Baserunning - First To Second
Leading Off The Base
Once you have reached first base, your first priority is to look over to your third base coach for signs. There is nothing more frustrating for a coach than to try and give a sign and not have the player on base or at the plate looking at the same time. Get in the habit of looking to your coach for the sign right after each pitch.
Stay on the base until you have received the signs from your coach and the pitcher has made contact with the rubber. Once the pitcher has made contact with the rubber, you can start taking your lead.
When taking your lead, remember the following:
- Stay in an athletic position. Don't walk to take your lead.
- Keep your eye on the pitcher the entire time.
- Do not crossover with your left leg going in front of your right. If you do so, your back will be toward first; then you are not in a position to dive back. Pitchers are trained to look for a crossover step by the runner and make a pickoff move the moment they see a runner crossover when taking their lead.
- Assuming you are not stealing.
- Do not get picked off if you are not attempting to steal second. Always know the value of your run. You worked hard to get to first base, make sure you are not picked off because of a mental mistake. (ex. taking a larger lead than necessary, not paying attention)
- Early in the game, if the pitcher has not made a move to first, take a larger lead than you normally would and try to get the pitcher to throw over. The entire team should pay attention to see what kind of move the pitcher has. It is essential when you do this that you expect the pickoff move and are ready (actually anticipating) going back to first.
Once the pitcher has started his delivery, you want to take your secondary lead. The purpose of the secondary lead is to shorten the distance to second base and have some momentum going toward the base. To get to your secondary lead, you want to take two shuffle steps toward second base. The goal is to complete the second shuffle step as the ball crosses the plate. If the ball is hit on the ground, you just crossover and continue to second base. If the catcher catches the ball, return to first base quickly.
When the ball is hit, you quickly need to read the trajectory. If it's a ground ball, perform a crossover and run hard to second. If the ball is hit on the line, freeze and make sure it makes it past the infield before continuing on to second.