Offensive Lead OffBy
The Offensive Lead Off
We will now look at taking an offensive leadoff from first base along with base stealing concepts.
The offensive leadoff is used whenever runners will be moving with the pitch. You should use this type of leadoff on steals, hit-and-runs, and bunt-and-runs.
The concept behind the offensive leadoff is that it maximizes the distance a player can lead off from first base safely. This is a form of aggressive baserunning and is a key concept that all good teams understand. The more your team practices this the better they will be on the base paths.
The player should be in a balanced, confortable position when taking the leadoff. Your players will need to be taught how to watch the pitcher correctly in order to pick up his move toward first base quickly. The baserunner should watch the left heel of a right-handed pitcher or the right shoulder, right foot or cap of a left-handed pitcher.
The player should have his hands hanging down in front of them in a balanced position.
When the baserunner determines the pitcher’s body moves in a direction that indicates a throw toward home plate, the runner will take a quick crossover step to start the steal. This crossover step is accomplished by crossing the left foot over the right while turning the body toward second base. The player should try to get to maximum speed as quickly as possible and keep eyes focused on second base during a regular steal attempt.
It is so important to get a quick jump on the pitcher because as the quality of play increases this split second jump can mean the difference in being safe or out at second.
In hit-and-run or bunt-and-run situations it’s important to teach your players to peak toward home plate while running to see where the ball was hit. Should it be popped up, you might have a chance to return to first base before being thrown out.