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Thread: Getting a lead off base

  1. #1
    Checking out the clubhouse larjoranj's Avatar
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    Default Getting a lead off base

    Hi. New to the forum. I searched this question but didn't find an answer. I see that most softball coaching sites or forums advocate the rocker style lead. They all say that the left foot is on the back corner of the bag while the right foot trails in foul ground but I've never seen an explanation of why the right foot can't be on the front corner of the bag and the left foot trails? I'm sure there is a good reason but I've never seen it explained. Also, in younger age groups where the runner can't leave the base until the ball crosses the plate it seems more awkward to have a good view of the plate with your left foot forward and right foot trailing as opposed to having your right foot forward and your left foot trailing. Your body is in a much more natural position for the runner to see the ball as it crosses the plate. Help? And thanks!

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    Certified softball maniac Lozza's Avatar
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    Awkwardness more than likely. As a rightie I’ve always had the left foot there. I’d have to have my left foot behind the base itself if started with right.

    Plus you can hide your foot coming off early if the right foot is coming past the left for. Harder to hide with right foot first.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball grcsftbll's Avatar
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    My DD does the pitching motion to come off the bag. She's a righty so she starts with her right foot forward and left foot back. She does the arm motion (when she was younger it was full; now it's more like a kind of half motion just to help her time) and starts to move with the wind up. Her front foot comes off the bag just as the pitch is released. Several of her teammates do this as well. They get accused of leaving early a LOT but we've only had one umpire I can think of who called it on us, and I think the player really did leave early that time. It does seem to really annoy the coaches but I don't understand why they don't all teach it. Not necessarily with the arm, but the timing of it. That's when they're supposed to leave the bag, as the pitch is released. Only need one foot in contact before that. Anyway.
    Last edited by grcsftbll; 08-12-2018 at 05:11 AM.
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    Checking out the clubhouse CanOfCorn's Avatar
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    Default Getting a lead off base

    I was TBB coach for many many years so using BB logic but this should apply to SB.

    Letís assume you want the girls to learn the same technique at each base.

    If you start at 3B then the left foot on bag puts you in foul territory and I am sure you know if you are hit by a ball off the bat it does not matter. The right foot on bag technique would place the runner in fair territory and if they are hit by a ball they are out. That should be enough but...

    At 2B being on the back of the base (left foot technique) makes you look closer to second from the catchers perspective allowing a larger lead. The few times I taught SB I had that runner take her first step to the right of 3B to add to the illusion and help with the turn.

    At 1B you dive back to the bag on the back side (closer to RF) so further from the catcher and her throw. The right foot technique would place you closer to throw and first baseman.

    As is said I just used the baseball logic of base running and transferred it but peopleís opinion may vary. Hope this makes sense.

    In all cases I told every player I coached, you donít have to agree but a coach should be able to explain the why of a drill or technique.

    [edit] I donít think it matters and you can have them try either way. If you think one way allows them to see better then that is a reasonable explanation. I realize at the age you are teaching they are looking at the plate where normally they look at the pitcher so explain that too.

    CofC


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    Last edited by CanOfCorn; 08-12-2018 at 10:38 AM.

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    Checking out the clubhouse larjoranj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanOfCorn View Post
    I was TBB coach for many many years so using BB logic but this should apply to SB.

    Let’s assume you want the girls to learn the same technique at each base.

    If you start at 3B then the left foot on bag puts you in foul territory and I am sure you know if you are hit by a ball off the bat it does not matter. The right foot on bag technique would place the runner in fair territory and if they are hit by a ball they are out. That should be enough but...

    At 2B being on the back of the base (left foot technique) makes you look closer to second from the catchers perspective allowing a larger lead. The few times I taught SB I had that runner take her first step to the right of 3B to add to the illusion and help with the turn.

    At 1B you dive back to the bag on the back side (closer to RF) so further from the catcher and her throw. The right foot technique would place you closer to throw and first baseman.

    As is said I just used the baseball logic of base running and transferred it but people’s opinion may vary. Hope this makes sense.

    In all cases I told every player I coached, you don’t have to agree but a coach should be able to explain the why of a drill or technique.

    [edit] I don’t think it matters and you can have them try either way. If you think one way allows them to see better then that is a reasonable explanation. I realize at the age you are teaching they are looking at the plate where normally they look at the pitcher so explain that too.

    CofC


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    You make some good points. I guess I'm not really in favor of the rocker style ( with either foot forward ) when girls are at the age where they can't leave til the ball crosses the plate. When my daughter was playing older travel ball and then high school ball the rocker was fine as they were getting their trigger from the pitcher's windup, usually at 12 o'clock. Now that my grand daughter is playing at age 9 her coach wants them to use the rocker, left foot forward , and when you are at 1st base it's harder to get a good view of when the ball crosses the plate since you are twisting against your body to see the plate. Also it seems harder for them at this age to find a consistent trigger on when to start their motion off the bag. When the ball is 10 feet from the plate? 15? When it crosses a certain spot on the fence? They seem to be getting a late lead more often than not because they still seem to start their motion when the ball crosses the plate. And it seems more difficult at 2nd base to see around the pitcher from the rocker. I think I'd prefer they use a sprinter style until they get to the age where they can lead when the ball leaves the pitcher's hand.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball quincy's Avatar
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    Never been to concerned about 2nd, the defense is done if ball goes there on pickoff.

    3rd open opinion.

    1st, most players are going to get 2nd. I am not sure they are in a hurry but you mide as well teach them right when they need to be.

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    Checking out the clubhouse CanOfCorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larjoranj View Post
    You make some good points. I guess I'm not really in favor of the rocker style ( with either foot forward ) when girls are at the age where they can't leave til the ball crosses the plate. When my daughter was playing older travel ball and then high school ball the rocker was fine as they were getting their trigger from the pitcher's windup, usually at 12 o'clock. Now that my grand daughter is playing at age 9 her coach wants them to use the rocker, left foot forward , and when you are at 1st base it's harder to get a good view of when the ball crosses the plate since you are twisting against your body to see the plate. Also it seems harder for them at this age to find a consistent trigger on when to start their motion off the bag. When the ball is 10 feet from the plate? 15? When it crosses a certain spot on the fence? They seem to be getting a late lead more often than not because they still seem to start their motion when the ball crosses the plate. And it seems more difficult at 2nd base to see around the pitcher from the rocker. I think I'd prefer they use a sprinter style until they get to the age where they can lead when the ball leaves the pitcher's hand.
    If it me coaching the team I would take a practical view.

    First, how many times are you really going to be thrown out at second or any base. At the age you are discussing it takes a good pitch, catch, transfer, throw, catch and tag. I will take my chances.

    Second let us plan for a long game. What I mean is I want your child or grand-child to stay in my program and keep playing. I do that by extending her and at 10U coaching her to a 12U level. Being a good base runner is easy and fun. This also prepares her for the next level without a learning curve or any shock and it makes us a good 10U team. IMO, this is ALWAYS how good coaches should approach a team. I think the saying is coaching someone up.

    Finally we use the tools we have. I bet I can video and figure out with some certainty a point the pitcher has the ball that if the runner rocks and goes it times with the ball crossing the plate or close. The problem youíre having is if you wait to see the ball actually cross the plate and go itís already too late. So estimate it and use video. Maybe 1/100 someone calls leaving early. Who cares at that age. I would take the blame and praise the child for being aggressive.

    What is the goal? To me our goal is to teach that anticipation with an aggressive style of running.



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  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to CanOfCorn For This Useful Post:

    Chris Delorit (08-13-2018), Westwind (08-13-2018)

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    Member Chris Delorit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanOfCorn View Post
    If it me coaching the team I would take a practical view.

    First, how many times are you really going to be thrown out at second or any base. At the age you are discussing it takes a good pitch, catch, transfer, throw, catch and tag. I will take my chances.

    Second let us plan for a long game. What I mean is I want your child or grand-child to stay in my program and keep playing. I do that by extending her and at 10U coaching her to a 12U level. Being a good base runner is easy and fun. This also prepares her for the next level without a learning curve or any shock and it makes us a good 10U team. IMO, this is ALWAYS how good coaches should approach a team. I think the saying is coaching someone up.

    Finally we use the tools we have. I bet I can video and figure out with some certainty a point the pitcher has the ball that if the runner rocks and goes it times with the ball crossing the plate or close. The problem you’re having is if you wait to see the ball actually cross the plate and go it’s already too late. So estimate it and use video. Maybe 1/100 someone calls leaving early. Who cares at that age. I would take the blame and praise the child for being aggressive.

    What is the goal? To me our goal is to teach that anticipation with an aggressive style of running.



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    Nice take, great job.

    Chris

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