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Monday, September 21, 2009

Little League Baseball Drills - Base Running Practice

By Chris Campbell

There are so many different roles for each player in the game of baseball, that it can be difficult to become a master of all. But, with some good drills catering to each role, it's quite achievable to become a master of many. Let's take a look at a base running drill. Perhaps not as much fun as hitting practice, but an essential skill none the less.

For drill, it's not necessary to have anyone playing on defense. This is good, as more players can focus on the same drill. It works a number of different base running scenarios, and builds up the conditioning and cardio of the players involved.

Begin the drill with one runner on first base, one runner on second base, and a player in the batters box at home plate. Any remaining players, should queue up behind the runner in the batters box.

You'll need a couple of coaches to run the drill. Position one near home base equipped with a baseball bat and a few baseballs. The other coach should situate themselves near third base. The coach positioned in front of home base will begin the drills by hitting a ball anywhere in fair territory. Fly balls hit count as singles, and ground balls as well will count as singles past the imaginary infielders.

While there is no one playing on defense, the runners on base, and at home will react as if there is another team on the field. The runner at home plate, will do one of two things. If the coach hits a ground ball, then he is to run as quickly as possible to first base, as if the defense is trying to throw him out. On a fly ball, that same runner, will run to first base, and round first base, as if he was considering carrying on to second.

If only a ground ball is hit, the runner at first base will go directly to second base. If a fly ball is hit into the outfield, the runner goes to second, and makes visual contact with the coach on third for his next move. The coach decides what the runner should do next. Either stay at second, or go for third base.

The last runner positioned at second base will do something similar. A infield ground ball will send him directly to third base. A fly ball to the outfield will send him rounding third, and looking to the coach positioned in the third base coaches box for instruction.

If there is a runner at third (can't happen on the first ball hit), and a fly ball is hit, then the runner should tag, and as soon as the ball bounces on the ground, then run for home. On ground balls, and no runner at second, the player waits for instruction from the coach on third.

This is a good drill, that keeps multiple players in motion. Be sure to move as quickly through the drill as possible, to keep everyone working.

Little League Baseball Drills is a great resource for helping your little leaguer get the most out of his or hers favorite pastime. With a little good training, amateur or even professional ball players will see a dramatic improvement in the way they play.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick