Certified softball maniac
Here is an article on something I seldom saw in tournaments and games. I hope this is old news to most coaches that have aaalready had the discussion witheir players. However, sometimes it takes someone outsiie their normal sphere of influence to say the exact samme thing and actually have it heard.
I hoope you find this to be a good re-enforcement tool.
STEALING HOME ã 1999,2001
Every player and coach knows when there is a runner on third, a passed ball, wild pitch (or whatever happens) that puts the catcher NOT in control of the ball, an opportunity presents itself to steal home. This can happen several times in any game and usually does.
Another opportunity to steal home presents itself quite often, not as often as passed balls or wild pitches, but quite a lot.
When the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher, STEAL HOME! You must make your move before the pitcher has the ball while standing in the circle. Take off at the exact instant the ball leaves the catcher's hand. Challenge the pitchers overhand arm. The runner must break from the bag, run, slide and do it quickly. That's not a lot to ask of a good runner.
The ball has travel time to reach the pitcher, the pitcher must realize what is happening, react, grab the ball and throw the ball accurately. The ball has travel time to reach the catcher, the catcher must catch the ball (no matter where it has been thrown) and place the tag. That is a lot to ask in the same amount of time. As long as the runner breaks at the exact instant the catcher releases the ball, the odds are definitely in favor of the runner.
Watch the other team's catcher. If the catcher gives lazy slow return throws to the pitcher, jump all over it.
Depending on the catcher's throws, it might be smarter to not take a lead off of 3rd base. Stay on the bag and steal home when the catcher makes their return throw. This is a judgement call on the runner's part. If the 3rd base coach tells them to go it will alert the other team. The runner should just do it on their own or the base coach should use a hand signal
Here is another very common situation you can take advantage of to steal home. The pitcher throws a pitch and the 3rd base runner comes off the bag a few steps. The catcher comes up and looks at the 3rd base runner as she comes forward of the plate 3 or 4 steps toward the pitcher. The pitcher also comes toward the catcher 3 or 4 steps and comes OUT OF THE PITCHING CIRCLE. The catcher either places the ball in the pitcher's glove or gives it a little toss to her. THE CATCHER NOW TURNS HER BACK TO THE FIELD and starts walking towards home plate and the pitcher starts walking back to the circle with her back to the catcher.
Before the pitcher steps back into the circle, explode towards home plate. Again, the pitcher has to realize what is happening, turn around 180 degrees and make the throw. However, SHE CANNOT THROW UNTIL THE CATCHER TURNS AROUND! The catcher must turn around, THEN the pitcher can throw. At that close distance it is unlikely the pitcher will throw as hard and fast as they possibly can because most pitcher's overhand throwing accuracy is not that great, especially under pressure to release it quickly. The ball has travel time to reach the catcher who must catch it WHEREVER the pitcher throws it to. The catcher then must turn 180 degrees and place the tag. It is unlikely the catcher will be in a good position to place the tag. Again, THE ODDS ARE IN THE FAVOR OF THE RUNNER!
You will win more games and have a lot more fun when you use aggressive base running tactics!
The Following User Says Thank You to halskinner For This Useful Post:
Certified softball maniac
Admin, please change the title of this to "Stealing Home". Thanks and uh, oops.