How To Become A Good Base Runner
- Updated: February 27, 2017
Base running is one of those things that every player in baseball can become good at doing. Unlike throwing, fielding, and hitting, base running is more about effort and knowledge and not just talent and technique. Understanding what it takes to be a good one and putting the knowledge into action is all it takes to become an excellent base runner. However, it is also important to understand that speed is not always the most important factor because you also need to put in the effort, be savvy and also have the heart. Here are some tips that will help you understand how to become a good base runner.
#1 You Need to Run Hard All the Time
Although there is way much more to base running than the actual movement from one spot to the other or all the way round, you still need an ability to run hard all the time. You cannot succeed as a base runner if you cannot maintain a high and constant speed as you move from the first to third base. This ability will only come from practicing a lot because this is what will help you develop enough stamina to run hard all the time.
#2 Always Have the Right Cleats
Any baseball player knows that the shoes on their feet during training or matches make a huge difference. Baseball cleats are even more important when it comes to base running because you need them for acceleration and traction. It is because of this fact that some professionals will append hundreds of dollars on cleats. But, before you go out and squander your money on a baseball shoe it is important to determine what will work best for your base running and for this you will need to consider factors like the ground type. However, in most instances metal baseball cleats seem to work well in most fields and players love them because they offer excellent traction and make acceleration easy which is just what you need for effective base running.
#3 Know How to Read and Anticipate Pitches
You cannot succeed at base running without the ability to understand and anticipate pitches. First, you have to get as much knowledge on the pitcher’s playing style as possible, and if you are good enough, you can know everything that you want just by watching him throw the first pitch. Look at things like his throwing style and his body language because they will all give you information on what to expect. All in all, you should know how to anticipate the pitched balls going into the dirt and advance when possible.
#4 Understand your Speed and Capabilities
Base running is not all about being fast but also about knowing your abilities because this is what will help you determine when to take chances and when to be conservative with the play. The golden rule should always be not to risk it if you are not sure that you can get there because this can cost your team some scoring opportunities. Overconfidence in your speed is one of the greatest mistakes that most base runners make. And to avoid all this, it is important to know your speed and develop an ability to judge situations fast enough.
#5 Stay Focused
Regardless of how good you are at base running lack of concentration will affect your performance and it might even make your team lose the game. Staying focus will ensure that you do not miss any signs from your coach and that you understand everything going on in the field. Focusing is also important as it helps you read the game and other important things such as the time it takes outfielders to release the ball. When running, you should only focus on the base and listen to what the coaches have to say but never take your eyes off your target.
#6 Master the Slide
The slide that you make is an important element for success because if you do not do it right, you risk getting the tag out. Although different coaches tend to prefer varying styles of sliding, a good base runner should master all of them. Knowing how to slide with your feet first or head first is vital because you will need either to avoid a tag out and to make steals.
Baseball is an enjoyable sport and developing some good base running skills will contribute to making the game more fun for you. And the encouraging news is that it is not hard to master the techniques of base running because you only need to be fast, smart and have the heart to run through all the bases.
I am Faye, Founder of Baseball Discuss. As the professional and experienced baseball player, I hope that my shares can help you out to solve your problems as well as improve your game.