Base Running Instincts Drill
Learning the Speed Limit with this Drill
Developing base running instincts is necessary for ballplayers over all game development. Coaches should use the drill below to develop players that have those good base running instincts.
When I teach base running to youth, one of my first questions is, “What determines a good base runner?” Inevitably, one of the first answers is running speed. I proceed to tell kids that it is not how fast one can run, but it is, “knowing your speed” that counts. Many base runners fail to factor in their own speed, which costs them when making base running decisions. Players must realize and be realistic about their own speed when running the bases.
Developing good base running instincts is not easy for coaches as some players have them and others do not. Additionally, some players do not get enough game-type running experience because they are not on base as often as others are; this drill helps.
- Set up a couple extra first bases and second bases so a few runners (with helmets on) can be running at the same time
- Have runners lead off before the coach rolls a ball away from the first baseman (different distances each time, of course) – runners decide if they should take off for second or not, based on how far the ball was rolled away.
- First baseman retrieves ball and throws to second to see who would have beat the throw or not.
- This drill gives players an understanding of:
- how different players compare in speed
- their own speed
- developing good base running instincts on balls that get away from fielders
- Coaches can make the drill more sophisticated, if they want, by adding extra back-up fielders and/or by adding game situations (score and outs), which often determine if players should take the chance to run or not.