Real Life Leadership Skills: The Catcher Hypothesis
On the field, the coach is the omnipresent leader that all players look to for answers. Their role is to draw out our player’s skills, and teach them to be humble with the ability to succeed.
All players on the team play significant roles; from infield to outfield, at bat, to on the bench. However, there is one player on the team who has a much different perspective of the game: the catcher.
The catcher's perspective on the field provides a unique view that the other players do not observe. This daunting perspective is only then amplified by the realization of what role the catcher plays: deciding pitch style, keeping track opponents’ base running, defensive alignment, and so on — all while making quick decisions.
The instructiveness and mastery of multitasking this position requires develops key leadership skills seen across executive ranking positions throughout a vast variety of industries.
The catcher role on and off the field acts as a launching pad for leadership. The role lends itself to a unique position: catchers are the only players on the field that face their entire team; they are closest to not only the opponent, but also to the start of the action; catcher’s are tasked with keeping track of the game as it plays out in front of them.
Aside from leading their team, a catcher must know the strengths and weaknesses of the entire team in order to provide the best chance at victory. Alongside the pitcher, the catcher can control the tempo of the game by either speeding up or slowing down the game to minimize the opponent’s momentum. What happens behind the plate doesn’t stay there, it is the catcher’s responsibility to communicate where the ball is and needs to be during every play.
Need more proof? There are two members of a team that have the unique perspective of being able to see the whole game played out in front of them: the manager and the catcher. Out of the 30 major-league baseball teams in North America. Nearly all managers have played baseball professionally — the majority of those managers played as catchers. Coincidence? We think not.
No matter what position you play, it is important to remember that without the backing of a team, success is dependent on all players cooperating together.