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KSHSAA Coaching School August 3 rd, 2012 Baserunning: Drills, Tips and Techniques Presented by: Rocky Helm.

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Presentation on theme: "KSHSAA Coaching School August 3 rd, 2012 Baserunning: Drills, Tips and Techniques Presented by: Rocky Helm."— Presentation transcript:

1 KSHSAA Coaching School August 3 rd, 2012 Baserunning: Drills, Tips and Techniques Presented by: Rocky Helm

2 Baserunning To be a good base runner you don't have to be the fastest player on your team. But you do have to be aware of the play around you--thinking always two bases ahead and how am I going to accomplish it. Stomping the bag – When running to first base have the player hit the top of the bag with their right foot-- thereby "stomping the bag." – Have a coach stand about four paces behind the bag up the baseline. – The players should break down the line with chopping steps; getting their butts low to the ground and coming to a stop before reaching the coach. – This way they are in an aggressive position ready to take advantage of an overthrow or be prepared to return back to first base if they are ruled safe. Rounding the Bases – When rounding a base coaches should remember the focus is on maximizing speed with minimum steps. – Players should leak " ) "out of the base path when running and squaring up their shoulders to the corner of the base. – Don't run the "?" path because this takes momentum away from the base runner. – Don't worry about which foot you hit the corner of the base with just don't stutter step to the corner because this will diminish your speed.

3 Baserunning Drills The following drills are part of our daily practice program to help our players improve their running game. We spend a little time (10-15 minutes) on one or more of these drills each day. Basic Leads – Goal: Understanding basic knowledge of the lead. Process: Keep it simple. 4-step lead at each base (right-left-right- left- turn). Add a step at 2b and 3b, depending on the defensive player, if you can. Teach-demonstrate-practice. Time: Five minutes at each base Going Back to 1B – Goal: Diving back into 1B on pickoff attempt Process: Teach how you want them to go back into the bag. Partner up. One player gets a lead, their partner stands on line (use the outfield grass foul line). Runner dives back into bag (partners foot is the base) do this several times. Make corrections. Rotate partners Time: 10 minutes

4 Baserunning Drills – cont. Going Back to 2B – Goal: Teach player that he can keep his lead if the SS or 2B stands on the bag. Process: Teach lead. Have 2B hold runner at bag. Have pitcher turn for pick off to 2b. Baserunner should get back safely. Use multiple runners. Time: 10 minutes Going Back to 3B – Goal: Teach player that he can keep his lead if the 3B stands on the bag. Process: Teach lead. Have 3B hold runner at bag. Have pitcher turn for pick off to 3B. Baserunner should get back safely. Use multiple runners. Teach player to keep his eyes on the pitcher until he commits to home with the pitch. Time: 10 minutes

5 Baserunning Drills – cont. Dirt Ball Reads – Goal: Teach players to become aggressive by reading the ball before and after it is blocked. Process: Need pitcher / coach & catcher in full gear. Divide players up evenly at each base. Pitcher throws random balls into the dirt (fb or cb). Base runners do not have a runner in front of them. They see the ball, and go. We teach runner at 1B to go automatically if the ball hits in front of the plate. 2B & 3B runners must start first, then read the ball & catcher Two or three runners at a time at each base. Time: 3-5 minutes at each base then rotate.

6 Baserunning Drills – cont. 1st & 3rd Offensive Plays – Goal: Understanding basic knowledge of the 1st and 3rd offensive plays. Process: Teach what you want done at each base. Explain what & how you want it done--early breaks/late breaks. Do one base at a time, then do a dry run without a defense, and then do it live. Talk- demonstrate-practice. Time: 10-15 minutes Live Reads at 2nd Base – Goal: Live reaction on batted ball with runner at 2nd base only Process: Need 3B, SS, 2B, & P. Put runners at 2nd. Pitcher throws ball to plate. Runner at 2nd gets secondary lead, and then reacts to batted ball (fungo). Runner reads: the batted ball, at you or behind you; slow roller to 3b in front; line drive in front vs line drive up middle this drill puts the most pressure on the baserunner for proper reaction. Use two or three runners. Time: 10 minutes

7 Baserunning Drills – cont. Batting Practice Baserunning – Goal: Live reaction to batted ball. Process: Teach what you want done at each base (leads & jumps) before you get into bp. Dont just tell kids to go get your bases. (We put a protective screen down 3b line.) If infielders are taking ground balls, have runners get behind the infielders. Have runners (1 or 2) at each base when bp starts, the move to the next base when the hitter leaves the plate. There should not be more than two hitters in the on deck area. (Make sure players get the bunt lead and live reaction to the bunt.)

8 Baserunning Drills – cont. Controlled Scrimmage (Three or more innings) – Goal: Live baserunning for baserunners, pitchers and defense. Process: Begin a controlled scrimmage with a runner(s) on base(s). 1st inning runner on 1st base; 2nd inning runners on 1st & 2nd base; 3rd inning runners on 1st & 3rd and/or load them up. This drill can be explained before you start the scrimmage, then players know what to do when they come off the field. Controlled Scrimmage (Stealing 2nd base) – Goal: Stealing 2nd base for both pitcher, catcher & baserunners Process: Load bases. Put two or three baserunners at 1b. The defense is only concerned with the runner at 1B. Pitcher works on pick offs. Catcher works on release. Runners at 1B are working on stealing 2B. Hitters are live. The runners on 2nd & 3rd are just getting leads & reacting to a batted ball. This keeps more players involved. (Note: this looks crazy if someone just walks up and watches practice)

9 Baserunning Drills – cont. Controlled Scrimmage (1st & 3rd hit & run) – Goal: Runner at 1B must learn to get a good jump, but not get picked off. Process: Runners 1st & 3rd. Hit & run is on. Pitcher can use picks or the corners move. Runner at 1B must learn to read this. Play baseball. Runners work on jumps to home on the throw to 2B; or both players react to batted ball.

10 3 Steps to the Optimal First Base Lead Every coach wants their players to be successful on the basepaths. But it all starts with a smart, aggressive lead off of first base. Here are three simple tips for teaching your squad to get a quality to lead at first--and put them in a position to score more runs. Pay Attention – The number one rule as a base runner when you are not standing on the base is keep your eye on the ball. – In other words, when taking signals from the third base coach, the runner should have a foot on the base. Too many kids get picked off because they are watching their coach give signals while standing off of the bag. – Furthermore, a player should always watch the pitcher when taking a lead. How Far Off the Bag? – Someone said your lead should be a body length and a step and this became the standard. Why limit yourself to a certain distance? – A better rule might be on your first lead, go with the body length and a step, wait for a pick-off attempt, and evaluate your lead. Some pitchers have quick moves, while others are rather slow. A base runner must take advantage of every opportunity.

11 3 Steps to the Optimal First Base Lead – cont. Proper Footwork – As far as technique in taking a lead, there are several different methods. – I instruct my players to step off with the left foot first then step their right foot behind, followed by two sideways steps. This is a good base to work from and the lead can be extended or shortened from there. – The player should take his lead at the front edge of the bag. In other words, the runner should be as close to the pitcher as possible while still being even with the base. – The purpose of this lead is to give the pitcher the perception that you are closer to the bag. A pitcher who isn’t worried about the base runner will soon find the base runner no longer on first base.

12 Art of the Delayed Steal One of the best-kept secrets in baseball is the delayed steal. The success rate should be around 90 percent and the runner does not have to be fast. It causes confusion and oftentimes can be used several times in the same game without a team realizing what is going on. Here is how to teach this offensive weapon and when to employ it in a game situation. What is It..and When Should It Be Used? – The delayed steal is a method of taking base using more of technique, than actual speed or a good jump to get to second base. – The key is that the middle infielders are not checking their base after every pitch with a man on first base. In other words, a middle infielder must take a few steps towards second after every pitch. When the middle infielders do not do so, second base is ripe to be taken via the delay.

13 Art of the Delayed Steal – cont. Delayed Steal Technique – Technique is absolutely the most important aspect of the delay. Too many kids try to get a good jump and it ruins any chance of making it to second. – The key is to take a secondary lead as you would on a pitch that you are not stealing on. For our purposes, a secondary lead is two wide shuffles. – One important note is the base runner must keep his shoulder square to home plate. The minute you open the right shoulder to second base you will tip off the defense. – It is also important to remember that a good secondary lead helps set up the delay for future use. Takeoff – After the second full shuffle--the runner must make sure he FINISHES the second shuffle--the runner takes off for second base. At this point the ball has just about crossed home plate, but the first basemen has no idea that the runner took off for second. By the time he says anything the runner is about 10 feet from the bag and it is too late. – Some will argue that an alert catcher will see the runner and this is tough to argue. However, this is where the middle infielder’s lack of doing their job comes into play. Even if the catcher throws with normal timing, the middle infielders will not be at second base and nine times out of 10 the ball ends up in the outfield. – In most cases, the defense has no idea what just happened and oftentimes will start yelling at the first baseman for not yelling “he’s going.” – One other note: Since the runner is not looking for a great jump he must NEVER get picked off when attempting a delayed steal.

14 Art of the Delayed Steal – cont. When to Put on the Delay – As mentioned above, the most important issue is that the middle infielders are not paying attention. In some games, a coach will realize right away that the delay will not be in the game plan for that given day. However, if the middle infielders are not paying attention there are a few times to delay. – First, you do not have to be fast to delay steal. In fact, it is usually the slower guys on the team that you will do it with most often. As a result, these “slugs” seem to take pride in their delay technique and do it well. – Keep in mind, you wouldn't have your quickest players delay steal because they can steal second with regular technique. Furthermore, a fast runner usually gets more attention then the slug; thus the middle infielders are more apt to check their base. Runners at First and Third – Other than the delay possibility actually being “there” there is one great opportunity—the first and third. In a first and third situation, most of the time the defense puts on some sort of play—either through: throw to the pitcher, fake to second throw to third, etc. – An important note is the runner on third must watch for two things: First, he must watch the catcher’s shoulders. When a catcher is throwing to third, his left shoulder will open up towards third base. In this scenario, the runner must get back to third right away. – Second, he must read the height of the throw to second; he must make sure that the ball is not being thrown to the pitcher. Once he reads height of the ball he can take off for home.

15 4 Tips for Stealing Third Base With proper technique, stealing third base can be easier than stealing second. Here are some tips coaches can use to make their squad more aggressive on the basepaths and put pressure on their opponents. A Healthy Lead – The proper lead should be as much as possible, without getting picked. I tell my guys to be straight in the base line. Some coaches will tell their players to start a few feet back with two outs so they have a better angle to score on a base hit. With proper technique in rounding a base, the runner does not need to take the “two out lead”. Why the Coach Matters – The third base coach is extremely important with a man on second. His job is to keep an eye on the shortstop and the second baseman. – Many youth coaches tell their runners that the coach has the shortstop and the runner has the second baseman. Remember that the number one rule of a base runner is to keep his eye on the ball. If a third base coach can’t handle watching both players, then maybe he should be relegated to the dugout. – The most obvious tendency of a pitcher with a man on second is the number of looks he makes to second base. Many pitchers are “one lookers” and are extremely easy to steal off of. – However, even if a pitcher does a Good job of mixing up his looks he can still be exploited. As soon as there is a man on second base, the whole team should try to find out what the pitcher’s maximum (max) amount of looks is to second base.

16 4 Tips for Stealing Third Base – cont. Time to Go – Stealing any base comes down to finding the pitcher's tendencies. – A good pitcher will vary these looks between zero and at least three. So, assuming his max is three, the baserunner should know that once the pitcher hits his max, he will not look again. – Here is where technique comes into play. There are a few keys here for execution.

17 4 Tips for Stealing Third Base – cont. Step 1: Find the Courage – First, the runner must have the guts to start movement towards third before the pitcher even lifts his leg to go to the plate. Most pitchers are pre-programmed to either pick or pitch. We are gambling a bit here, but the odds are in our favor. Step 2: Start the Shuffle – Right before the pitcher lifts to go to the plate, the base runner should take two lateral shuffles towards third. The key here is to make sure he keeps his shoulders squared to home plate. In other words he makes no commitment towards actually going to third base, only a motion towards it. – If, when in his second shuffle, the pitcher’s leg lifts, the runner can take off for third base. If the pitcher’s leg does not lift, the runner just shuffles back to his original lead. Either the runner gets a great jump, or he at least distracts the pitcher and the defense.

18 4 Tips for Stealing Third Base – cont. Step 3: Take a Look (or Two) – Now you might be wondering, what if the pitcher mixes up his looks really well. It does not matter! – Before the runner takes his lead, he should decide how many looks he is going to look for. If he is going to look for one, he should shuffle after the first look. If the pitcher looks twice in this scenario, it doesn’t matter; the runner will just shuffle back as his leg did not come up after the first look. – If the runner is looking for two looks, and the pitcher only goes with one before he pitches, then the runner just needs to wait for the next pitch. Another key for the base runner is to not show emotion while out on the bases. If he looks for one look, and gets one look, but doesn’t feel comfortable with his jump, then he just doesn’t go. Step 4: Energy – Oftentimes a runner will show some sort of emotion in this scenario; this wakes up the defense. Once again, as is always when stealing a base, the runner must get the jump. Remember that the runner has a signal for a green light to steal not a signal to steal.

19 Baseball Drills and Speed Drills IMG Videos Baseball Drills Beating out an Infield Single Possible Doubles Leads 2 nd Base Leads 3 rd Base Leads

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