I met Benji Johnson at the age of 14. At the time I was just looking for someone to help me learn a few things about catching. In only on lesson, Benji had sealed my passion for catching. Unkowingly, I had discovered the best thing that could happen to my baseball experience. I have never met a catching coach like him.
The first thing I noticed about Benji was how he is an expert in the mechanics of catching, and also an expert in communicating the reasons behind the mechanics. Whether we are working on receiving, blocking or throwing Benji has always helped me practice doing the drills correctly and to understand the benefits of doing it one way over another.
Benji's focus on mechanics has helped me get over many hurdles along the way. If I have something happen in a game that didn't feel right, I have always been able to take it to Benji to help me tweak it back into shape. Most times he figures it out in the first few minutes of observing or discussing. If it takes longer, then we work through it with repetition and discussion until we are both comfortable with the result.
I'm now 19. I have worked with Benji for 5 years now and I can't thank him enough for everything he has done for me.
When I first started working with Benji my pop time was consistently around 2.2 or so. Now I am consistently around 1.95 and playing in college. My high school coach recently told me I hold the best percentage of caught stealing in the school's history. Of course, catching isn't all about the numbers and Benji stresses the importance of receiving, blocking, and leaderships for catchers as well as the mental side of the game. I've been told by most pitchers that throw to me that they love when I catch for them because of the strike calls I am able to get, especially the low pitch, and because they aren't afraid to throw in the dirt with me behind the plate. Blocking has been developed into the best part o my game since I have worked with Benji. I have been told by countless coaches that I just have a natural nose for the ball in the dirt (my proudest accomplishment). Benji has taught me how important it is to have a strong work ethic, to play hard, and to play the game the right way. With Benji's help I improved in all aspects of the game. It goes beyond catching. I gained a greater knowledge and appreciation of the game.