How to Give Signs and Transition to a Receiving Stance

Written by on December 2, 2015 in Catching, Catching, Drills / Training - 2 Comments

I wanted to write a quick post to detail some of the important aspects of giving signs as a catcher. Giving signs is relatively easy but small mistakes can lead to the other team stealing signs and the pitcher becoming frustrated. Signs also encourage pitchers and catchers to think through counts and situations for themselves. In this post I’ll discuss the importance of learning to give signs even at a young age and some key components to being a great signal caller.

All Catchers Should Give Signs!

At our weekly Catchers Class, two of the first things we cover are the signals stance and how to give signs. I am shocked at the number of kids under twelve years old who do not give signs in their games. When asked why, most of them respond by saying “Our pitchers only throw fastballs.” I usually respond with a “So what?” This means a couple of things for youth baseball. First, many youth pitchers are not learning to locate their fastball because the catcher just gives a target right down the middle regardless of count or situation. Secondly, catchers are not being encouraged to communicate with their pitchers or think through counts and situations by giving signs and moving to various locations. If you are a coach of young catchers, I encourage you to have them give signs to the pitcher and to guide them in understanding their role in the success of the pitching staff.

The Signals Stance

The goal of the signals stance is to communicate a clear plan to the pitcher while disallowing any opposing players or coaches from stealing the signs. There are a few simple keys to giving quality signs. Refer to the video below for a visual.

  1. Make sure that the knees and feet are close together with the midline of the catcher slightly turned to the left of the pitcher. This ensures that the signs will be hidden from the 1st base coach.
  2. Place the glove just outside the left knee in order to shield the view of the 3rd base coach.
  3. Keep signs high and tight to the body in order to keep the fingers hidden.
  4. Give clear and deliberate signs to avoid being crossed up
  5. Use multiple signs with runners on 2nd base to prevent the stealing of signs and stolen bases on off-speed pitches.

Moving From Signals Stance to Receiving Stance

After the pitcher has received the sign from the catcher, it is important that the catcher move to the proper position in a fashion that helps the pitcher as much as possible. This can mean different things depending on the pitcher. Some pitchers prefer to have the catcher set up early so that they can get a clear look at the mitt as they begin their delivery. Other pitchers want to reduce the risk of hitters and coaches knowing the location so they prefer to have their catchers move to the spot later. Below is a video explaining this concept and showing the two most common ways of moving into the receiving stance.

Thank you for reading!

Gabe Dimock – Baseball Rebellion Catching Instructor

About the Author

Gabe Dimock is the 2nd instructor to be certified in Baseball Rebellion and I.T.S. Baseball’s Hitting System. He has worked at Baseball Rebellion since 2013 and in that time has built a solid local reputation as a gifted hitting and catching instructor. Gabe Dimock’s first article was published on BaseballRebellion.com in 2014 and his contribution to lessons and technique has been invaluable since joining the staff. Gabe is the coordinator and head instructor of the I.T.S. Baseball Catching Class, helping develop catching technique behind the plate for kids of all ages. Gabe Dimock played catcher at Appalachian State University with a great story of work ethic and perseverance. Gabe originally started playing for the club baseball team, leading the team to 2 regional berths, the team’s first ever World Series, and earned team MVP his sophomore year. Gabe, then made the varsity team, and started his senior season and was named team MVP. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S. in exercise science. Wish you could learn and train with Gabe Dimock? Now you can by signing up for Baseball Rebellion's Online Hitting Lessons!

2 Comments on "How to Give Signs and Transition to a Receiving Stance"

  1. Evan December 6, 2015 at 10:51 am · Reply

    can you guys make an article about addison russell and his change from an early toe touch stride to a leg kick and how that affected his overall hitting performance?

    • Gabe Dimock December 7, 2015 at 3:21 pm · Reply

      Evan,

      Thanks for the comment. Russell’s change is certainly something that we noticed. We’ll definitely look into it as an article idea. Thanks for your input!

      -Gabe Dimock

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