As you have heard us say, and will continue to hear us say, the best catchers are the best teammates. No question.

In this latest installment of our How to Be a Great Teammate Series, we have something that is particularly important for catchers – #9: Never Take a Play Off. 

#9: Never Take a Play Off

Most teammates are not consistent. They have good days and bad days. One day they are in a great mood, and the next day they are in a bad mood. One day they are saying nice things about a teammate, and the next they are badmouthing someone. One day, they give a great effort, but the next day they slack off. One day they yell and scream, but the next day they laugh and goof off. When you are inconsistent, your team doesn’t know what to expect from you, and it makes it difficult for them to trust and count on you. To be a great teammate, you want to be consistent in your attitude, effort, and actions… Focus on becoming the best version of yourself every day. Don’t change with the wind; instead, be like a strong-rooted tree that does not waver, regardless of what is happening around it. Be the kind of teammate everyone knows they can trust and count on (Gordon, Jon (2015-04-24). The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate (pp. 57-58). Wiley. Kindle Edition). 

One of the best aspects of catching is that you get to be involved in every pitch. Baseball (or softball) are unique in that every player does not have direct involvement in every play. As a catcher, though, you literally handle the ball every pitch. That fact is one of the best aspects of catching, but it also means that you don’t have the same margin of error that other positions might have. 

If you want to be a great catcher, you cannot take a play (or pitch) off. Take some time to read the quote by Jon Gordon above closely as many times as you need to take it to heart. 

It’s easy to give your best effort on every pitch on the days when you feel great and/or are playing great. But what about the days you’re struggling? Or don’t feel good? Or your team is losing? Catchers who are unwavering in their effort – no matter the circumstances – are the ones who are great.

Another quote to build on this point comes from Derek Jeter, one of the greatest MLB players ever…

jeter-derek-doesnt-take-talen-to-work-hard

Your attitude and effort are within your control. You can choose to give your best on every pitch. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but no one ever said that striving for your best is easy.

If you want to be a great catcher you must be a great teammate. And, if you want to be a great teammate, then you need to be someone that your teammates can trust and count on no matter what. If you give your absolute best on every pitch and never take a play off, you’ll earn that trust from your teammates, and as a result, be a great teammate yourself.

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This blog post is part of series called How to Be a Great Teammate. This series features 21 different ways that you can be a great teammate from the book titled The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to Be a Great Teammate by Jon Gordon (click that link to view and buy the book on Amazon – it’s a must read!). Jon Gordon is an incredible resource and you can learn more about him at www.jongordon.com, and follow him on Twitter at @JonGordon11. To read more posts from this series feel free to click any of the links below!

  1. #1: Sweat More
  2. #2: Remember Well Done > Well Said
  3. #3: Choose to Be Humble and Hungry
  4. #4: Pursue Excellence
  5. #5: Share Positive Contagious Energy
  6. #6: Don’t Complain
  7. #7: Do It For Your Team, Not For Applause
  8. #8: Show You Are Committed

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