The Secondary & Read Drill is a baserunning drill operated at second base. The goal is to take baserunning instruction one level “deeper.” Athletes will be asked to execute proper baserunning fundamentals, but also think on the fly. As the they take a secondary, they are looking for action – making a decision to break to third base… or return to second base. To simulate this and provide a fun way to “read” the play, use a single baseball and toss it into the air. If you let it hit the ground, the athletes are to break for third. If you catch it cleanly (ball doesn’t touch dirt), the athletes are to return to second base. This drill is quick, it is simple, and it provides an easy way to drill “thinking the game.”
EXECUTION – Place one or two cones down to simulate extra bases behind the second base bag. That way each repetition can involve multiple base runners. Work through a progression of drill steps, starting with a discussion, then review-repetitions, and finally challenge-repetitions:
- Repetitions / Review – Leadoffs (right, left, connect-step 1, connect-step 2) and secondary (shuffle, shuffle, read)
- Repetitions / Challenge – Secondary and read (look for action)
- Coach Toss Ball in Air – For this drill, “action” is defined by coach tossing ball into the air. If the ball is caught, athlete is to return to the bag. If the ball hits the ground, athlete is to break to third base.
Once the drill moves into repetitions, the baserunner’s are now executing a secondary lead and a “read.” After taking two shuffles, the athletes athletically lean into to their right leg and read the play. In the case of action, the athlete is to break for 3rd base. In the case that the pitch results in no action, they are to return to 2nd base. For this drill, toss a baseball up in the air as the athletes take their secondaries and instruct the athletes:
BALL IS CAUGHT = BACK TO BAG
BALL HITS GROUND = BREAK TO 3RD
- Progression – At lease once through the line with focus ONLY on leadoffs and secondary extensions (back to bag each time)
- Learning Modalities – Hear / See / Feel. Talk through the situation, allow each to experience and observe, and then practice (first review, then challenge).
- Secondary & Score – If you need sprint repetitions, you can have the athletes finish by executing a secondary and then sprinting through home plate. Move to third base and practice “scoring them” by waving your arm and sending them home from the coaching box.
CLOSING – This is a simple drill that several of the athletes on video screwed up. It’s fun to keep track of how much we are asking of our athletes, being careful not to offer more than they can handle. To summarize this drill, athletes are required to execute: (1) Leadoffs, (2) Secondary Extensions, and (3) Read + Action.
- REVIEW LEADS & SECONDARIES
- READ: COACH TOSS BALL IN AIR
- SECONDARY & SCORE
- LEARNING MODALITIES - SEE, HEAR, FEEL
- PROGRESSION - REVIEW THEN REPS / CHALLENGE
- SECONDARY & SCORE