Softball Catcher Tips: Giving Signs to the Pitcher

Calling pitches is one of the most rewarding and challenging responsibilities of a catcher. Find out why catchers sign and how to position yourself to keep the opposing team from spotting your intent.

In the heat of the game, signing becomes your secret code. It’s the first part of communication between the catcher and pitcher. Signing is also an opportunity for infielders to view signs and understand what pitch is being thrown or if a pickoff has been called. So that corner coaches and runners on base aren’t “stealing” the signs, you need to block out your opponents by using proper form.

THE POSITION

Set up with your heels together, bending your knees comfortably with your body angled toward the third base side of the pitcher’s circle (especially when a runner is on first base). Place your mitt just over your left knee to help block out the third base side and sit your right hand between your legs with your wrist on your thigh. Display the signs just below your waist so that they aren’t too high or too low. Your fingers shouldn’t drop down below your body where they can be seen from a low angle. If you’re too high with your hands, coaches, runners or the on-deck hitter may be able to see.

Be sure to review the signs with your pitcher, infielders and coach prior to taking the field.  Mix up your signs regularly to keep your opponents on their toes.