The Ole Ball Game

Base Running, First To Third: Coach ~ Base ~ Coach!

In baserunning, first to third, the additional skill involved comes into play on a base hit to right center or right field.

If the ball is in front of the base runner, then the runner is able to make a decision on whether he is going on to third, or stopping at second.

When the ball is in right center or right field, essentially behind the runners' vision, he must rely on the third base coach to make that decision for him.

To accomplish this, the runner needs to think "COACH ~ BASE ~ COACH", for his reads. Picking up the coach about 1/2 of the way to second base will let him know if he is headed for third, armed with that information focus goes back to hitting the inside corner of second base with his right foot and immediately picking up the coach again.

This second look at the coach is of great importance, as the situation behind the runner may have changed from the initial assesment.

base running, first to third

In the picture above:

  • The base runner is approaching second base at full speed.

  • He is in stride to contact the inside corner of the bag with his right foot, and push off towards third base.

  • If this ball had been hit behind him, he would have already gotten his first look at his third base coach. If it was in front of him, he has made his own decision. All his immediate focus is on contacting the bag and making a tight turn.

  • Looking at the reaction of the infielder above, this ball was in front of the runner and he has made the decision to go to third.

Baserunning, first to third ~ Tips From the Dugout

base running, first to third ~ tips from the dugout
  • When baserunning, first to third, players sometimes forget to look to the coach a second time, which can be a critical mistake.

  • Situations can change in an instant, what was all go suddenly becomes a full stop, due to a great play by a defender. Running through that stop can easily mean running into an out.

  • What was looking like a full stop can become a go, as the ball is bobbled, fielder slips, is slow reacting, or there becomes a bad relay throw.

  • To make the most of either decision, the base runner needs to initially approach his turn at second base at full speed, with all intentions of going to third. You can always stop if you are looking at the coach; but you seldom can restart and get to third, if you have not been at full speed to begin with.

Additional Topics On This Fun, Yet Fun Part Of This Game

Base Running

What gravy is to Thanksgiving, the running game is to baseball.

Home To First

A full out sprint towards first base; REMEMBER, HUSTLE NEVER HAS A BAD DAY.

First To Second

Look immediately to the person giving the signs.

Second To Third

The base runners first and foremost responsibility is to keep track of the baseball.

Third To Home

For the base runner, this is the exception in leadoffs, as you lead off in foul territory.

Stealing Second

As you step out into your lead, all these feelings intensify as you lock in on that one movement the pitcher is about to make, a movement that will send you speeding towards second base.

Stealing Third

It is often easier to steal third base, than second.

Delayed Steal

Here you are using the element of surprise, a great equalizer.

Special Plays

Plays designed to amp up your running game, catching your opponent off guard while creating pressure on the defense.

25 Ways To Score

These 25 ways to score from third base are one reason teams work so hard at getting a runner to third base.

return from baserunning first to third to

Baseball on green grass

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Louisville Sluggers. 1920's


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