Having the appropriate technique will help you steal more bases. A lot of times, it is going to be bang-bang and you want to make sure it goes in your favor. Some of the important things are staying low, opening up your front foot, having a good body lean towards the next base and getting up to top speed quickly.
We will have a video here shortly.
Stealing 2nd Base
Read the Feet
With the right handed pitchers, it’s a lot easier. When the left foot lifts, you’re going to 2nd base. You just have to know when to shut it down on a slide step. Get a good jump and get dirty.
Whether the pitcher picks off or goes to the plate, the base runner is going to take off as soon as the pitcher picks up their left foot.
Right Foot Crosses Left Foot
If the pitcher’s right foot crosses over their left foot, they can’t pick to 1st base without it being called a balk, so you could take off towards 2nd base as soon as you see a pitcher doing that.
Go On the Stride Home (Read the Back Leg)
If you are fast enough, you can play it safe and wait until their back leg tells you what they are doing. If you are going to use this technique, you are going to be watching the back leg. It is pretty obvious when they are picking and when they are going to the plate by watching their left leg. We won’t be able to get as good of a jump, but we shouldn’t get picked off. This may not be a good enough jump to steal 2nd base in pro ball, but it will definitely work at the high school level on down depending on the speed of the runner, how quickly the ball gets to the plate and the catcher’s pop time down to 2nd base.
This isn’t our recommendation, but plenty of base runners do it off a lefty and if you’re fast, you can pull it off on occasion as well. If the pitcher just threw over a couple of times and you think he’s going to the plate, you can go first move here. If you get picked off though, you better be able to get to 2nd base safely. A lot of runners get great jumps when they guess and go first move. It can be a little risky at times, but can also be effective.
Stealing 3rd Base
Getting a good lead, moving into the baseline and then being able to read when he is going home or picking off is essential. Ideally, we want to steal on his big leg kick here and if he slide steps, we want to shut it down.
We don’t recommend stealing home, however, there are some times that it can work out well.
With left handed pitchers, you may get a guy that has a super slow delivery to home plate. Combine this with him not paying attention to you on 3rd base and this may be a good time for a coach to put on a steal sign here.
Throw Back to the Pitcher
Some catchers are very lazy with runners on 3rd base. If they don’t ever look you back and then they get in the habit of lobbing the ball back to the pitcher’s mound, this may be a situation to take home.
Setting up a Back Pick
Some catchers are way too aggressive. You can bait them into a throw and take off. However, you need to be sure you’re fast enough to get there. This tends to work better at the lower levels, but we have seen this work well at the high school level as well. Get off a little big, draw a throw down to 3rd and then steal home.