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First Base Coaching Responsibilties

FJRGerry

Abby's Dad
Jan 23, 2009
202
0
Collegeville, PA
I just wanted to lock down responsibilities for coaching first base (since I’ve never done it).
1. Encourage the hitter to run through the bag for infield hits and to turn or continue to second on outfield hits.

2. Instruct the runner to take proper leads on release of the ball by the pitcher

3. Instruct the runner to watch the third base coach for signs to steal

4. Remind the runner what to do when the ball is hit
a. Run on grounders
b. Hold on pop-ups unless two outs

Anything else?
 
Jan 13, 2009
52
0
I'll add one:

When and how to tag. Always on a fly ball into foul territory. Immediately if the fly ball looks to be easily caught in fair territory, distance down the base path if even a slight chance it may not be caught.
 
Jan 15, 2009
585
0
I just wanted to lock down responsibilities for coaching first base (since I’ve never done it).
1. Encourage the hitter to run through the bag for infield hits and to turn or continue to second on outfield hits.

2. Instruct the runner to take proper leads on release of the ball by the pitcher

3. Instruct the runner to watch the third base coach for signs to steal

4. Remind the runner what to do when the ball is hit
a. Run on grounders
b. Hold on pop-ups unless two outs

Anything else?
On all 4 of these points the idea is to get the player to the point where they don't need someone at first base telling them things they should already know. The things that a 1B coach can do for the runner that don't involve doing the thinking for the runner are limited to IMO

1. Instructing the batter runner, to round for 2nd (or go 2 or go 3) if a ball hit on LF side has done something unexpected (i.e. ground ball booted by 3B or gets past LF). On any infield hit (or short RF) they better be running full speed through the base unless otherwise instructed and on any outfield hit (other than short RF) they better be rounding 1B hard and evaluting their situation with the mindset that every hit to the outfield is a double until the defense stops you.

2. Critiquing the timing of a lead off taken by a runner at first. Give them feedback.

3. Quizing them on the count and outs, not telling them. If they don't know you can tell them then, but develop the expectation that the runner should know the outs and the count.

4. Letting them know if they missed a sign. Again this should be a learning process, the 1B coach isn't there to repeat the 3B coaches signs for the runner.

Too often the 1B coach is used as a substitute brain for the runner especially at the younger ages. Instead of just helping with things the runner doesn't have good vision on (i.e. seeing a miscue on the left side of the field) they are making decisions for the runner that need to become instinctual (i.e. Can I stretch this into a double if that fielder double clutches?) At the rec level you definitely need the extra set of hands because it's like herding cats and the attention span is so short that they aren't thinking about the situation. At the travel/high school/college level you shouldn't need someone reminding them that they should look at the 3rd Base coach to get the signs.

IMO I'd rather see girls play without a 1B coach and occasionally fail to make the right decisionson their own, but learn from those mistakes, then rely so heavily on their coaches that they fail to develop the awareness necessary to play at the next level.
 

Coach-n-Dad

Crazy Daddy
Oct 31, 2008
1,011
0
The only thing that the first base coach should be counted on to do is to signal batter/runner to go or stay. It is the responsibility of the runner to know what to do after she is safe on first or past first.

That being said, at lower ages the first base coach has many more responsibilities. The goal is to coach the girls to know what to do (see SnocatzDad's reply).

Good luck and have a lot of fun out there!
 
Dec 3, 2008
161
0
If pick off and pitch out plays are relevant in your league, it is the first base coach's responsibility to be the eyes for those behind the runner. The runner will be aware of the first baseman dropping back to the base, the first base coach will watch the second baseman to see if she either 1) breaks early to give away a pick off or 2) comes hard to the base on a pick off... especially in a bunt situation where she's headed hard that way, anyway.

Once a player is on second base, they can get very good hard and effective lead offs if they trust their first base coach to be their eyes on the second baseman. Again, the first base coach will watch the second baseman for her tipping off a pitch out or pick off play. A good lead lead off at second base is the difference between a base hit advancing a runner to third versus a base hit scoring a run.
 
Feb 9, 2009
392
0
At younger ages, I find that it is also the 1st base coaches job to be a batting coach. They are usually looking to you for encouragement, instruction, and help on where to stand: ie...closer to the bag, move away from the pitcher, watch the ball, etc...
They only remember what you told them 5 seconds ago, so 1st base coach is HUGE on my team...
 

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