This post is dedicated to those under-appreciated, underrated base coaches out there. Can you think of another sport where players look to coaches for guidance in the heat of a play? Imagine Doc Rivers standing in the paint and telling KG to take it to the hoop. Imagine Bill Belichek standing behind Tom Brady and whispering in his ear, "Check out Randy cutting across the middle." It doesn't happen. In baseball, it does. And ironically, basecoaches all to often take their jobs for granted. Here are 5 ways that basecoaches can do a better job:
1. Stay on your toes. Your attention and intensity should be equal to or greater than that of the baserunners.
2. Be a broken record. You can't be too annoying when coaching the bases. Remind baserunners of the number of outs and other situational cues. Use a combination of verbal reminders and hand signals.
3. Know the signs. It sounds stupid but often times the signs are coming from the bench and the basecoaches will tune them out.
4. Be a student. Study tendencies of the defense. You could pick up on a weak arm, lack of concentration, or other observations that can influence your decisions.
Ok....these tips are too vague for you? Here's some candy:
5. Remind your baserunners of things like these:
-Let the line drive go through.
-Break up two.
-Pitcher is coming with a breaking ball, anticipate a ball in the dirt.
-Don't forget...there's a runner in front of you.
-1st baseman is playing behind the bag
-Infielders are playing back
-Same rhythm (i.e. the pitcher is not changing up his timing)