Playing Time Question November 17 2015, 0 Comments

My name is Trevor, and I have been catching for 7 years. Over the summer, I made sure to study all the footwork of a catcher and everything I could think of. I am currently a freshman in high school playing in open off season to prepare for tryouts in February. I keep telling my coach that I know how to catch, but he won't let me catch at practices or in our scrimmage games. Instead he puts in me in the outfield and plays everyone that he knows in the infield. What can I say or do to make him let me catch? I know I am a good catcher, but every time he asks for catchers, he ignores me, or says that I can catch in a game and forgets I am a catcher. What do I do?

Trevor: Yours is an interesting question, because it has several elements in it that are inferred and are direct questions. Let's handle the direct question: if you have worked that hard catcher for seven years then you really should be pretty decent, but never to get a chance to catch is a little odd. You indicate that you'd be willing to catch batting practice, or even just in practice I would certainly encourage you to go directly the coach and say your willing to catch BP or in the bullpen just so show that I can do it.  Would you please give me that opportunity. When you ask it directly like that then he will be forced to give you a direct answer and no coach the world pass up a catcher wanting to work in those two jobs. Now you infer that you tried to and tried to catch and your coach put you out in the outfield with the vague promises he will catch you in a game. Something is wrong there no coach would put the player into the game as a catcher without have watching him go through practice, drills, and all the things of the catcher is required to do. Second question comes about how well are you in the outfield are you more valuable out there defensively along with your hitting skills. As a coach I have to make that decision. Then the other question that you didn't ask but a coach has to decide how good are the players in front of you, as much as you want to work at it has much you have worked at it are you still not as good in all the skills in a catcher takes.

I'm a long ways from saying don't continue to work because your letter indicates that you're willing to work, do all the hard jobs to show you can catch and then in turn try to get into the games as a catcher and you must just continue down that road.  But be honest with yourself when you look at how you helped the team the best and maybe the coach is looking at it from that direction not just what you would like to do. Hang in there and continue to work at catching but at the same time to your job when you're playing the game at all those other elements that are involved.

Best of luck let me know how it turns out.

Coach Arnald Swift