Looking for Baserunning drills/games
about half my team (U12 LL) is new and doesn't understand baserunning.
I'm seeing girls overrun 2B and 3B, run from 1B to 2B and stop while the BR behind them is yelling "RUN!!", girls running to a base only to find out someone is already there, etc.
I'd like to work on this at practice and didn't know if anyone had suggestions for drills or games that would help increase their awareness on the basepaths.
Play kickball. Even for brand new kids, they know that game. The basics are essentially the same, and it's a good break from practice.
I'm a fan
I think situation running drills are really difficult because there are a zillion different variations on what is going to happen on the basepaths.
Even some Pros are awful at the decision making process. Jorge Posada had to be the worst baserunner in this regard I ever saw, and it showed up in his defense as well when he often failed to anticipate what a good baserunner was going to do.
We put coaches at first and third base, half the team in the field and the other half as runners. the runners smack the ball off a tee and take off. the key is for them to listen to the coaches - run through or take a turn or go for two, and when they head for home to pick up the third base coach. "slide" "touch them all" "head for home" "get back!!!!!!!" - all that jazz. While they're at First or Third they get a 10 second lesson from the coach on why they did what they just did while the next runner gets up to the Tee.
At least if they are coached to key onto the base coaches there is a better chance they will do the right thing as they learn the right thing.
thanks for the suggestions!
last night we had an indoor practice (due to rain) and had 8 girls show up. for the last half hour or so, we played a game where there was no striking out and the pitcher used a different ball every inning (TCB, TCB Whiffle and whiffle golf ball). Because there were so few fielders, the more experienced girls were taking as many bases as they could. the less experienced girls saw this and wanted in on the action.
it got a bit crazy but
a) it was fun for everyone and
b) the girls who had not been aggressive on the basepaths learned that it is fun to run!
In hindsight I think the Tee would've been a better way to go, but this worked well enough.
Split team into two teams, one team is baserunners other is defense. position 1-2 defense at each bag and one defender in the middle of the field with the ball to start. Put one runner between 3rd and Home and one between 1st and 2nd. Drill starts with defender in the middle running towards one of the baserunners in a pickle. Baserunner is trying to get to either base safely. Once a tag is made or runner reaches base safely on that side defender with the ball sprints to other side of the field to go after the other runner who isn't allowed to move until the defender reaches midfield.
You can keep this going for a set amount of time and or go to a point total awarding points for outs or reaching safely, then have teams switch roles. Great for finding out who your real base runners are, not always the fastest kids, sometimes just the savviest
That sounds like a great drill.
I can talk softball all day
I end a lot of practices with this game. It doesn't do a lot for the mental aspect of baserunning but teaches hustle as well as proper rounding etc. Split the two teams up evenly half at home half at second each team runs it as a relay the next runner can't start until there team member has touched their respective base. Keep in mind that the two teams are running at the same time here. I focus on proper positioning on the bases and insure that all the kids touch every base if they don't they have to go back thus hurting their chances of winning. Losing team has to carry the equipment back to the truck. Cheering for each runner is a must.