There is way much to base running than just moving from one point to the other fast. A base runner is a vital part of the game, and he can make the difference in a match. And with this fact in mind, you should always strive to be the best so that you can help your team win games.
As a base runner, you should always aim at developing skills and capabilities that will help you go beyond the first base and go all the way round. With enough practice and willingness, you can improve your base running skills. Here are some helpful tips on how to become a good base runner.
1. Understand the Field
Pre-game awareness is vital for a base runner because it will affect his performance in many ways. Even before you get into the field, you should spare some time to look at it and get as much information as possible. It is important to understand things like sun, fences, the direction of the wind and even the length and thickness of the grass because they will all affect your performance. Other things like field layout, warning track, dugout gaps, and corners are also important. Developing a habit of observing and being aware of these vital factors is essential if you want to become good at base running.
2. Wear the Right Shoes
Shoes make a tremendous difference when it comes to base running and so you should make sure that you have the right cleats if you want to become a good base runner. Baseball cleats come in many designs and types, but the material of the studs is the main difference. The right pair for you a base runner will depend on the ground that you are playing in. However, in most instances, metal baseball cleats work best because they provide excellent traction and grip which is what you need for fast accelerations. Also, they will not collect a lot of dirt which can affect your movement.
3. Know your Opponents
The role of a base runner is not just about running from one base to the other, and there are also many factors will influence his ability to do it successfully. One of these vital things is the ability, attitude and skill level of the opponents. And so it is important to know how to watch out for things like players that lack arm strength and outfielders that take a few extra steps before they release the ball. Also, a good base runner should be able to watch and understand the catcher’s style of playing and also the ability of a baseman to pick balls and how he does it.
4. Start with Getting Fit
A good base runner should run fast and hard all the time. For this to be so, you will need to get fit and develop stamina. Although all the other aspects of the game will still require you to be in good shape, you have to practice running a lot and have the strength and endurance that you need to run through all the bases at high speed. There are many things that you need to be a good base runner, but even with all these elements, you will not succeed if you cannot run hard all the time.
5. Learn to Watch Signs from Coach
Your coach will always come in handy when it comes to base running, and you have to know how to watch out for his signs even as you move. Most players tend to concentrate more on moving fast and forget about the signs from the coach which is a big mistake as it will affect their performance. It is important to make sure that you know all the signs that your coach uses and understand what each means before you get into the field because a good base runner should never miss any sign.
6. Know your Speed
A good base runner should be aware of his speed because it is vital for his performance. Knowing your speed will help you make quick decisions on when to take chances and when to play things more conservative. Sometimes you have to play it conservative if you do not have the speed that you need to get to the base but this decision is only possible for players who understand their capabilities.
The six tips above will help you become a good base runner, but it is still important to do a lot of practice. Also, you should always keep in mind the fact that base running is not just about speed but also about being smart when on the field.
About the author: I am Faye, Founder of baseballdiscuss.com. 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.