Baseball Base Running Tips
1. Don’t make the first or third out at third base
Baseball Base Running Tips. If you stop at second with no outs, the hitter can move you up to third with one out so you can score multiple different ways without needing a hit.
If you stop at second with two outs, you are still in scoring position, and you need a hit to score you whether you are on second or third.
2. Use the third base coach on plays you can’t see
Baserunning situation: You’re on first, and the batter hits a single to left center field. If you can see the ball the whole way, then you can decide whether or not to advance to third on your own.
If you are a runner on 1st and there is a single hit to right field, that is when we look for some help from the third base coach. He is our eyes when we lose sight of the baseball.
3. Don’t get doubled off first base
As a runner on first, don’t ever get doubled up on a line drive to third or shortstop. In other words, be able to get back to first if the line drive gets caught. There is no reason to be too aggressive on this play. Even if the ball gets through the infield, you will have to stop at second anyway because the left fielder is there to hold you at second.
In the heat of the game, you don’t have time to ask questions, so it is expected that you know these rules of thumb.
Baserunning regulations and principles
- Always look to get the next base
- Be prepared by understanding the situation and your responsibility
- Keep your eye on the baseball; it tags you out, not the player.
- There is no such thing as an automatic or routine out. The error is a vital ingredient towards winning and losing a game. Run as hard and fast as you possibly can in every situation.
- Hit the inside corner of the bag and use it as a starting block to push off of to get to the next base.
- Take all the signals from the coach while still standing on the base.
- Be aware of the catcher throwing to pick you off.
Baserunning aggressiveness is controlled by
- The score
- The number of outs
- The inning
- Your foot speed
- Field conditions
- Count on the hitter
- Do not make the first or last out at third base
- When your team is behind by 2 or more runs, don’t make any foolish mistakes by taking the extra base
- Never run off the man in front of you
- When in doubt, slide
Important baseball base running tips for getting to first after contact
You made contact with the baseball and hit a grounder through the infield. Now what?
- If a ball is hit on the ground, put your head down and run as hard as you can with as much efficiency as possible.
- After about three steps take a peek to see if the ball went through the infield. If it doesn’t get through, you’re going to run straight through the first base bag. (If it does get through, you’ll be planning a different route that will take you to second base. More on that below.)
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Baserunning Home to First Base
From the Batters Box to First Base
- A good hitter should never sacrifice a well-balanced swing at the expense of getting out of the batter’s box quickly
- The first step from the hitter out of the batter’s box should occur with the rear foot
- All hitters must avoid the “question mark” release from the batter’s box. That is when the hitter takes their first two steps toward the pitcher, followed by “righting” themselves in the direction of first base.
- Every hitter must endeavor to run hard out of the batter’s box with short, explosive steps ensuring maximum balance and quickness is attained from the onset
- Running hard will force the defense to rush through the fielding position
- The good running form requires relaxed, explosive movements with fluid arm action and running strides that eat up ground
- The arms should move up and down like pistons moving in a direction from “hips to lips.”
Important Tip Baseball Base Running
Have you ever wondered, “Why are there two chalk lines painted in the first baseline starting halfway from home to first and continuing through the first base bag?”
The 45-foot line. All baselines from home to first have a rectangular box that extends 3 feet outside the baseline starting halfway down the line and continuing towards first. This baseline is known as the 45-foot line.
Baseball Base Running Line
The purpose of this line is for the runner to stay in this box when there is a bunt or any play that the ball could interfere with the runner. As long as the runner remains in this box, he will be called safe. Getting hit by the baseball outside of this box results in an out.
- Focus on the front part of the bag. That is where your foot will hit since it is the closest and safest spot to hit the bag when sprinting.
Stepping on the back part or the side of the bag increases your chance of turning an ankle. Always hit the front part of the bag.
- After you hit the bag, stop your momentum by chopping your feet as quick as possible and turn your head to the right, just to see if the baseball got past the first baseman.
Tip: After you are finished touching first base and running through the bag, always turn to your right, toward foul territory and come back to the bag, so the umpire never has the thought that you were thinking of going to second base. If he feels you were trying to go just for a split second and you get tagged, you will be called out.
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If the ball gets through the infield
If the baseball is through the infield, you are going to make a turn towards second.
Start this turn early right when you see it went through – don’t wait until you are 20 feet from the bag. Start early and make it a gradual arch.
Use the Base
From this angle, you want to hit the inside front part of the bag to push off of and try to get the straightest path possible to second.
Plan Your Path
This is the exact path we want to take on a double or triple. We always want to try to attain the straightest path possible when going into a bag where there could be a potential play. It is the quickest way.
The Angle Turn at First
When to Think ‘Two’
- Anytime a baseball is struck into the air for a clean base hit to the outfield; the batter should instantly be thinking “two” (second base) out of the batter’s box
- As noted previously, release quickly out of the batter’s box, glance at the ball location, then promptly begin the initial stages of setting up the angle turn
- The running route should be a point to point guarantee the line is taken straight to the inside corner of the first base coach’s box. This will make sure a smooth, controlled arc approaching first base while keeping optimal speed.
- Angle taken when running will vary from player to player depending upon their coordination, agility, ability, and body type. Players with a lower center of mass (shorter) may need not to veer out quite as far as the player who has a higher center of gravity (taller) and longer strides.
- Either foot is permissible to touch the base with.
- As the runner contacts first base, the head will ‘nod’ slightly as the body is tilted or leaning inward, while the left arm drives up and inward.
- Depending on the batted ball location, the runner will want to ‘challenge’ the outfielder. That is, round the base aggressively with the intent to reach second.
Making Contact with first Base
- As the batter/runner approaches first base any lunging or jumping to contact the base quicker only serves to slow them down. Time in the air is valuable time lost on the ground
- The base should be contacted with either foot, making sure the front center of the base is touched. The mid-portion of the foot should squarely hit the base, with the heel of the foot on the ground
- The batter/runner should visualize first base as being the finish line and begin to lean. The lean will ensure the head gets past the first baseman
- The batter/runner should attempt to coordinate the lean with the timing of the foot contacting the base
- The batter/runner should then proceed to “nod” the head, that brings the chin to the chest to ensure the head gets past the base
- The batter/runner is trying to give an illusion to the umpire that they “beat the ball” and, since the head is the heaviest part of the body, it will help get the foot down faster
Baserunner going from First base to Third base
The Ball Gets Through The Infield for a base hit
With less than two out and the ball is hit into the outfield, your task is to get to third base. If the baseball is hit to right field, this should not be difficult unless it’s a hard hit line drive straight to the right fielder. Take a quick peek at your third base coach as you approach the second base bag to see what the coach has plans for you to do. You should always keep in full stride as if you expect to get waved over.
How to take the lead from first base, how to take the lead from second base, secondary leads
1. Eyes on the Pitcher
This might be the most important baseball base running tip you will get as a baserunner. Always keep your eyes on the pitcher (or wherever the baseball is) when you are off of the bag. Even if you are just one foot off the bag, keep your eyes on the baseball.
2. Don’t Cross Your Feet
When stepping out to your desired length, don’t cross your feet. At any time, the pitcher could try to pick you off and if you are crossing your legs when he is throwing over you will not be in a good position to get back into the bag.
3. Baseball Base Running Strategy
Some players like to take their leads and take one step closer to the pitcher. The location of the leadoff gives off an optical illusion that you are closer to the bag than you are.
Others like to take their leads and take one step away from the pitcher. So when they dive back into the bag; they will make contact with the back corner.
Diving to the back corner of the bag makes the tag a little more difficult for the first baseman, but this angle makes it look like you are a little further away from the bag than you are.
4. Baseball Base Running Consistency
Your leads should be the same every time, so you don’t tip off when you are about to steal.
You should be able to get the same lead every time without looking back at the bag to see how far you are away. Get your lead the same way every time.
5. Baseball Base Running Distance
Your ideal leadoff is somewhere between 9 and 12 feet away from the bag.
Base Running Tips – How to Take a Lead from second Base
There are two types of leads you take at second base:
The first is with less than two outs or looking to steal third base.
The next is with two outs or, you are not worrying too much about moving up to third base, you are committing to scoring on a single to the outfield.
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Less than two outs, or Looking to steal third with less than two outs or if you are trying to steal third you want it to be a straight line between second and third. Don’t get outside the baseline. The quickest path between second and third is in between the bases. If you move out away from the baseline (back toward shortstop), you are creating a longer distance to the third base bag.
You want to get 10-15 feet off the second base bag. Your leadoff depends on how comfortable you feel off the bag, and how quickly you can get back to second.
The initial distance in your leads from second should be on whether you can get back to the bag on a pick from the pitcher, regardless of where the middle infielders are playing.
As the middle infielders get further away, you can take another step, but as they get a closer move back to the spot where you know you can get back to second safely. From that spot, you can confidently hold your ground, until he moves back into a fielding position.
Stealing 3rd Base
Steal Off The Pitcher
A cardinal rule of baseball: You never want to make the first or third out at third base. How does this effect making the second out at third base?
This means you’re extremely valuable as a runner when you get to second base. You’re in scoring position, and just a base hit away from scoring a run. So, why risk stealing third base when it’s such a short throw for the catcher to make? Quite simply it’s because there are a lot more ways to score from third than there are from second.
You usually steal third in this situation because of what the pitcher is doing, not because the catcher has a weak arm. Even a catcher with a weak arm can throw out a base runner if they get a poor jump from second. Pitchers, especially young pitchers, often get into a rhythm on the mound. They get the ball, get into the stretch, set, ‘one-thousand-one’ and pitch. When stealing third, leadoff in the same way you would when not stealing.
You don’t want the pitcher or infielders to notice anything different. However, your jump is different. In the timing described above, once the pitcher sets, it’s ‘one-thous,’ and you’re off. That half-second gives you a couple of steps toward third and a great chance of making it. Make sure you don’t break too early as the infield will notice and call for the pitcher to step off.
Another key about the pitcher to an observer when stealing is the count and the pitcher’s tendency with that count. For example, if the hitter has two strikes and no balls and the pitcher likes to try and strike batters out with a low and outside curveball, you have, if he throws that pitch, a great pitch to steal on.
Finally, when stealing third, it’s a big advantage to have a right-handed hitter at the plate. When the catcher receives the ball and has to throw, that throw becomes much more difficult when he has to throw around a batter.
Base Running Tips – Keep your eyes on the pitcher
It is a good habit to always look at whoever has the baseball. As long as you know where the baseball is, you should never be surprised.
As you get to your desired lead, listen to your third base coach, he will help you with the middle infielders and how close they are to you.
Before you take your lead, you should have an idea who is keeping you close to the bag. If it is the shortstop, you are using the eyes of the third base coach to help you out. If it’s the second baseman, you are still using the third base coach’s eyes, but you are also using your peripheral vision to aid in getting back to the bag.
Once the pitcher starts to pitch the ball, we begin our secondary lead, expecting a single hit to the outfield where we have to score.
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With two outs we are not worried as much about just moving up to third base, we are going to be a little more aggressive about trying to score, and we want to give ourselves the best opportunity.
Initial lead – With two outs usually the middle infielders are not holding us on, or if they are it is not to close, they don’t want to create holes in the defensive positioning.
We want to have a 12-15 foot lead initially toward third base. From there take about 3-5 steps back (toward the shortstop), so the baseline is in front of you.
This angle we create by moving back 3-5 steps will help our running path to home plate be shorter and straighter. We want to set an angle coming around third, so the distance we run is as short as possible. Moving back a few feet will do this.
Also, by setting this angle before we start running, we will be closer to top speed the whole way to home plate rather than losing a little speed trying to bow out and set an angle around third base.
Secondary Leads – A secondary lead is a movement you make toward the next base once the pitcher has committed to pitch the ball home.
Our objective is to create some momentum and cut down the distance to the next base in case of a batted ball or a pitch that gets away from the catcher.
Shuffle Steps – Once the pitcher starts his movement home, your lead starts to turn into a secondary lead by taking two shuffle steps toward the next base.
Balance – As you take your shuffle steps, keep your feet close to the ground and keep your center of gravity over your toes in case you need to change direction quickly.
Weight Distribution – As the pitch gets into the strike zone you should have your weight about 70/30 to your right foot, and your momentum has stopped. From this position you can continue easily to the next base; or if the catcher tries to pick you off, you are in an excellent place to get back to the bag.
Step Back – Once the catcher secures the ball, take at least one hard step back to the bag. This hard step will stop any thoughts of catcher trying to pick you off and will give you good habits to prevent any baserunning mistakes.
Base Running Tips and Instruction on How to Read Batted Balls as a Base Runner on Second Base.
Second base can be the most challenging place to be a base runner.
Knowing when to advance and when to stay at second will prevent any embarrassing baserunning mistakes that can cost your team valuable runs. The read you make on a batted ball can be the difference in scoring or being thrown out at the plate.
Base Running Tips – Look at the infield and outfield positioning
First things first… Be able to have a feel of where everyone is playing, so when a ball is hit, you may be able to get a great jump and anticipate a hit, rather than wait for a ball to fall before you commit to running to third base. Knowledge of the defense will help with getting a better jump.
Base Running Tips – Know the number of outs
Knowing how many outs there are at that time of the game is crucial because you will play batted balls differently depending on whether there is 0,1, or 2 outs.
Baseball Base Running – 0 outs – Your goal is to get to third with one out. You are trying to do this so you can score on a sacrifice fly or a ground ball in the infield if the infield plays back (number 1 depth).
On a fly ball hit to the outfield, you want to tag up and try to get to third. Don’t worry about getting halfway and watching to make sure the outfielder catches the baseball. Be in a position if he catches the baseball where you can tag up and move up to third. Let the hitter knock you in, don’t try to do too much and make a mistake.
Baseball Base Running – 1 out – With one out you are already in scoring position and tagging up and moving up to third doesn’t help too much. Being at third with two outs is not much different than being at second with two outs.
On the same fly ball that was hit with 0 outs, you want to play it differently with one out. As the baseball is hit, you want to get at least halfway between second and third base. This will allow you to be able to score in case the outfielder makes a mistake and drops the ball. If he catches the baseball, just get back to second, and hopefully, the next hitter will get a hit to bring you in.
The mindset with one out is different than with 0 outs because with one out we want to be in a position to score or get back to second base. With 0 outs we want to be able to move up to third base, that is our priority.
Baseball Base Running – 2 outs – Our goal is pretty straightforward with two outs, once the baseball is hit we run. Make sure you anticipate a swing and if you see contact, run hard and expect to score.
When to advance on ground balls in the infield.
The idea on when to advance on a ground ball in the infield is basic, but there are a lot of mistakes made when a runner tries to push to third when he shouldn’t have.
Most mistakes happen when the hitter makes an unproductive out, and the runner tries to help out the hitter and make a great baserunning play. The over aggressiveness usually backfires, and the runner will be at fault, and you will take yourself out of scoring position.
Base Running Tips Basic rule
If a batted ball is hit to your right (after you have completed your secondary lead) stay at second base. The throw to first is long, and a much easier play for the shortstop is to come up and throw to third base.
If a batted ball is hit to your left (after you have completed your secondary lead) then as a baserunner you should advance to third base. If the shortstop is moving to his left, he will continue and take the out at first. A ball hit to the second baseman is too risky of a play to try to get the out at third.
Exceptions to the rule
If a batted ball is to your right and the third baseman is playing deep and has to go a long way to his right toward the foul line or left into the five-six hole to make a play, you may be able to move up to third base. If you go early enough, he may be in a lousy position to tag you before you can get to the third base bag. His only play will be at first base.
If a ground ball, a chopper is hit where the third baseman has to charge in hard to field the baseball on the run somewhere on the infield grass, move up to third base. His momentum will take him away from the bag, and if you read it early enough, you should be able to get into third easily.
Just make sure you can beat the shortstop over to third base.
Understanding when and when not to move up to third on a batted ball can help your team or hurt your team if you aren’t sure what you are doing, or don’t react appropriately. If you talk to yourself about the situation, and you know what you are going to do before it happens, it makes reading balls a lot easier.
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Table Of Contents
- 1 Baseball Base Running Tips
- 2 1. Don’t make the first or third out at third base
- 3 2. Use the third base coach on plays you can’t see
- 4 3. Don’t get doubled off first base
- 5 Baserunning regulations and principles
- 6 Baserunning Rules
- 7 Baserunning aggressiveness is controlled by
- 8 Important baseball base running tips for getting to first after contact
- 9 You made contact with the baseball and hit a grounder through the infield. Now what?
- 10 Baserunning Home to First Base
- 11 From the Batters Box to First Base
- 12 Important Tip Baseball Base Running
- 13 Baseball Base Running Line
- 14 If the ball gets through the infield
- 15 Start Early
- 16 Use the Base
- 17 Plan Your Path
- 18 The Angle Turn at First
- 19 When to Think ‘Two’
- 20 Making Contact with first Base
- 21 Baserunner going from First base to Third base
- 22 The Ball Gets Through The Infield for a base hit
- 23 How to take the lead from first base, how to take the lead from second base, secondary leads
- 24 1. Eyes on the Pitcher
- 25 2. Don’t Cross Your Feet
- 26 3. Baseball Base Running Strategy
- 27 4. Baseball Base Running Consistency
- 28 5. Baseball Base Running Distance
- 29 Base Running Tips – How to Take a Lead from second Base
- 30 There are two types of leads you take at second base:
- 31 Lead #1:
- 32 Stealing 3rd Base
- 33 Steal Off The Pitcher
- 34 Pitcher’s Rhythm
- 35 Pitch Count
- 36 Right-Handed Hitter
- 37 Base Running Tips – Keep your eyes on the pitcher
- 38 Lead #2:
- 39 Base Running Tips and Instruction on How to Read Batted Balls as a Base Runner on Second Base.
- 40 Base Running Tips – Look at the infield and outfield positioning
- 41 Base Running Tips – Know the number of outs
- 42 Base Running Tips Basic rule
- 43 Exceptions to the rule