Friday Base Running Tips
Great Base Running Tool is Right in Pocket
Years ago, coaches had to go out and buy a stopwatch, which has many good and fun uses for baseball. Now, coaches just have to reach into their pocket and pull to their cell phones in order to have a stopwatch. What could be easier?
With a stopwatch in hand and out of the pocket, baseball coaches should use it to help kids run the bases better and for conditioning purposes.
- Time players to first base after hitting the ball – baseball coaches should time kids in practice after their swing, without hitting a ball, and compare it to their times to first in games, after hitting a ball. Often, players lose time in games by watching the ball too much or by losing balance while hitting. Coaches should point out to players that they are losing time in games because of those reasons.
- Time players from home to second base – baseball coaches should do the same as above with timing players to second base for the same reasons plus the possibility they are not rounding the bases correctly.
- Time players from first to third after their secondary lead – many ballplayers do not take the correct secondary lead off, which is after the pitched ball, leading to slow first to third times.
- Time players on a steal of second base – for obvious reasons coaches can use this information to see what kind of jumps players have, when stealing bases. Players are often surprised that the fastest runners do not always have the best times; the best base stealers are those, who learn to read the pitchers move and have a quick first step.
Of course, these are just some of the uses of the stopwatch that baseball coaches should take advantage of to help ballplayers run the bases correctly.