12 Signs of Good Base Running

By Doug Bernier

The great thing about base running is that everyone can be good at it. Different from hitting, fielding, and throwing, running the bases is more about knowledge and effort, not just technique and talent.

Speed is not the most important factor in baserunning. How much heart, effort, and savvy you put into your baserunning determines how good of a base runner you will be. Putting pressure on the defense creates mistakes and can turn into runs for your team.

When do you become a base runner?
Baserunning begins once you put the bat on the baseball. Once the ball is hit you are no longer a hitter, you are a runner.

12 Signs of a Good Baserunning
When answering the question of how to run bases, here are 12 things you can focus on learning or improving.

1. Being able to go from 1st to 3rd on a base hit to the outfield (when possible).
2. Reading a line drive while on 2nd base and being able to score on a single.
3. Running hard all the time.
4. Knowing how and when to break up plays by sliding hard into base.
5. Not missing any signs put on by the coach.
6. Being able to read and anticipate pitched balls in the dirt and advancing when possible.
7. Knowing your speed and understanding when to take a chance and when to play it more conservative.
8. Not making the first or third out at 3rd base.
9. Knowing where your defense is playing behind you, especially the outfielders so you can react to the ball and not have to wait and look to see what happens.
10. Not getting doubled up on a line drive to an infielder.
11. Always running hard through home, especially with two outs. If a runner gets thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double and you are taking your time touching home and the out happens before you score, the run does not count.
12. Getting good secondary leads so you can try to get that extra base on a hit.

Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 13 years. Most recently, Doug signed with the Minnesota Twins in 2013, where he logged time at every infield position except 1st base in 33 Major League games. Currently Doug is with the Twins’ AAA team in Rochester, NY. Originally published athttp://probaseballinsider.com/baseball-instruction/fundamentals-of-hitting/baseball-situations-and-hitting/

33 Cues for Baserunners

By Miles Noland

1.You must be on balance when you finish your swing. This allows you to run your best time from home to 1st.

2. After hitting the ball and not being sure if the ball will get through the infield you should peek on the 3rd of 4th step to see if you should take a turn around 1st or run straight through the bag.

3. Never expect a single, always expect to take the extra base. In youth baseball you must run hard around 1st to even have a chance to take the extra base.

4. Always be aware of the pitcher when he has the ball in his hand. You must take a lead with your eyes on the pitcher.

5. Always run through 1st base. After running full speed through the base break down in an athletic position and look to the right for an overthrow.

6. In youth baseball always be aware of the opposing team when on base. You never know when you have an opportunity to take advantage of them not paying attention.

7. Have the mentality of a thief while on base. You must look to take anything they give you.

8. Anticipating the pitch thrown in the dirt, looking to advance to the next base. It is very hard for a youth baseball catcher to block the ball in front of him, stand up, pick the ball up, and make a great throw.

9. Understands the pitchers pickoff move and looks for differences between when he goes to the plate and when he picks.

10. Understands that if the pitcher slides steps he should not steal.

11. Knows that a headfirst slide in youth baseball allows you to get there slightly quicker, but doesn’t allow you to get up as fast in case of an overthrow, and is much more dangerous

12. Knows that a feet first slide allows you to get up faster in case of an overthrow.

13. Knows that you should not make the 1st or 3rd out a 3rd base.

14. After rounding first and thinking about going to third the baserunner should look at his third base coach

15. Constantly reminding himself how many outs there, and what he should do in each situation

16. Knows to try to tag in youth baseball with 0 outs, and try to get off the base as far as possible with 1 out.

17. Understands that with 2 strikes and 2 outs to be moving on a swing

18. Knows to freeze on infield line drives with less than 2 outs

19. While on 2nd base in youth baseball he must hold if the ball is hit in front of him (3B or 6 hole), and advance when hit behind him

20. Understands that if he is in a rundown he must stay in it as long as possible to allow the back baserunner to advance

21. Pick up the coach for the sign as soon as he returns to the base

22. At 3B takes a lead in foul territory and returns in fair territory

23. Sees a bunt down before advancing to the next base

24. Runs hard on the bases at all times

25. Must peek in to home on a hit and run to see where the ball is hit in youth baseball

26. Knows how to use a popup slide to recover quickly and advance to the next base

27. Never slide headfirst into home plate

28. Aware of the 1st to 3rd move while on 1st base

29. Knows outfielders arms and when to be aggressive and when not to

30. Understands pickoff moves to 2B and how to get back to the base

31. Knows what a walking lead is and how to use it to steal in youth baseball

32. Understand how to get deeper on a lead at 2B with 2 outs to get a better angle to score on a single

33. Must tag on any ball hit in the air while on 3B with less than 2 outs

Any player or team can have a huge advantage over the opposition by running the bases intelligently and aggressively.

Baserunning must be worked on and emphasized, because it can be the edge that wins your team the game!

Miles Noland operates Noland Fitness LLC. His website, www.athletehitting.com is a wealth of information for young hitters.