Read these 9 Base Running Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Baseball tips and hundreds of other topics.
To be an excellent base runner, you must master the secondary lead. After the pitch is thrown, the runner is to take his secondary lead, to gain ground on the next base as well as gain momentum. It is easy to get lazy on the secondary lead for it takes hustle to get back if the pitch is not hit.
To know if a runner has the ability to steal second base, take the time of the pitcher's stretch delivery (from the first movement until the ball hits the catcher's glove) and add 2 seconds (for an exceptional catcher's throw). If that time is greater than the average time for that base stealer to run from first to second...then send him!
Even if you are not fast, you can be a good base runner. Three basic rules :
1. Always be alert. Know the outs and counts and run the bases accordingly.
2. Be relaxed and on the balls of your feet. Again, even if you are not fast, being in the proper position to bolt will maximize what you have.
3. Be aggressive. The best base runners have controlled aggression. They run the bases hard and they know the situation. Hustle counts!
If a left handed pitcher takes a long time delivering the ball on a pick-off attempt you might want to try stealing second off the pitcher's first move. That is, attempting a steal as soon as the pitcher lifts his front leg. If he throws to first, the first baseman still has to make a quick exchange and a good throw to second to get you out. If he throws home, you should have an easy steal since you got an outstanding jump.
Learn to slide properly. Whether it is a head first slide or a feet first slide, the slide is a play that can potentially injure a player if not done properly. Cuts, bruises, jammed fingers and wrists are only some of the injuries that can occur without proper technique. If you have not been schooled in sliding, go to a camp that will teach you the proper way. This will prevent injuries throughout your career.
When stealing a base, you need a great jump for second, but not for third. To steal second, put your right foot a couple inches back so you turn and go in only one step. For third, get as much of a lead as you can and only watch the pitcher. You can`t be picked off unless he throws the ball, so don`t worry about the SS and 2B.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|