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Baseball Drills - How To Become A Basepath Ninja

By Nate Barnett

I was recently out watching a youth baseball game and paid particular attention to patterns of the defense during the game. The patterns and method of play I liken to a poker player playing Texas Hold 'em with his cards turned around for the other players to see. The key obviously is being aware of some common mistakes by the defense in order to take advantage of the base paths.

Here are a couple patterns to look for:

1. Many times pitchers (younger pitchers especially) will have a hard time varying their timing from the stretch position as they deliver a pitch. This is something that can be corrected easily with some baseball drills that focus on the problem, however, it's ofter overlooked. If you have some astute base runners, they will pick up on this. It's really not difficult to notice once you know what you're looking for. Simply count how long a pitcher remains in the set position before delivering a pitch. There is a good chance that your younger or more inexperienced pitchers will forget to change up their hold patterns.

2. Take a look at how wide the pitchers legs are when he comes set. The closer his stance, the slower his pick off move will be to first base. It's quite tough to get some good balance while pivoting if the legs are too close together. This simply means that your runners can get larger leads and cut down the distance to second base.

If you can detect these patterns, steal away my friend, steal away! Your runners will become base path ninjas and you'll win a ton of games.


About the Author

Nate Barnett is owner of BMI Baseball and is based out of Washington State. His expertise is in the area of hitting, pitching, and mental training. Coach Barnett's passion is working with youth in helping expand their vision for their baseball future. After finishing a professional career in the Seattle Mariners Organization, Nate pursued his coaching and motivational training career. His instructional blog is located at

His new FREE ebook, Toxic Baseball: Are you polluting your game? can be found on the main BMI Baseball website.

Hitting 101, an ebook on complete hitting mechanics will be released by June 1st, 2008. Features include numerous illustrations, video clips, and a special offer to discuss your hitting questions over live on the phone strategy sessions.

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