Running the bases and making turns
A college coach once told me that you get on base by hitting the ball but you score runs by running the bases. A simple statement, yes, but running the bases seems overlooked by too many players. The goal of baseball is to score runs and whoever scores the most amount of runs dictates the winner, and to be a good base runner makes you a better winning baseball player.
The information below is simple but must be practiced over and over to achieve success
- A ball hit to the infield: The hitter needs to locate the ball after contact. After locating the ball initially then the runner needs to run a hard 90. About 2/3 of the way down the line, the runner needs to peek to see if the ball was fielded cleanly or if the fielder made an error. By doing this the runner can make an adjustment if the ball made it to the outfield and can round first base.
Assuming that the ball is fielded cleanly by the infielder the base runner needs to complete the hard 90. After hitting the base with full speed, the base runner needs to break down in three or four steps and look to the right. By breaking down to a stop and looking to the right the base runner can locate the ball if the ball got by the first baseman and then the base runner can continue in a straight line to second base. If the base runner does not break down and continues through the base into a jog then the runner will have to take many more steps to try and make it to second base on an overthrow.
You might get four at bats a game – make sure each 90 is your best.
- Rounding the bases: A couple of keys for every base runner
- Always hit the inside part of the base
- Preferably hit the inside part of the base with your right foot
- Tuck your left shoulder when hitting the base and accelerate to the next base.
- Keys for being quick to the next base: When taking an extra base – certain fundamentals make a base runner better.
The key is to plan for the next base. If going from 1st to 3rd – you want to create a straight line from 2nd to 3rd. In order to do this, the base runner needs to create an angle towards second base so the base runner can hit 2nd base and create a straight line to 3rd base.
This same idea applies to a base runner going from home to second and from second to home. Take a round so the next base can be achieved in a straight line.
These three keys will help you become a better base runner and more importantly, a winning baseball player.
Until Next Time,