Base running and timing are essential to scoring runs. A simple and fun way to develop proper base running technique is to practice the secondary lead drill. This will help your players develop skills to advance around the bases should there be a passed ball or should the batter put the ball in play.
To do this drill, all the equipment you will need are either two bases or items that can represent bases (i.e. – throw-down base, fielding glove, etc.).
If doing this drill outside, Little Leaguers® are to wear the batting helmet and cleats they normally wear to practice or a game. If this drill is done inside (on a hard floor), Little Leaguers® are to wear their batting helmet and sneakers or running shoes.
Find an open space free of obstructions.
Place the bases approximately 30 feet apart. Once the bases are set, have your Little Leaguer get in a good starting position on the article representing first base and assume an athletic running position. For baseball players in the Little League Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division, Junior League, or Senior League, place the bases approximately 50 feet apart, and have the runner start in a lead off position.
Instruct your Little Leaguer to imagine the pitcher is on the pitcher’s plate.
Then have the Little Leaguer prepare to run.
As you verbalize a pitch has been delivered to the batter, say “Go!,” and have your Little Leaguer move toward second base by taking two shuffle steps, then pivoting on their right foot and start running to second base.
When approaching second base, have your Little Leaguer take stutter steps to control their stop at second base without sliding, or over-running the base.
Focus on timing and body positioning. Remind your Little Leaguer to keep their body’s center of gravity low to the ground and not to hop when taking the shuffle steps. Repeat several times to establish consistent timing and base running technique.