If you’ve watched a baseball/softball or football game in the past few years, you have likely noticed that players will occasionally read something off of their wristbands during the game. If you’ve never used or seen one of these wristbands, you might be wondering exactly what they’re for or how they work.
In either sport, this system ensures that everyone works together and knows what to do when every second counts, and the information on the wristband could be the difference between success and failure.
Wrist Coaches in Baseball/Softball
At higher levels of baseball or softball, it’s not uncommon to see a catcher making all of the decisions as far as which pitches to call. But at lower levels, it’s much more common for the manager or pitching coach to call pitches from the dugout.
Since this can’t be communicated verbally, coaches will have to communicate via non-verbal signals. Traditionally, this required catchers and pitchers to memorize complicated sequences of signs corresponding to a pitch and pitch location, something anyone who has ever played or coached baseball knows all too well. Plus this opens you up to other teams potentially figuring out your signs
But with baseball wrist coaches, this process is drastically simplified. All the coach needs to communicate to his catcher is a few numbers. Those numbers correspond to positions on a grid, which the catcher has in his/her wristband, so all they have to do is find the corresponding spot on the grid and boom! Signal communicated.
This also makes signs harder for the other team to decipher, since they don’t have access to your grid. You just work in some “decoy” numbers along with the live ones, and make sure to change out your wrist cards as often as possible. Heck, you could print out multiple versions and switch them out between every inning if you want!
Wrist Coaches in Football
While the wrist coach has some great baseball applications, more people are probably familiar with the football wrist coach. After all, football requires much more communication between the coaches and the players, and unless you’re playing at a level where you can communicate via a helmet radio, you’re going to need a way to communicate non-verbally.
Teams have come up with plenty of different ways to do this, from old fashioned hand/arm signals to holding up signs with various pictures and symbols on them (some a bit more out there than others). But all of those methods require both players and coaches to memorize complicated signs in addition to their playbook, which is hard enough on its own, especially for younger players.
Enter the football wrist coach. Just like in baseball, this simplifies the process by a lot. Instead of communicating plays, coaches just need to communicate numbers. The quarterback find the play that corresponds to the number, passes it on to the team in the huddle, and then runs the play! Instead of wracking his brain trying to remember what play corresponds to which sign, the quarterback can focus on remembering the actual x’s and o’s of the play.
And just like in baseball, this makes it much harder for the other team to pick up your plays. You can mix up the way you communicate the numbers, and switch out your play grid every time your quarterback returns to the sidelines.
Team communication is an integral part of every sport, as is the challenge of hiding those communications from the other team. By combining traditional hand signals with a wrist coach system, communication between coaches and players is taken to new levels of efficiency and clarity.
Order your baseball wrist coaches, softball wrist coaches, and football wrist coaches from your friends at SteelLocker Sports, and be sure to speak with one of our team sales reps about bulk ordering discounts, so you can get your entire team on the same page!