To Be a Successful Player You Must...

By Ryan Sienko

The first of two parts. This outstanding checklist bullet-points everything needed to be a successful pitcher, hitter and teammate.


Be On Time
Come to Practice and Games Dressed Correctly
Come To Practice and Games Mentally Prepared to Get Better and COMPETE
Do Your Job (move runners over, get runners in, catch the ball, do your field work)
Have Focus on the Task at Hand
Know Where the Ball is at All Times
Run the Bases Hard
Be Prepared
Be Relentless
Want the Ball or Want to be the Man Up at the Plate when the Game is on the Line
Properly Warm Up and Loosen Up Daily to Avoid Injuries
Play Fundamental Baseball
Always Pick Your Teammates Up
Always Encourage Your Teammates
Always Congratulate Your Teammates
Take Responsibility for your OWN Actions
Look at Yourself to Help the Team BEFORE You Look to Others to do it
Take Care or Your Body and Prepare it During the Off-Season and Maintain it During the Season
Understand that Every Day is a New Opportunity to Get Better
Understand that Every Day is a New Opportunity to Succeed
Take Pride in Your Pre and Post Game Field Responsibilities
Prepare for the next game starts as soon as the last out of the present game is made.
Understand what the game today taught you about how you will prepare tomorrow
Alert the coaches quickly if you were injured
Plan Ahead if You need added time tomorrow to get prepared
Realize That EVERY PLAYER has an Important Role to OUR TEAM SUCCESS


Prepare Your Body During the Off-Season to be Ready from Day 1 of the Season
Be Mentally Prepared for Every Outing
Be Willing to Make Physical Adjustments to your Delivery
Be Willing to Change
Repeat Your Delivery on All of Your Pitches
Be Able to Recognize Quickly when You are NOT Repeating Your Delivery and Make and Adjustment
Be Able to ACCELERATE Through Every Pitch
Locate Low & Away Fastball to Right Handed Hitters
Locate Fastballs Up and In to Right Hand Hitters
Be Able to Throw First Pitch Strikes
Throw a Breaking Ball for Strike
Be Able to Field Your Position
Be Able to Give Quick and Accurate Throws to All Bases on Comebackers
Point Out and Be Vocal to help the Catcher Locate the Ball on Wild Pitches
Understand & Execute Horns Plays & Coverages
Be Able to Focus & Concentrate on Task at Hand
Be Able to Throw an Off-Speed Pitch
Focus on getting ahead of Each Batter
Make the Batter Put ONE of the First THREE Pitches in Play
Work at a Pace the Keeps Your Defense In the Game
Be Able to Get the Ball to Home Plate From Your 1st Movement In UNDER 1.4 Seconds
Be Able to Control the Running Game by HOLDING THE BALL
Be Able to Give the Catcher a Good Feed on Pitch Outs
Execute 0-2/1-2 Pitches
Execute an Elevated Fastball over the MIDDLE of the Plate
Have a Pre-Pitch Routine to Get you Prepared to Execute the Next Pitch

Understand How to Prepare for a Start
How Much Time You need Before a Game. This will consist of:
How much time do you need for stretch including running, cords, light dumbbells
How much time do you need to play catch
How much time do you need to do towel drills
How much time do you need to do work on the mound
How much time do you need based on if you are a visiting pitcher vs. the home pitcher
What pitches will you throw in the bullpen
Fastballs-How Many
Curveballs -How Many
Change Ups -How Many
Secondary Pitches (2 Seamer, Cutter, etc.) -How Many
Do you want to throw any Pitch Outs
Do you want to throw any Strikeout pitches
Do you want to throw any 0-2 Breaking Balls
Do you want to throw any Sequences
Do you want to throw a simulation to the first couple hitters in the line up (This is a tool used by many guys to that they feel that they have already faced them when they get in the game for the first inning).
Anything else that you can think of!
Complete ALL of the Required Day After Pitching Recovery Program


Be Aggressive
Be Willing to Change
Have a Plan at the Plate and Have the Discipline to Execute Your Plan
See the Ball and Get the Information from the Pitch (Pitch Type, Pitch Speed, & Pitch Location)
Know what Pitches the Pitcher Throws
Watch in Bullpen and during Warm Ups
Know what Pitches the Pitcher can Throw for a Strike
Can he locate his breaking ball for a strike or is it usually a ball or in the dirt?
Know WHERE the Pitcher is Locating his Pitches
Stay Inside the Ball
Keep Your Swing Short to the Ball
Stay Through the Ball
Swing the Bat HARD
Be Able to Execute a Sacrifice Bunt
Be Able to Execute a Hit & Run
Be Able to Drive the Ball the Other Way
Be Able to Get a Runner in From 3rd Base with Less Than 2 Outs
Shorten & Compact Your Swing
Make Adjustments During At Bats and During the Game
Watch how the Pitcher Pitches to Similar hitters
Let the Bat Head Lag and Explode through the Strike Zone
Consistently Hit Line Drives in Batting Practice
Approach your Swing to Middle/The Other Way
Keep the Ball Fair in Batting Practice
Hit the Ball with Backspin
Consistently Hit “Your Pitch” Hard During the Game
Have the Discipline to Swing only at Strikes
Have Balance Throughout the Swing
Drive Forward Through the Ball


Be Able to Play Catch at 30, 60, 90, & 120 Feet
Move your Feet to the Ball
Know, Understand, and Be Able to Execute All Coverages
Be Able to Execute a Rundown Correctly
Stay in Front of the Ball
Hit the Cut-Off Man (Outfielders)
Communicate Outs After EVERY HITTER
Call for the Ball
Echo all Calls from the Catcher
Next issue: “Musts” to be a successful outfielder, infielder and catcher

Ryan is the founder of Catch & Throw and also is the Catching Coordinator for the 2017 & 2018 National League Champions, and 2020 World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.  He held the position of Assistant Catching Coordinator for the Los Angeles Dodgers from January 2015 to Oct 2018.  Ryan can be reached at

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