Leads & Breaks is run either at the beginning (Early Baserunning) or end of practice (Baserunning). It involves sprint work infused with leadoff fundamentals, as well as the practice of reading pitchers and working on steal breaks. Be sure to coach and introduce and run the drill Fundamentals: Leadoffs before this drill.
EXECUTION – Starting with two heels on the base (cone), review and support leadoff fundamentals:
- Left – Left foot steps out comfortably
- Right – Right foot follows so that athlete chest turns and faces the pitcher.
- Connect-Step #1 – Left foot connects to right foot, then right foot steps out.
- Connect-Step #2 – Left foot connects to right foot, then right foot steps out.
Athletes should be in an athletic baserunners posture (feet outside shoulder, knees bent, arms relaxed). On a verbal or coachs pitcher imitation, they are to break towards second base (in the case of using warm up box, break THROUGH blue cone).
- Focus on Footwork – Review proper lead off footwork (left, right, connect-step, connect-step)
- Simulate Pitcher – Provide runner opportunity to read pitcher, and break appropriately
- Program It! – Cover Fundamentals: Leadoffs during baserunning. Follow that up with Leads & Breaks during Early Baserunning next practice.
- LEFT FOOT
- RIGHT FOOT (TURN & FACE)
- CONNECT-STEP #1
- CONNECT-STEP #2
- FOCUS ON FOOTWORK
- SIMULATE PITCHER FOR BREAK
- PROGRAM IT! FUNDIES FIRST