"Flip the Switch!"
Some of the fondest memories of my childhood were spending the occasional Saturday afternoon watching a movie with my dad. On one of those Saturday's the featured matinee was 1987's "Over the Top" starring Sly Stallone.
To summarize the movie (from IMDB): "Lincoln Hawk (Stallone) is a struggling trucker who arm wrestles on the side to make extra cash while trying to rebuild his life. After the death of his wife, he tries to make amends with his son who he left behind 10 years earlier. Upon their first meeting, his son does not think too highly of him until he enters the World Arm Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas. His hope is to receive the grand prize of $100,000 and an expensive current custom semi-truck and thus start his own trucking company."
During the movie, Stallone's character is interviewed by a TV crew at the World Arm Wrestling Championships. He is asked about his hat and here's his response:
"What I do is I just try to take my hat and I turn it around, and it's like a switch that goes on. And when the switch goes on, I feel like another person..."
Catcher's, some of you may not be the most vocal people in real life. To some of you speaking in public can be downright terrifying. Others of you may be too afraid to make a mistake, so the quiet demeanor you carry with you out to the field reflects that cautious approach.
What I want you to understand is that a "switch" needs to turn on the second that mask goes on your head. You need to walk out there with a bit of a chip on your shoulder, and you must take charge!
Leadership is part of the job, and while leading by example is absolutely the best way to demonstrate to your teammates how the game should be played, those same teammates need you to speak up. They need the catcher to take charge on the field. We have so much going on in front of us that other players cannot see. If we aren't using that information to help our teammates, the other team is gaining an advantage.
Make a point to be the first player on the field to let your teammates know how many outs there are. Be loud and clear when calling out the base to let your teammates know where the throw needs to go. Make sure you are the first one to tell a teammate who just committed an error, "don't worry about it, get the next one!" And if you see your teammates hanging their heads or not paying attention, be the first person to get their attention back where it needs to be.
When the mask goes on....FLIP THE SWITCH! Your team will thank you.