How to Give Baseball Signals

Do you want to learn how to give baseball signals? If you're coaching a Little League team or playing on a community baseball team, you may want to incorporate baseball signals into your game. Signals help the coach communicate with the team, giving direction and increasing the amount of strategy possible. Depending on the age of the players on the team and the willingness to participate, you can create a signal system as complex or simple as you see fit.

Standard Baseball Signals
Some of the most common baseball signs are the following:

  • Bunt: Coach touches his belt
  • Steal: Coach touches his leg
  • Hit and Run: Coach touches his chest

However, most players on the opposing team will already know these signals, which defeats the purpose of giving signals in the first place. In order to make your signals work for you, you'll need to make up a signal that means "Pay attention to the signal coming up - It's the real one." This can be a touch to your cap, a nod or whatever works best for your players. Then your players know when you're telling them to steal and when you're simply scratching your leg because you have a mosquito bite.

Pitcher and Catcher Communication
Coaches often deliver signals to the catcher, who then delivers signals to the rest of the team on the field. Catchers and pitchers also communicate back and forth about pitches and strategy, sometimes with the coach's instruction, sometimes outside of the coach's instruction. Usually catchers and pitchers communicate about the following things:

  • Type of pitch desired
  • Location of pitch

To throw off the other team, the catcher will have a specific sign he'll throw before completing the real sign. For example, the catcher may touch his chest to indicate this sign is real, then give the sign. A few typical signals used by many catchers are the following:

  • Fastball: One finger pointing down
  • Slider: Two fingers pointing down
  • Change Up: Three fingers pointing down
  • Second Set of Signs: Pounding twice in mitt before making the sign

Make Sure Everyone Knows the Signs
You'll have to drill the players on the signals to make sure everyone knows what means what. The last thing you want is to have confused, distracted players trying to figure out what the signals mean while and important play is in process. If the signals become too complicated, scale back the number of signals your team uses.

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