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Dugout Responsibilities - 10 Simple Verbal Communications

Posted by Rick Johnston on Mon, May 13, 2013 @ 10:30 AM


It is more than just idle chatter!

How many times have you watched an MLB game and noticed the number of times the camera will zone in on a player or players in the dugout? You may be asking yourself "What is he thinking about?" or "What are they discussing?" I will bet the answer is not the same answer as the one you would get from an amateur game!

Clearly, when observing a professional game, you will see very little chatter on the bench during a game. If there is chatter, I can almost guarantee the chatter will be about the game, the pitcher or situation. Conversely, the next time you are around an amateur game, take note of the needless, mindless and irrelevant chatter. Chatter that actually takes the mind of the game away from the game and shifts it into a space that will not promote success. So, if every player plays the game to succeed, then the following are just a few of the basic responsibilities that MLB players chatter about during a game.

  1. They will watch the warm up pitches and game pitches of each pitcher and relay information to their teammates.
  2. They will try to pick up pitch tendencies and discuss amongst each other.
  3. They will talk about what they saw with each pitch.
  4. Will look for and discuss any differences from the full wind up to the stretch.
  5. Will discuss the type of move or lack of move the pitcher has.
  6. Will discuss where the corner infielders like to play in the event they can attempt a bunt for a hit.
  7. Will look for and discuss how middle infielders take throws on double plays.
  8. Will discuss strengths and weaknesses of the opposition as they try and get the advantage.
  9. Will listen for any type of verbal communication or verbal cues and phrases for potential giveaways to ball direction.
  10. Will always be there to support and give encouragement to teammates during the game, not just when they score a run.

It really does not matter whether one player is of amateur status, playing the game recreationally or a professional player, playing the game for a living. What matters is taking care of the responsibilities in the dugout before and during a game. So next time you are suiting up leave the idle chatter to someone else and make the most of your time on the bench. You have a responsibility to help your team win and those opportunities are presenting themselves each and every moment of a game.


Rick Johnston, Co-Founder - The Baseball Zone