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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Little League Digest - 10 Base Running Tips For Little League Baseball Players

Little League Digest - 10 Base Running Tips For Little League Baseball Players
By guest author: Nick Dixon

There are several important coaching points that need to be remembered when teaching Little League players to run the bases correctly. This article presents 10 coaching points for little league baseball runners related to first baseball.

Coaching Points related to base running at 1st base:

1. The batter must sprint out of the batter's box and take a straight line path toward first base. The batter base runner must "honor" the base running box. The base running box allows the umpire to determine if a base runner is inside the base line. If a runner gets inside the foul line and a throw ball makes contact with the runner, the batter base runner is out. If a ball is a slow roller in the direction of first base, the batter base runner must avoid contact with the ball. Stepping on, contacting or touching the ball in fair territory will result in an out.
2. When a batter hits the ball his approach to first base is determined by the location of the hit ball as it travels into the field. If the ball is a fielded grounder, the base runner will run through the bag at 1st.
3. If the hit ball gets by the infielder, either as a hit or error, the batter base runner should do a "hook" path as he approaches first base to give him a straighter angle to advance to second base if the first base coach sends him.
4. The batter base runner should run hard through the bag when he is attempting to beat a throw to first. The runner should concentrate on running to a spot about 15 feet past the bag. When the runner touches the bag, the runner's foot should land on the front 1/3 of the bag.
5. The batter base runner should always look to the right when he crosses the bag on a close play. This look allows the batter base runner to see if the throw was missed by the first baseman.
6. If the base runner is sent to second, the runner should only contact the inner corner of the base as he makes the turn toward second base.
7. The runner should always run everything out as if the ball is fair. The runner should hustle and assume that all fly balls will be missed.
8. The runner must run out all foul balls because of the "roll back" rule. If a foul ball hits and kicks back into fair territory between home and 1st base or between home and 3rd base, the ball is fair. The ball will be fair as long as the ball does not contact a bat, fence, dugout, or fielder.
9. The batter base runner that sees an errant throw should not immediately advance to second. The runner must listen to his coach. The coach will make sure that the catcher is not trailing the play.
10. Older or advanced runners may be taught to read the firstbaseman's footwork to detect a possible catch ad tag play. If the throw from the fielder pulls the first baseman off the bag, the only possibility for getting the runner out is a tag. If the runner sees the first baseman coming off the bag toward him, he should slide to avoid the tag.

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Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time at Boaz High School in Alabama. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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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