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Base Running Drills for 8 YO's

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  • Base Running Drills for 8 YO's

    I would appreciate any feedback. Our team presently has 4 kids that will run baserunning drills fine in practice, but once a game starts, they do the following, slow down to reach first prior to tagging bag, stop on bag, or watch the ball after hit and run all over the place. What can I do to help them past this? I have never had this issue after the first game on my son's other teams.

    I have tried showing them by example(me pretending to be a batter and getting thrown out by the other coaches). Explaining how the things they are doing are working against them.

    This is my first year at competitive ball, I have coached Rec ball for 4 years and that was always our team's strongpoint: baserunning. My theory is that these kids have never been taught proper baserunning and I am fighting against their previously learned habits.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Put a glove or cone 8 feet past 1B and make them run all the way to the glove. We do this 3 times through the line-up each practice then

    we also put a glove about 8 feet before 1B on the outside of the line to teach them how to learn to take a wide turn in order to cut the corner and

    We also put a glove about 12 to 15 feet towards 2nd base after rounding 1B to get them to round the bag and stop at the glove looking for the ball and listening to the coach. If coach says 2 2 2 then the kid takes off or back back back the kids hustle back to the bag.

    If you do these simple drills for a couple weeks worth of practices it starts to sink in for that age level.


    cally
    Last edited by callyjr; 04-16-2008, 12:48 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Newyouthcoach View Post
      I would appreciate any feedback. Our team presently has 4 kids that will run baserunning drills fine in practice, but once a game starts, they do the following, slow down to reach first prior to tagging bag, stop on bag, or watch the ball after hit and run all over the place. What can I do to help them past this? I have never had this issue after the first game on my son's other teams.

      I have tried showing them by example(me pretending to be a batter and getting thrown out by the other coaches). Explaining how the things they are doing are working against them.
      Your drills may need to be more realistic.

      Hold scrimmages with just the infield in play (e.g. hit to outfield is an out). That will give them lots of reps in a more realistic setting.
      Hitting Coordinator for Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.

      I also work with the pitchers who are dealing with injury problems.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Newyouthcoach View Post
        I would appreciate any feedback. Our team presently has 4 kids that will run baserunning drills fine in practice, but once a game starts, they do the following, slow down to reach first prior to tagging bag, stop on bag, or watch the ball after hit and run all over the place. What can I do to help them past this? I have never had this issue after the first game on my son's other teams.

        I have tried showing them by example(me pretending to be a batter and getting thrown out by the other coaches). Explaining how the things they are doing are working against them.

        This is my first year at competitive ball, I have coached Rec ball for 4 years and that was always our team's strongpoint: baserunning. My theory is that these kids have never been taught proper baserunning and I am fighting against their previously learned habits.

        Thanks
        I have a 9 year old on my team that has played for three years and still stops on 1st base! We are into our 8th game tonight and he has just recently started running past the base. For this particular player, I think it is something in his attention span. He can't quite think of more than one thing at a time. So when he hits the ball, thats all he thinks of he knows he needs to run but doesn't think about where or how. It was hard (and frustrating) at first, but he is slowly getting there. It was just working with him through repetition and giving him consequences when he didn't do it right. I would have him (and the whole team for that matter) do 5 push ups if the stopped on the bag. Or 5 jumping jacks or whatever. Just something that got them thinking about the bag rather than the hit.

        On the other side of things - I have a 10 year old who has NEVER played before in his life. He is good athletically, but just never threw a ball before so I had to work with him from absolute scratch. Now he got the point of running through the bag pretty quickly, however it took several push-ups and jumping jacks for him NOT to run through 2nd or 3rd
        He understands now, but it was tough.

        Bottom line - practice practice practice. And give them some way of remembering why they need to over run it (not just telling them that they slow down when stopping on the bag). Give them consequences (small consequences) so they understand the correct way of doing things.

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        • #5
          to follow up on my post, my boys team age currently is 8 and 9 but mostly 8's, none of my kids stop at 1B. Through reps each practice they got it.

          Cally

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          • #6
            I am doing the infield scrimmage, and I am having the same results as a game. Here is what I am doing. 1st part of practice - running to first and turning to foul territory. If a kid improperly does it, he does it two more times in a row. Go through all kids at least three times. Hitting drills/fielding drills for a while then baserunning drill of mixed signals, first only, run to second, and pick up 3base coach. Every drill has baserunning coach in place. Same number of times for each kid and repeats if necessary. next is infield scrimmage, this is where I am stumped, once they get up to bat, it is like the drill we just finished never happened.

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            • #7
              I have thought about before the game this weekend telling the team that whoever has the best baserunning for each game will get a special prize (gift card to an ice cream shop or the like). Do one each game for a week or two, and see how that pans out. I was thinking of letting the team vote on it, so I could see if that helped get them watching the game while they were in the dugout.

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              • #8
                This doesnt have to do with running to first, but I like to play pickle with a tennis ball. It gets the kids thinking about the timeing of the ball. But mainly its lots of reps under a stressfull situation. Its also good for the defence.

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                • #9
                  I feel your pain. My 8 year often stretches doubles into a singles. He did it again today because he thought his hit was going to clear the fence.

                  His 2nd time up he hit a linedrive striking the pitcher on abdomen. The pitcher was down for a couple of minutes. I was worried that he was hit on the chest. That really scared all of us .

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