Friday Base Running Secrets – Learning when to Look
Valuable time and wrong decisions occur when base runners do not know when to look for the ball or base coach. Various base running mistakes result when kids run the bases are:
Base runners who:
- Watch the ball or the base coach all the time when running
- Never Look for the ball or coach
- Round base too much or too little
- Look for ball or coach at the wrong times
- Slow down when looking for ball or coach
- Does not know when to begin their slide into base
Base running, as all aspects of baseball, has many little intricacies that are necessary for success. Many players, coaches, and observers take for granted the little things that go into base running. Coaches must not accept these base-running mistakes. The following drill helps solve the above base running mistakes.
Baseball Drill to Create Better Base Runners
Coaches gather a few objects as players’ baseball mitts to set on the ground. These objects are designated “find ball or find coach” points. For this drill, players run full speed towards the next base. Whenever there is a glove on their path, they immediately look up to find ball or look at the base coach. The baseball mitts are set on ground, in close eyesight range, but not directly on the base paths. This drill teaches players how to come out of the batter’s box, round bases and when to look for ball or base coach. The object on the ground base running drill can be used for designating when players should slide, also.
Base Running Drill
- Set a ball glove down about five from home.
- Another set of about four gloves are set in a banana shape for the correct path that base runners would round first base.
- Another glove is set a step past first base, while another is set on the ground about two-thirds of the way to second base.
- After swinging, players begin at full speed out of the batter’s box towards first base. When they get to the first glove, they look to find the ball, which the coach throws somewhere after the player has begun running. If they see an infielder fielding the ball, they put their head down and run on a direct path through first base.
- If the ball is to the outfield, they round the base by taking the path around the set of gloves. After watching the base as they touch it, players look to find the ball (a glove is set there). If they do not see the ball, they immediately look at the third base coach, or listen for the first base coach.
- When runners notice, or hear from coach, that the ball is coming back to the infield, they stop and get back to first base. If not, they continue to second base.
- When they arrive at the next glove, about two thirds from second base, they look for the third base coach for instructions to stop, round, or proceed to third base.
- The same procedure of a glove on the ground close third base can also be done, of course.
Once again, when players see a glove on the ground, they immediately look for the ball or coach. Otherwise, they should have their head focused on a direct line to the next base. After a period, players learn to look at these designated times without using designators, which is the reason for the drill. This drill may sound complicated but it is not, once it has been tried.