Saturday, July 30, 2011

Importance of Communication

In baseball, communication can be the difference between success and failure. On every play, players need to communicate with each other. 

Think about that for a moment. In EVERY situation, there is communication between players. And it doesn’t have to be verbal communication. There are so many examples of non-verbal communication during a baseball game and, many times, those are the ones that are executed properly.

I’m not going to argue that communication is more important than talent – it’s not. But if you have two evenly matched teams, I’d bet the one that does a better job of communicating would win. 

What are some of the ways missed communication can affect the outcome of a game? The most common would be missed signs between the coach and either the batter or base runner. A mix up between the catcher and pitcher can happen often, especially with a runner on second base. 

When most of us think of communication, we think of fly balls and base coaches. We are all taught that the centerfielder has priority over the outfield, the shortstop controls the infield and your base coach can see the play behind you. 

Here are several other communication scenarios that take place in almost every single game.
Middle-infielders tell each other who will cover second base on a steal attempt.

Catchers let infielders know where to throw the ball on a bunt. 

Coaches signal players from the dugout and tell them where to play. 

First-basemen tell the pitcher when to attempt a pick-off if the runner has a big lead. 

Fielders position themselves based on what pitch is called by the catcher. 

On a ball hit back to the pitcher, with a runner on first, who will be covering second base?

With runners on first and third, someone tells the infield what play is on. 

First basemen let the catcher know when a runner is attempting to steal. 

On balls hit to the outfield, catchers line infielders up and let them know if throws need cut-off. 

Outfielders can let each other know where to throw the ball.
Communication is the basis of winning baseball. It doesn’t take additional time. It only takes thinking the game. You have to be aware of what situation is happening and what can you do or what can you say to help your teammate be more successful. 

Learn to do a better job at communicating – verbal and non-verbal – and you will see an increase in success.

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