Catching the Ball with Your Mouth: Communication is Key to Defensive Play

Posted in: Team Results, Success Stories

Infield-Outfield Cues: Shout Out

As an outfielder, the ball is hit over your head. You run after the ball, your back to the plate. How do you know where to throw the ball once you field it?

A sky-high fly is hit behind second base. The ball hangs in the air about 20 feet from the infield dirt. The shortstop runs toward it. The second baseman runs toward it. The center fielder runs toward it. If you’re one of them, how do you know or decide who’s catching the ball?

A batter hits a fly ball to right field in foul territory. You, as right fielder, chase the fly toward the fence. As you focus on chasing the ball, you’re not aware of your field position. How do you know whether you’re nearing the fence?

These questions can be answered with one word: communication.

When a ball is put into play, it’s important that all players relay the call. For example, if the play is to throw the ball to second base, everyone yells “two-two-two,” over and over.

When a fly is hit, whoever wants the right to attempt to catch the ball needs to  make the call. To call a fly ball, you usually would yell “I got it, I got it,” or, “ball-ball-ball,” or, “mine-mine-mine.” It’s important that you repeat the call as many times as possible. When a teammate is chasing a fly ball near the fence, you’d say “fence” to advise him he’s getting close to the fence. Or, “room” or “you’ve got room” to let him know he can keep running after the ball. “Out of play” lets him know the ball is outside the park enclosure. Remember, when you communicate on the field, you need to be loud, clear, and repetitive.

Can you recall a time when your loud communication assisted a fellow player on a key play? Or, did a fellow player help you? How, and what was the outcome? ~ By Coach Jorge Pichardo. Coach Pichardo, a Dig In Baseball coaching alum, batted .324 over his college career, hitting 71 RBIs in 477 at-bats. Contact him at