If you're a baseball player, make sure to learn how to steal a base. Otherwise, you may get picked off, which is not likely to make you popular with the rest of the team. Use these tips as guidelines to steal a base, but ask your coach first to make sure that his team strategy is not different.
What you will need to steal a base:
- A good count or opportunity
- A good lead off
- Base coach's signal
- Sliding skills
- Pay close attention to the base coach. You should not make decisions about stealing yourself unless you want to incur the wrath of the coach. However, if you do ignore the base coach and manage to get on base, it will be much less of a big deal than getting tagged out.
- Do not steal a base on the first pitch unless a perfect opportunity presents itself. It is best to wait for the pitcher to throw slower pitches. The first few pitches allow you to test him or her out to see how big of a lead you can take. Carefully watch the pitcher's body language to see if he or she makes a foot or shoulder movement that indicates a pick off attempt.
- After each pitch, take a few more steps toward second (or third, or home) to see if the pitcher will look or try to pick you off. If you can take a big lead off, you probably have a great opportunity to steal a base. If the pitcher tries to get you out on a small lead off, you may need to wait for an error or full count with two outs.
- On a botched pitch, slow pitch, or full count (3-2) with two outs, consider stealing the base. Wait until the very moment that the ball leaves the pitcher's hand, and then run as fast as you can toward the base. Slide into the base every single time you steal a base (unless you can steal more than one base), as this will get you there faster and will reduce the chance that you will get tagged out.
- If the player covering second, third, or home gets possession of the ball before you get there, run and slide back to the base that you started at. If you have already committed yourself to stealing, do your best to avoid the player with possession of the ball. Trying to steal is inherently risky, so you will get tagged out every once in a while. If you get out more times than you steal a base, then you should probably stop trying to steal.
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