10 Questions with Minor League Catcher Ryan Hissey


I’ve had the opportunity to add Ryan Hissey to our staff as a CBI coach for our camps and lessons. He’s great with the kids and a natural at teaching this complex game in a way that our youth players can understand and apply. Check out my interview with Ryan to get a deeper understanding of what it takes to play at the next level.

1. At what age were you when used started to specialize in catching?

I have been catching since I started playing baseball at age 5. My dad caught his whole life and actually continues to today. I began putting all of my focus into catching sine 8th grade.

2. What was it that drew you to this position?

Well I was always a little chunky growing up so my options were limited. But as a grew older, the reason I stuck with that position was because I was involved in every single pitch and regardless of how I performed offensively, I could positively affect the game on the defensive side.

3. Catching is a very dynamic position you not only have to call pitches
communicate with the coach communicate with your infielders receive the ball block the ball throw runners out you’re expected to hit you’re expected to catching entire game squatting behind dish when they may go through three or four pictures in one game. For you, what is the hardest part being a catcher?

The hardest part of being a catcher is consistently arriving day in and day out considering you are the most important person on the field. It is the only position that faces the playing field and like I said earlier, you are involved in every single pitch. With that being said, it is easy to wear down and not mentally arrive to a game. That is why a routine for every game is so important. Skills will grow as you get older, but baseball is an extremely mental game and if that can be perfected, you are already ahead of most other players.

4. What is your favorite part about Being catcher?

My favorite part of being a catcher is being the general on the field.

5. Who was the hardest pitcher to catch and why?

I can’t give a definitive answer, but I can give you a more general answer. The worst pitchers to catch are the ones who are erratic and who don’t listen to you. Speed and movement are manageable once you’ve seen someone more than once. But if a pitcher cant throw his FB to the correct side of the plate or throw his offspeed for strikes, good like finding a catcher who will work for you. As a catcher though, its important to know each pitchers personality and what you can do to help them.

6. Have you ever been in a major collision at home plate?

I have not, but someone has jumped over me before.

7. You played three years for William and Mary as a Division 1 catcher before you got drafted. How you able to balance you’re time playing a Full Division I schedule and going to a higher academic school like William and Mary?

The secret behind balancing an in-season schedule is planning. If youre able to schedule out your semester (which you normally are) then you get into a routine and from there its easy. Once its planned out, youll be able to prepare and even work ahead for those tough weeks. Also, the other key is doing work on road trips. Ive spent countless hours in the hotel before a game studying or writing a paper.

8. Who were the most influential people and players/Coaches in your career?

Growing up, my Dad was my most influential person when it came to baseball. He has played his whole life and so naturally loved the game, so it was fun being able to share that with him. He was never tough on me and never pressured me into playing, he just helped me as I went. As I continued on in my career, I began looking up to my brothers Pete and Dave as well. They both played professionally which helped me understand things as I moved into proball.

9. What is your favorite memory that playing baseball growing up?

My favorite memory of baseball growing up is when our family would play games in the field behind our house. We called it “Poison Ivy Park” and it was playable until I was about 13 and outgrew it.

10. Do you have any advice for Young catchers that want to play at the collegiate level?

Yes. Have fun. Don’t take the game too seriously. There are times to work hard and get better but there are also times to just enjoy the sport, the places it takes you, and the friends you make along the way. Even play other sports. Sometimes taking a few months off from baseball is the best thing for you.

Do you have any questions about playing baseball at the next level? Be sure to leave a comment below.

Stay on plane…

About CoachK

Owner and head instructor at Colonial Baseball Instruction. CBI serves Southern VA with baseball camps and private lessons. CBI also developed My Coach: Baseball App and sells a variety of baseball training aids.