Team Baserunning DrillsApr 16, 2021
Coaches here is a great way to add base running into your practice and make it as game-like as possible. Set up three cones on an angle like this. What this is going to do is it's going to simulate three different first bases. Instead of just having a line of kids standing here at first base, we'll have three groups of three and for instance, this drill, we're going to work on our steal break-off Coach Duke.
So we'll have three lines. I'll be at the front line. I have somebody behind me. And then a third guy back there. The reason we put it on an angle is so that the base runner can really see the pitcher, or we want to make sure we get a good eye on the pitcher and we're just going to work on our steal break. So again, imagining that I have two runners behind, we get out to our lead. Coach Duke's going through the stretch position. And we would then work on our steal break out to second base.
The guys in line on the side would be yelling, "Back." If Duke were to pick off everybody would yell back, but it keeps a lot of kids engaged at once. We're going to move on to second base and we're going to do a different version of base running from second base.
All right, so now we're out at second base. This is the second step to our base running circle here. So Coach Duke's again, our pitcher. We have three staggered lines out here at second base and from second base today, we're going to work on dirt ball reads. What a dirt ball read is, is me as a base runner, I'm watching the pitcher go through his delivery. When he breaks to go to home plate, I'm going to take my secondary lead. So, I'm going to take two aggressive shuffles, and then I'm going to read the flight of the ball.
So if that ball looks like it's traveling downhill, it might be a breaking ball, it might just be a low fastball, but if it looks as if it's going to bounce in front of home plate, a dirt ball read for me is I want to break to the next base because especially the younger ages, the chances of the catcher actually picking the ball and then throwing us out is very small.
So, I'm going to get out here to the second cone. Coach Duke's going to go through a stretch position. As soon as he breaks, I'm going to do my secondary lead shuffle, shuffle. Shuffle, shuffle, slight kick, and I break for third base.
So again, you have three lines here, probably three players here. You have three players at first base working on their straight steal, but it's a great way to keep a lot of kids moving. And it's ideal because we're all working off one pitcher. We'll do one more here. So, secondary lead, I want my feet to be hitting the ground as the ball's crossing home plate. Get out to my primary, shuffle, shuffle, and I break for third base.
You can even add in a third station at third base where runners are actually working on tagging up, but definitely get yourself some cones, create as many stations as possible so you keep a lot of kids moving. We've got nine kids here moving with one pitcher on the mound. Gets the kids a lot of reps in a really short amount of time.
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