Earlier, we posted an article here on the blog, titled, " Winning Base Running Means Winning Games." The article outlines the things coaches need to drill into their players non-stop in order to avoid base running mistakes and it features a breakdown of the things base runners need to be thinking about from various different bases in multiple game situations.
Saved in my treasure trove of great articles from the past is a guest post from July 2011 by Nick Dixon on the Coaches Best blog that really drives home the point. His article, " Coaching Baseball - Two True Base Running Blunders That Teach a Lesson," are perfect examples of how bad base running cost a team the game.
The first is from a high school game and shows how running to first as hard as you can, even if you think it is a certain out, is an absolute must do. If the kid in the story had done that, they would have achieved a come from behind victory. Because he didn't, his team lost the game and he probably wasn't very popular with his teammates for quite awhile.
The second example is, perhaps, the best known base running error of all time - "Merkle's Boner." It not only cost the Giants a victory, it cost them the National League pennant! It's a mistake that rookie Fred Merkle would never live down. It haunted him throughout his entire 14 year career. Not knowing the rules was his undoing.
Both stories show the importance of not only running hard to the next base, but knowing the rules of the game. Definitely take every opportunity to point out to players what each runner on base should be thinking about - during practice and even during games as players on the bench wait for their turn at bat.
Oh, and share with them Nick Dixon's article. In case you missed the link in the second paragraph, you can read it by clicking here.
Pitching Machine Stop Quote of the Day:"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time." - Malcolm X