Baseball Coaching Tips--Protect the Base Runner From What?
A base runner breaks for second base for a stolen base attempt. The batter swings at the pitch and quite often a baseball announcer will say that the batter swung to protect the runner. Was the runner in some type of danger and needed protection? No. The base runner is simply trying to steal a base.
Forget about protecting the runner and a much better option for the batter is to help the runner instead:
1. Square around as if to bunt even though you have no intention of bunting.
2. Place the bat at approximately the eye level of the catcher.
3. At the last second, pull the bat away and do not attempt the bunt.
4. This will slightly block the vision of the catcher when he tries to catch the ball and also will prevent him from aggressively jumping out of his stance and gaining momentum toward the base he's throwing to.
Catchers don't like this because they can't make their normal throw that they practice all the time. It disrupts their timing as well as their footwork. Usually, there is a very good chance the catcher's throw will not be a good one. It's a very effective play and one of the smartest baseball coaching tips you will learn. Very few players know about it and that's why you will not see it done very often. The better catchers work on their timing and their foot work all the time.
"Show me a catcher with a very good throwing arm and I'll show you a catcher with very good foot work." They definitely go hand in hand. By disrupting the catcher's foot work, your base runner's chances of a successful stolen base will increase tremendously!
Please note that this should be used at advanced levels of play ONLY. It should not be used by young players that are just starting out and learning how to play the game of baseball. There is a huge difference between baseball coaching tips for young players and baseball coaching tips for players at the high school level of play and beyond. Eight to ten year old players compared to players that are fifteen years old and up should be coached accordingly.