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Re: Re: Re: Need Major Help With Lead

Posted by: skip (piks5@sbcglobal.net) on Thu May 17 06:50:22 2007

> skip,
> Thank you so much. I appreciate your detailed response. I am going to read this over again to try and pick up what you said a little better. Our coach actually has an ideal lead set up for us off of first base. We are suppose to take three steps (left, right, left) then shuffle as many times as it takes to get to a designated spot that we have. He wants us to have an 18 foot lead. I am pretty sure about my lead, its just the whole getting picked off thing, and making the right decisions on the go that I am scared of. I do feel a little more comfortable after reading your message though. Thanks again.

That "whole getting picked off thing": Baseball is an "extreme" sport. That's why we love it. A pitcher throws a rock at 80 mph inches from your head. Runners dangle off first base like pieces of live bait on the surface of a bass pond at feeding time. If it weren't scary, it wouldn't be extreme, and nobody would play.

You're a saavy player because you admit your fear (soldiers admit it, MLB batters admit it-- but they both master it) which means that you'll master it and maximize your potential.

As a saavy player, you should know:

Your base coaches will say, trust me, I've got your back. But don't put complete trust in them when you're leading. I'm a base coach, and I watch other base coaches. They're human, and they have other distractions. Third base coaches are watching the SS for you, but also trying to think about tactics and their batter. First base coaches are watching the pitcher, but also thinking about their golf game.

When you're leading off second, your 3rd base coach may say, I've got the SS,you've got the sec. baseman. Ok, but as the runner, have eyes in the back of your head, a 6th sense about the location and antics of the SS. Your instinct is more important than that of the 3B coach.

Totally alert totally reliable first base coaches seem rare. They seem to act like the vice president-- greeting people, shaking hands, thinking about their golf game. Often the dugout yells "back!" a split sec. before the first base coach. That says good things about the guys in the dugout, but....

I guess what I'm saying, when taking leads, use your base coaches, but don't depend on them. You are the bait on the water, your instincts are by nature sharper as to when you have to hop back on the lily pad (I'm enjoying this).

Sucker plays:

Runners at first and sec., you're at first, 1B is playing behind you, not holding you on. Pitcher tries to pick at 2B, doesn't work.
As the trail runner you're feeling secure. But the pick at 2B was to set you up at 1B. Everyone's expecting a pitch, but 1B darts to the base and picks the runner. Don't fall for this. You don't need a big prim. lead in this situation. You're the trail runner, you're not stealing second. Also, guaranteed, your 1B coach won't alert you in time. Prim. lead not important here, just get your full 18 feet on the pitch. Have eyes in the back of your head.

sucker play: First and second, two outs, full count, "start 'em up!"
Yes, you're running on the pitch, but MAKE SURE the pitcher is going to the plate. As a defensive coach, we exploit the runner's enthusiasm by picking in this situation, usually in the late innings of big games. Don't go on "first move".

Hope some of this helps,


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