When coaching a base in youth baseball, it is important to keep your messages simple and consistent. I often see Coach’s using a five-word phrase when one word would get the job done. Here are some coaching cues you can learn to help keep your messages consistent and simple.
When a player gets to first base, I like to give him important information in quick fashion. For example, I will say, “one out. On the ground, got to go. In the air, stay there.”
Responsibilities of a Base Coach in Baseball
These tips apply to both the first base coach and the third base coach.
- Advise baserunners of game situation: number of outs.
- Remind forced players to run on contact with two outs.
- Anticipate pickoffs and assist baserunners in avoiding getting picked off.
- Remind baserunner to freeze on a line drive with less than two outs.
First Base Coach
Through It – encourage your runner to run hard and through the base.
Round – on a ball hit to the outfield encourage your baserunner to round the base.
Big Round – the ball hit to left field or left center, encourage the baserunner to round the base aggressively in case of a bobble by the fielder or errant throw.
Freeze – the first word on your lips should be “freeze” when the ball is put in play. The players instinct is to go on contact. Make sure line drives get through the infield.
Read – On a pitch in the dirt, make sure your player reads if the ball gets away and how far.
Ball still here/there- he’s players like to hold the ball and tried to tag the player a second time. Make sure the runner knows the ball is still at the base so they don’t wander off.
Third Base Coach
These single-word phrases are paired with the coaching signals for easy communication with the baserunner.
These words have been purposely chosen, so they don’t sound similar and cause confusion.
When more than one runner is on base, the third-base coach takes the lead runner, and the first base coach takes the trailing runners.
See our article on Baseball Signs and Signals.
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