Excellent baserunners are made not born. A fast baserunner is not always the best baserunner. Being fast is only one component to becoming a great baserunner. Too often, young players look only to their speed to distinguish themselves but being a valuable baserunner to your team demands that every baserunner runs with their eyes.
The first step is to always check your outfielder’s and infielder’s position before you take your lead. We check their alignment because it allows us a better first step. If we see that an outfielder is playing deep then we are able to advance to the next base when we see a blooper over the infielder. Sometimes the outfield will shade a certain hitter towards the pull side or opposite field side. By knowing and seeing this with our eyes we are able to have a more effective jump with the crack of the bat.
As you move up the baseball ranks, the outfield and infield shifts become more pronounced and checking the outfielder and infielder’s position becomes more critical.
I often find baserunners and infielder overlooking this essential base running technique. All it takes is a little effort and concentration.
Secondly, never base run with your eyes looking down. Your eyes should always either be on the baseball or your third base coach. There are so many instances where baserunners keep their head down and miss seeing an overthrow or don’t notice when a base is uncovered. Keep your head up and eyes on the ball and you might be able to steal a run for your team.
Third, after you take your lead and secondary and you work back to the bag that you came from, don’t put your head down. There are many times where the exchange from the catcher to the pitcher is missed. An alert baserunner might be able to pick up a base and thus steal his team a run.
We get on base by hitting the ball. We score runs by running the bases well. Don’t believe that your job is over you get on base. Your job is just beginning. Take pride in your base running.
Until Next Time