Friday Base Running Tips –Game of Inches Indeed

It is a trite saying, but so true, “Baseball is a game of inches.” When players short themselves just a foot or two, or that inch or two, it may show up as an out, when the opposite could have been the result. Often, this inch lost is by leadoff  mistakes from each of the bases.

 Keys to Correct Leadoffs

 First Base Leadoff Mistakes

  1. Too short of lead off – players should get a consistent three and a half step lead of first
  2. Leading off behind the base (back towards right field) – at first, players should line up even with the back portion of the base but not behind it
  3. Stagger feet – players should keep their feet in a direct line towards second so going either way on a moment’s notice is possible

Second Base Leadoff Mistakes 
leadoff mistakes

  1. Too far back towards left field – two steps back towards left field is enough and no more
  2. Not moving back to base line when thinking of stealing third base
  3. Failing to listen to coach for players sneaking in for pickoffs – players must listen to the third base coach for pickoff plays, so as not to take their eye off the pitcher
 Third base Leadoff Mistakes
  1. In fair territory – players should be in foul territory and move down the line in foul territory on the pitched ball
  2. On pitcher’s delivery, failing to get a walking lead – players should be walking towards home on the pitch with their right foot landing as the ball reaches the hitting zone
  3. Failing to anticipate wild pitch or passed ball – even a split second delay from third may make it too late to go and score


Finally, another trite saying but also true and necessary to remember, “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”

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