Friday Base Running Secrets – Essential base running practice
Baseball coaches generally spend a lot of time working on base running with running drills at first base – running to, leading off from first base and going to second-base. This is necessary practice, with continual practice good, but youth baseball coaches should not neglect practicing drills going from third base to home plate.
It is somewhat understandable because base runners are on third base so much less of the time than on first base, but it is no less important so players score runs, of course.
Third Base Running Drill
Coaches should line up a couple of extra bases at third, so more players than just one can practice at the same time. One coach on the mound pitches to a catcher and one coach stands at home with a bat to hit balls, not the pitched ball.
Base runners at third take lead off, a few steps in foul territory and relatively short at beginning; usually as far from the base as the third baseman is away from the bag. When the pitcher starts motion home, players take a walking lead in foul ground, trying to time the landing of their right foot with the ball reaching the hitting zone.
Coach informs runners of game situation, especially how many outs there are. Coach on the mound can occasionally throw balls wildly and in the dirt, so runners have to decide whether they should attempt to run home and to learn to anticipate wild pitches, when on base.
On good coach-pitched balls, the coach with the bat then hits a ground ball, line drive, fly ball or swing and miss. Depending on what the coach hits or does not hit, players decide what they must do at third base – run, hold up, tag up.
Once again, it is very difficult to get enough experience from being on third base in games, so this type practice drill is necessary to score as many runs as possible, and to win games.