Where else can one witness a sudden mushroom cloud of dust and when the dust settles the umpires right arm flung into the air with a thumb protruding saying you're out or the outstretched arms sweeping back and forth to say this lad is safe.
Baseball is it and this baseball base stealing is the action. Folks being part of baseball is what it is all about. Join the crowd.
The pitcher standing on the mound wipes the sweat pouring from his forehead and peers in for his battery mates catchers signal. He will nervously take a peek over to first base trying to measure if the base running monkey is just a little too far off the bag?
The base runner saunters from the first base bag with a sharp lookout with keen piercing and extremely focused eyes watching and studying every move and twitch of the pitcher. As the runner reaches a spot he feels is has safe distance off of the base he goes into his arm swinging monkey like animal distraction act.
He may paw the ground like a plow horse getting ready to dig in and go or like a hot rod driver revving his engine. Baseball players all know this action as nervous anticipation and calculation of a go or not go for the quick jump to steal 2nd base.
The runner hunches over lets his arm fall freely swinging back and forth trying to make up his mind to leap from this spot to a distant other safe spot. The base runner act like a well trained chimpanzee taunting and every ready to out guess the pitcher.
You are watching the baseball base stealing distraction before the coming attractions of the show.
This how to steal bases activity between the pitcher and runner is a true cat and mouse game with the final outcome either safe ground or total disaster. Did you ever think baseball base stealing activity could be this much nervous anticipated excitement?
Now and again for all of you who follow and enjoy this game of baseball there comes amidst the best of coaches a super baseball coach with much good information about our game we just have to pass along for all to enjoy.
Coach Chip Lemin posted an article pertaining to stealing bases and I have taken the liberty to include the pertinent parts of his article for your use.
Contact data and information from and about Coach Lemin is available at the bottom of the page. All coaches and baseball players young and even older will benefit from Coach Chip Lemin's coaching tips and how to steal.
A good base running team or baseball base stealing team which understands and can execute the art of how to steal bases puts the other team on notice right away; we came here to play!
How To Steal Second Base
Too many kids are picked off because they are looking at their coach give signals while standing off of the bag. The Cardinal rule as a base runner when not on the bag is Keep your eye on the ball. Instruct all your players and runners to get signs from the coaches with their foot on the bag, always! Your players should watch intently the pitcher when taking a lead.
Why? Because they have the ball. Coaches will have have taught that your lead should be a body length and a step and this has become the standard. Now this is a good reference point, but there are plenty of kids out there who have never ventured beyond this point!
Do this with all your base runners, go with the body length and a step, wait for a pick-off attempt, and evaluate your lead. Encourage your slower players to try this in practice or scrimmages to show them they can steal bases too.
Good base running teams take advantage of every opportunity. Show your players how to begin watching pitchers right away to find out their tendencies. Keep your players taking shuffle steps when leading off at 1st base Your more advanced, faster players can employ a cross over step with left foot behind the right, then 2 shuffle steps.
The player should take their 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.
Pitchers who aren't concerned about the base runner will soon find the base runner no longer on first base! This will give the perception to the pitcher that your runner is closer to bag that they really are. Try it it works! Good base running techniques also train your pitchers what to look for when they are on the mound.
Getting a good jump is absolutely the most important aspect of stealing a base. If a player does not get a good jump, they will be out most of the time.
Players who are aggressive with their jumps will have far more success. When you give the steal sign, too many youth base ball players think they have to go on the next pitch. Tell your players to steal only if they get a good jump.
Here are several options to getting a good jump no matter what your player's speed or talent level. For right-handed pitchers only, focus on their feet.
This is a basic technique used in stealing second base. Pitchers have three options once they are in the set position. They can pitch, pick, or step off.
When the pitcher delivers to the plate, the first part to move will be the left heel.
When a pitcher is not going home with the ball, the first part to move will be his right heel.
A well-coached base runner is able to focus on both feet. They must learn to react instantly. Left foot go, right foot get back.
Good pitchers will have ways to disguise this. So start studying your opposing pitcher from the 1st pitch. Watch the front shoulder.
Another basic tactic to show your players is to watch the front shoulder. When a pitcher delivers to the plate, the front shoulder will "close" towards third base. If they are not going home, it will open towards first.
Well-coached baseball pitchers will have tricks to disguise this.
Possible pitcher tendencies to look for in baseball base stealing.
The tendencies listed below, as well as numerous others, are things a youth base runner should look for.
Remember to tell your players that well-coached runners does not have to wait until they are on base to pick up on tendencies. Good base runners study the pitcher as soon as there is a base runner.
That is your job as a youth baseball base stealing coach, to keep your players focused. This technique is for the aggressive style coach and player; not everyone will be able to use it.
Most baseball pitchers will be prone to some of the following.
- May take a deep breath before delivering to plate. - They only try to pick when set. - They only throw to base as they come down to set. - Pitcher always goes to base on a certain time count. - They only try to pick one time. - They will not throw over after being set for more than 1 or 2 seconds. - Only throws over on way up to the set position.
Here is a method can be used at all levels of youth baseball which allows baseball base stealing. Timing the pitcher. It is directly tied to pitcher habits.
Say your coach's notice that a pitcher will come set for the same amount of time on every pitch. Relay that information to your runner.
A well-coached, focused youth baseball player is ready to use this. Hopefully your base runner is storing this information from the dugout.
Will your runners get thrown out sometimes? Of course they will. Your players will not improve if they are not taking risks and trying to reach the next level of this baseball base stealing.
This method used properly, will be successful far more than not. It must be practiced a lot however. Use it at scrimmages to polish it.
Have a sign that allows coaches to relay timing information to runners such as tapping the brim of the cap 2 times to signify pitcher has a two second delay at set position.
Coaches can touch their shoulder to alert runner to watch shoulder of pitcher.
Be creative and have fun with it.
How to get back to the base action in baseball base stealing.
When the runner has the baseball base stealing on their agenda, the base runner should always be "diving" back to the bag. If your runner can get back standing up, then the lead was not big enough. The dive back is a simple crossover and a headfirst slide to the bag.
It important to note that when going back to the bag, the runner isn't actually diving. The goal is to get as low as possible as soon as possible to avoid the tag. Instruct your players to stay low and not launch themselves up into the air as they get back.
This only gives the defense a better target to tag them out with. As soon as the runner gets back, they should get up right away, walking up the bag, that is, not breaking contact with the base.
Some pitchers are taught to get the ball and quick pitch if your runner lies on the ground too long. Furthermore, they should always be looking for an overthrown ball. When your runner is not "diving" back to the bag, their movement should be a crossover, followed by a step to the left side of the bag.
The runner should continue their momentum and open the shoulder out towards the right field foul line. Always be on the look out for an overthrown ball.
Here is an advanced base-running tip for your heads up players who really want to make something happen. Oftentimes, a pitcher will make a lazy lob pick to first base.
When your smart, well-coached base runner realizes that the pitcher is making this sort of pick, teach your base runner go straight to the bag, in front of the first baseman and pop up tall to obstruct the 1st baseman's vision and create an overthrow.
A little Tom Foolery of Baseball Base Stealing never hurts.
Your runner should use a cross over step so they have their back to the pitcher to protect their face, and make it far easier to see an over throw.
Get your baseball base stealing team moving on the bases with these tips. This is a good way to jump-start your offense and gets some excitement going for your players.
You might get thrown out once in awhile, don't let that slow you down.
If you practice, and plan your running game using some of these tips, your youth baseball team can't help but get better.
Thanks Coach Chip for your coaching time and the real "how to" on Baseball Base Stealing.
Michael McCarty's "The Baseball Zone Blog" this the Baseball Zone Blog is certainly worth the read and adds much to my Baseball Base Stealing concept.
Recently from the blog BASEBALL IN THE BLOOD this coach by the name of Michael McCarthy from his the Baseball Zone Blog provides a wealth of the most excellent base running information.
Batter Up----Let's Play Ball....
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