Are you buying youth catchers gear just because your young baseball or softball player wants some new catchers equipment? Here’s the attitude from a coach, someone who has been around the professional baseball catchers and the beginners alike. Make sure of why you are making a new purchase.
If you have a young man playing the position of catcher, you have a challenge on your hands. I can’t speak much for softball catchers, but I have been a baseball catcher and I have coached the position for several years. The young kids are my favorite players because they just don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.
Many of these young players want to play the position of catcher, but what I find incredibly interesting is why they really want to be a catcher. What makes them want to sweat behind the chest protector? Why do they want to don shin guards and the rest of the catchers gear? Nobody wants to suit up every day during the season and certainly nobody wants to work as hard as the position demands.
Why then do kids want to be a catcher?
I was a catcher all my life and I have been fortunate to have made my living playing baseball. I do not think I wanted to be a catcher. I mean that is not how I started, but when thrown into that role, I just found a home. i started to shine, but more important I became me. My role and all catchers position roles require leadership and when most kids want to hide behind the catchers gear, some have the burning desire to be leaders. Does your young baseball want to be a leader or is he just wanting to hide behind the catchers gear?
Many players start out hiding. The chest protector offers some sanctuary. The catchers mask can be a good resort, but add a catchers helmet and you have a full time tenant. Watch for the signs and work with the players when they are young. You may discover a gem among all the impostors and you may see that hiding may just turn into a temporary place to find themselves until a more opportune situation presents itself.
One issue with youth sports and catchers gear is the equipment. I know it is a pain and I also realize it is expensive, but pay attention to the fit. Make sure your catcher can do the job you require and is not out for a swim with catchers gear that has been handed down. Get the adjustments right so the chances of success are entirely reliant on the player and nor subject to your lack of attention as a coach and a parent.
I for one would never ask for the job of coaching the position of catcher. The #2 mark on the scorecard must do something to young men in that position. Maybe they want to be #1 so bad that they are volatile and ferocious and stubborn and just plain tough kids. Come to think of it, are not these all the traits we need as leaders, including those for all baseball catchers?