Here are 5 tips for better base running from home to first base:
- Run at full speed with the head up and straight ahead, not looking down at the ground. Run just across the line in foul territory. Run with the elbows pumping up and down. Make no wasted motion side to side. (Foot speed is related to arm speed.)
- Without breaking stride take a quick look at the infield when you reach the runner’s box. This is so you may see if the ball is going through the infield and if it does, alter your route to take a “banana turn” approaching first.
- Hit the front side of the first base bag if you are running straight through. Hit the inside left corner of the bag if you are going to make the turn towards second base. The difference between safe and out may be where you touch the base.
- Lean forward when you touch the bag, somewhat like a sprinter breaking the tape at the end of a race. This will increase your momentum through the play zone.
- Run through the bag and then break down and look right. This must be coached as the tendency is for the base runner to slow as he approaches the bag. Quickly break down and look right so that the runner can react to an overthrow. Be prepared to instantly react to an overthrow and go for second base.
Always run like your hair is on fire, never slow down when approaching the base, and be aware of where the ball is so you can take advantage of any fielding errors.
Good Luck and Play Ball!