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Create Chances and Plan Advances
Rounding the Square: PART ONE
By Marty Slimak
Head Coach, Cal Lutheran University



Good baserunning begins in the dugout. Before a runner ever reaches base he should be aware of everything from the strength of the fielders' arms to the pitcher's pickoff moves to details about the field. Baserunning is mostly preparation. Armed with as much knowledge as possible, proper decisions will be made. The rest is hustle, going full speed all the time.

The players in the dugout should be aware of the following:

  1. Arm strength and accuracy of the:
    1. Catcher: How quickly does he get the ball to second and third on steal attempts? Does he like to back-pick on runners who take aggressive secondary leads? Can he get off a throw after blocking a pitch in the dirt?
    2. Outfielders: Do they charge ground balls or sit back and wait? Do they throw as well after running laterally? Do they tend to throw over the head of the cutoff man?
    3. Infielders: Do they rush throws?
  2. General defensive ability of each defensive player on the opposing team
    1. Hands
    2. Quickness
    3. Mental awareness
  3. Pitcher's move to bases and delivery
    1. Quickness going to the plate
    2. Quickness going to the base
    3. Types of moves to second base
    4. General habits
  4. Field Conditions
    1. Are the baselines solid?
      1. batter's box
      2. turn areas near bases
    2. Will the ball be wet?
    3. How slow is the infield and outfield grass?
    4. Will bunts tend to roll foul or stay fair when ball is rolling on the dirt?
    5. How deep is the backstop and how hard and at what angles do balls bounce off of it?

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