Volunteer Assistant University of Alabama at Birmingham
NOTE: Coach Polk is the author of the best selling baseball instructional text of all time, get your Baseball Playbook now!
Remember the old Abbott and Costello Baseball routine? You know the one... "Who's on First"? Miscommunication at its funniest! But, when you're on the baseball field, there's nothing funny about being confused. A good baseball signs and signal system allows a Coach to communicate quickly and effectively with his athletes. What makes for effective baseball signals? (So glad you asked!) That's what Coach Ron Polk of Mississippi State will tell you in this video series. First rule: Keep it simple. The simplest thing for you to do right now is to watch Coach Polk as he offers up humor and reality in discussing effective baseball signs and signals systems.
The Coach, that's who. Players depend on the Coach to know the game - inside and out. That's why a coach has to develop baseball signs and signals that feel comfortable - that allow players to respond without being distracted. Coach Polk offers up humor and reality in this introduction to baseball offensive signal systems.
Don't know? Then your baseball signs and signals may be too complicated. The key is to keep it simple. Start with a sign that says "Pay Attention" and then develop the baseball signs and signals that your athletes can quickly recognize and act on.
If your athletes don't know, then they've forgotten their responsibilities in the game. It's not just a game of watching for the right sign. Players have a responsibility to know the "no-brainers" of the game - and the confidence to make the call.
That's not just the shortstop's name.... it's exactly what players will think if a coach's signals cause confusion more than giving direction. Coach Polk gives some tips on how to keep signals to a minimum while keeping communication at a maximum.
Well, you're right. He was - because there was too much chatter and no communication. Here's some sound advice on making baseball signs and signals changes without making players "batty".
Early in the count. No jump. No go. The steal is on. Don't leave your batter asking who, what, or feeling like he doesn't know the plan. Coach Polk goes through the options and related baseball signals that will keep the batter swinging...or not... depends on the signal.
(Okay, so I ran out of Abbott-and-Costello-ish titles.) It's 2 and 0. You want the Hit and Run. Got to take the "Steal" off and put the "Hit and Run" on. Coach demonstrates the "take sign" and discusses ways to minimize excessive signaling so that players stay focused and alert.
Wow! Look at those hands go! It looks so complicated! Ha! Most of those moves are meaningless. Coach explains which signals mean action - and how to use signals to "misdirect" the opposition.