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How to be an Effective Baseball Coach

Good baseball communication is necessary for winning and for good baseball. Many signals transpire pre-pitch from the bench to players and between players. Even more important is the baseball communication that must occur once balls are in play. Without effective talk, the ability to get outs is compromised and the chance of collisions is greatly enhanced.

It is paramount that players know the “rules” of communication that makes defenses effective. Of course, youth baseball coaches must know those rules, so they can ingrain them into players. Without knowledge of correct communication, it is difficult to develop aggressive defensive players, for fear of injury from collisions.

Baseball Communication Rules Coaches Must Teach

  1. Players must learn to yell loudly, clearly, and more than once.
  2. Most common words for effective verbal exchanges are “I got it,” and “You take it.”
  3. The centerfielder is the “captain” of outfield and shortstop in the infield – which means when more than one player calls for the ball, the captain, takes precedent.
  4. Outfielders take charge over infielders – when outfielder and infielder are both calling for the ball, outfielder takes it.

* It bears repeating that players must learn to yell loudly, clearly, repetitively. and with the correct words for outs and safety to occur.

Other Baseball Communication Coaching Tips

  1. Balls called by two outfielders at the same time means the centerfielder gets it.
  2. Balls in the air called by two players at the same time in the infield go to the middle infielder, with shortstop taking it over the second baseman.
  3. Pitchers help communication with balls around the pitcher’s mound.
  4. Corner infielders take charge over catchers.

Further Baseball Communication Coaching Tips

It is also necessary for coaches to teach players:

  1. When to call balls – when the ball is at the highest point is the best time.
  2. When to get out of way – when another player, based on the above rules, calls the ball, players must trust they will catch it and move out of the way.
  3. When not to call ball – when a player is completely camped under the ball, it is not conducive to call players off.

Of course, coaches must teach players to communicate pre-pitch too, especially as to positioning. Also, helping kids learn when to look to the bench for instructions on defense, and when to check with the third base coach on offense, is necessary.

Finally, at the lower levels of baseball, coaches may have minor alterations to the above rules because of huge player ability differences. For example, at the youth level, pitchers are often the best players, so it is good to have them catch balls around the mound and home plate. However, as the quality of ball goes up, abiding by the above baseball communication rules is paramount and rarely do pitchers take precedence over other infielders.

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