“I got it!”

Unless you have a team of good gloves, a high flyball can make you chew your lip, hold your breath and sometimes pull your hair out. Your alert fielders race toward the spot where they expect the ball to land, but they have as good a chance of conking heads as of actually catching the ball. Part of the problem is lack of communication on the field. A player might call for it, but will teammates back off or will they continue to hone in on the ball? Or will both run to the ball and then back off, letting it drop between them?

Teaching field communication can be a challenge, but as players grow up they need to learn to talk to each other to avoid this type of unnecessary error. It’s probably not an area where you spend a lot of time during practice–and probably an area where you wish you’d spent more when that fly ball takes to the sky.

Here’s an article from qcbaseball.com that explains how to teach your players the basics of communicating on the field and which player has priority on a ball, depending on where it’s hit. The writer suggests a system of commands in which the priority player–say, a right fielder coming in on a ball that the first and second basemen are going back to catch–can override another player’s “I got it” call by shouting “Get out!”

The writer also suggests that players confirm another player’s call for the ball. By shouting “You, you, you,” a player notifies the teammate that he’s heard the call and won’t try for the catch. How many times have we seen two players call for the ball and then both back away at the last second? With this confirmation system in place, coaches won’t have to pull their hair out after such gaffes.

Check out the article and decide if this system of defensive field calls is right for your team. Maybe it will save your hair.

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