Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Register Log in

Tagging Up

R

RayR

Guest
As a coach which do you prefer:

1) Player tags up and focuses on next base and goes on voice of coach

2) Player tags up and positions herself so she can go when she sees the catch

Please explain why.

Thanks.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,854
63
Dallas, Texas
A runner should be listening or watching the coach and not the ball.

A runner will go between bases in about 3 seconds. In that 3 seconds, the runner has to determine from the position of the catcher where and how to slide. Besides watching the catcher, the runner also should be looking for signals from the on-deck batter as whether to slide at all.

If she were running based upon her what she saw, then the runner would have to twist her body for balls hit to left and center. She also wouldn't be in a good start position for her run to the plate.
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,507
38
Tucson
It irritates me that I see many MLB players looking for the ball, even when they are going into second base.
 
May 7, 2008
18
0
I disagree entirely.

Runner should be seeing the ball and reacting accordingly. First, the verbal takes time. Second, the more we force girls to rely on baserunning direction from coaches, the longer it takes them to learn any instincts.

My rule is this: If you can see the ball, you make the decision.

There is not much worse in coaching than the coach who is constantly telling his baserunners what to do at every instance.
 
May 7, 2008
18
0
Amy: MLB players know exactly what they are doing as they pick up the ball as they head toward second base. The only time they will rely on the base coach in that instance is if the ball is in right field, and even then they have a pretty good idea on their own.

What irritates me is when girls are running to second base looking at the third base coach when they can see the ball as well as the coach. And most girls slow down as they look over to find the coach.

The over-controlling coaches serve to guarantee that girls never learn how to properly run bases.
 
R

RayR

Guest
The over-controlling coaches serve to guarantee that girls never learn how to properly run bases.

My thoughts exactly.

I believe that base coaches should be there to STOP runners not tell them to advance.

Your practices should stress this and your runners should always be looking to advance on their own.

Personally, I am tired of players coming up to HS with literally no instincts when running the bases.

In the last couple of years I have seen the following as the norm in travel, LL and HS ball

Batters running through the base down the RF line when the play was at another base even as the 1B Coach is telling them to take the turn. I marvel at the players inablitly to notice that the 1st basemen is not making a play and is watching the play at another base or the fact that the 1B coach is instructing.

Or how a player on 2B does not tag on a foul ball, or a player on 3B.

Or how a player cannot read the ball flight to see that the OFers are not going to catch the ball and wait to see if it drops. I am talking about gap shots that everyone else knows will not be caught.

Or a player on 2B is not automatically advancing on ground out to the right side or when the 3B throws to 1B.

Players that either will not advance on a ball blocked by the catcher or breaks too late. Are you telling me that todays players cannot read that pitch is headed into the dirt?

I can go on and on.

Bottom line to me is that today's players are programmed to the point that instincts are non existent.

The baserunning practice I see is no more than an exercise around the bases. Do teams really have to practice going from home to 3rd? Or home to home?

Getting back to my OP:

I think it ridiculous that a coach has to tell a player when to leave on a tag. How does she draw a throw on a shallow ball? But, every year I get players that will wait for the coach to say "GO"

Sure, being more aggressive will lead to some outs on the bases, but I think the positives will more than out weigh the negatives if you build a team that thinks on their own and "sees" opportunities and capitalizes on them.

I have one player that has taken this approach to heart. It did not come overnight, but as she became more comfortable with this and realized that I endorse and encourage this type of play she blossomed. In a Fall league that just wrapped up she scored more garbage runs (no RBI on the play) then I have seem from a player in a long time. Her style of baserunning distracted the pitcher, catcher and fielders. It really did seem that almost every time she was on the bases she advanced through a mistake by the defense, sometimes 2 bases on one play. She would advance from 1st to 3rd on a sac bunt, she would delay steal 3B and then score on the wild pitch on the very next pitch.

She once scored from 2nd on a wild pitch. As the runner from 3rd scored, the ball got by the P covering home and rolled into the IF. She just kept coming around. She didn't need a coach to tell her to go.

This is the way fastpitch should be played!

OK, end of rant. I have been typing and retyping this post for over a week trying to get my thoughts out without sounding condescending. I just really believe that baserunning is such an untapped resource in today's game either because coaches get too wrapped up in teaching mechanics and don't have time to teach it or play not to lose so to speak and focus on pitching.
 
May 7, 2008
18
0
MTS: Great post. I have dealt with every single one of the issues you mentioned. It's just incredible how poor girls generally are with baserunning. And it stems from youth coaches at 8-U through 14-U controlling their every move and not teaching them to pick up the ball.

The best baserunners don't even need the third base coach on balls they can't see. For example, a good baserunner will pretty much know if she can score from second on a base hit because she will know where and how hard the ball is hit, the pre-pitch positioning of the outfield, and will have a feel of whether she can score based on those factors and her own speed and the jump she was able to get.

Of the many pertinent things you mentioned, perhaps the one that boggles my mind the most is the inability of many girls to read whether a ball is going to drop. It seems to happen all the time where girls will be standing there frozen, 2 to 3 seconds after it has become very easy to see no one is going to catch the ball.

I have started to teach this skill. What I noticed is that when I watch these balls, I alternately look at the ball and then the outfielder(s) in quick succession until I can figure out if it might be caught. And then I watched our baserunners and saw that they only watched the ball. No wonder they don't know whether it might be caught. So we have taught and incorporated into our practices drills where the girls are getting plenty of practice reading these balls, both while running the bases and while they are on defense.
 
R

RayR

Guest
Of the many pertinent things you mentioned, perhaps the one that boggles my mind the most is the inability of many girls to read whether a ball is going to drop. It seems to happen all the time where girls will be standing there frozen, 2 to 3 seconds after it has become very easy to see no one is going to catch the ball.

I have started to teach this skill. What I noticed is that when I watch these balls, I alternately look at the ball and then the outfielder(s) in quick succession until I can figure out if it might be caught. And then I watched our baserunners and saw that they only watched the ball. No wonder they don't know whether it might be caught. So we have taught and incorporated into our practices drills where the girls are getting plenty of practice reading these balls, both while running the bases and while they are on defense.
That is some pretty good shit, Joe!

I can picture doing exactly that even as a 3B coach, but the decision that a ball will drop or not drop comes rather quickly. I also think that reading the OFer gives you a pretty good indication. HS players are not seasoned enough to deek a play. If they don't think they are going to catch it their body language gives it away.

One of the things we are implementing this year at practice is working stations within stations.

Instead of stationing off the players for just hitting (one group hitting live or off the machine, one doing tee work and one doing soft or front toss) we are going to work on baserunning with one group as another is hitting and another working on defense.

One day the baserunning station will work from 1B only. As the hitting group is hitting, players will take turns from 1B. Working on their leads and the runners will play it out depending on the situation we call. Hit and run, steal, 2 outs, no outs, etc. We can also work on sac bunts and have the runners work on getting to 3B, defense can work on throw behinds to 2B. All kinds of situations can be worked on making as game like as possible.

Really depending on the situation we call (ie, pitch outs or pick offs) every group will have something to work on. The hitters will sometimes work on 2 strike hitting or slapping or slashing, etc.

But, overall the desire is to get the players to get as many reps in game like baserunning situations and hopefully they develop instincts.

I do like your drill Joe and can definitely work that in as well.
 
May 22, 2008
351
0
NW Pennsylvania
I had some real aggressive girls last year & loved it. One thing I learned was to not try to micro-manage the ones who were getting smart. I learned real quick as a 3b coach I had to let the girls use their own instincts on scoring on a passed ball. If they have to wait on the coach to figure out if he thinks they can make it they are gonna get out. I did sometimes need to tell the girls "ok we arent gonna do anything stupid here" depending on the game situation, or possibly, "ok I want you home if there is any kind of half decent passed ball" Its just great to watch the confidence of a girl who is learning to get aggressive on her own, & on the few times she gets nailed, you just tell her Its ok , it was a risk worth taking.

Another note, always when i send a girl & she gets thrown out I make sure that she & the rest of the team all know that, that one was on me.
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,507
38
Tucson
"I make sure that she & the rest of the team all know that, that one was on me."

And I tell all of the parents, immediately.
 

Latest posts

Members online

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Threads
33,689
Messages
488,099
Members
15,334
Latest member
TRP llc
Top