We all know how annoying it is for our defense to play against a team of super aggressive base runners! The PRESSURE!!
Base running is a very important part of the game. on that we can all agree. The sad thing though is that we often neglect working on it as much as we work on many of the other parts of the game.
We need to practice our skills on the bases just like we do our hitting or pitching or team defense. If you make aggressive base running a priority, you can make your team much more difficult to play against.
What are the things that great base runners do?
1. They anticipate bad throws on every play and every return throw from the catcher.
2. They anticipate taking the extra base on every bobble or loss of focus.
3. They expect to get two bases on every ball.
4. They run very efficiently by cutting corners well.
5. They expect to score from second base on every ball that gets hit with two outs.
6. They expect the ball in the dirt with two strikes on the hitter and pounce on the opportunity.
7. They expect a sign from their coach on every pitch so they never miss one.
8. They are always putting pressure on the defense with aggressive lead offs.
9. They get into the catchers head early by drawing throws to bases.
10. They always run hard on every ball!
11. They read the defensive players as they receive the throw to adjust where they slide.
12. They have a wide variety of slides so they can choose the right tool for the job.
13. They listen to their base coaches but are always looking for opportunities to advance.
14. They know the score, outs and count at all times.
15. They expect to change the game by the way they run the bases.
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.