last 6 years through the USA and Canada as a Catcher. Currently he is completing his degree in Sport Science as well as constructing a multi sport indoor and outdoor facility in Central New York along with instructing youth in all phases of the game while trying to instill the passion and enthusiasm that is needed to succeed.|
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