Have you ever watched the first few games in a t-ball players career? They are so cute when they hit the ball and then panic and run the wrong way when everyone starts yelling “RUN!!!”

If you are a coach trying to figure out how to get your players to hit to the opposite side of the field (behind lead runners) then you might want to have your players do the same thing. Run to third after a hit instead of running to first. Seriously!

More often than not, as players get started they have coaches/parents encouraging them to pull the ball because the poor little princess on third doesn’t have the arm strength to throw them out. So they learn from the age of 5 that pulling the ball leads to success. Which works great, right up until the time that the little princess at third has her arm transition into a cannon, or until there are runners on base and hitting it to third produces easy outs of lead runners. And as a team you find yourself unable to produce runs.

So if you are looking to help players break that habit, and they constantly say “but I can’t hit it to right field” then play a few practice games where they swing normally, but they have to run the bases backwards. It’s a fund drill to do that also serves a great purpose. Under those rules a hit to the third baseman becomes an easy out. So they quickly begin adjusting and trying to drive the ball to the right side. It also provides them with situations that are completely new to them and forces the offense and defense alike to have to think before every single pitch which is a good habit to be in. It also forces the defense to practice throws/tosses that are ordinarily not part of the game.

I guess you could say that running the bases backwards is like fashion, things always come back in style.

Category : Coaching / Mental advice / Training