Instruct your players:
- Start on 1st base in a crouched, ready to run position.
- Push off 1st and run as fast as you can, like there is a play & the game depends on it.
- Sprint STRAIGHT THROUGH 2nd base without stopping (as if it was 1st base). You may be out of the infield dirt by the time you actually stop.
- Keep in mind this is a 1% threshold running question. That means the player gets the question if they can ever do this skill, even once. To prove they can’t, runners must move like the game is on the line with 110% effort. They should be winded from doing this a few times in a row. If they have arthritis, it will hurt afterward. The league apologizes for this and have ibuprofen available if needed/indicated.
Other coach guidance:
- Players should be warm before starting the timing exercise & winded after finishing.
- If a player is jogging / needs encouragement, redo the attempt and have the runner beat a throw: Throw a hard grounder to 3rd when the runner leaves & try to throw them out.
- Plan on 3-6 attempts per player. Spread them out if the player gets overexerted.
- If running in wet conditions, use a spot next to the bag instead of the base itself.
- You don’t need to film a timer. Your division asst comp will do this for you with their phone. ? You may want to use a timer for your knowledge. Don’t start the timer until they start to push off; for this reason we recommend “start when ready” and NOT shouting “go”.
If the player or committee are being stubborn…
- Redo the attempt with fielders & have the runner beat a throw.
- Suggestions for fielding formats:
- Run 1st ➡️ 2nd with a thrown hard grounder to 3rd & play is at 2nd.
- Run 1st ➡️ 2nd with a batted grounder anywhere & play is at 2nd.
- If the player is confident with home base: run 3rd ➡️ home with a live batter, play is at home.
- Send in video of all your attempts. Film at least 3 attempts – if the player is making excellent effort and not within ¼ second of goal in any, this would be pretty indisputable.
Using 1st ➡️ 2nd in this way solves a number of problems:
- Simulates running from 3rd ➡️ home (the fastest base combination) without the injury risk of home plate and no backstop in the way.
- No batter’s box to exit / home plate to cross.
- Able to use the starting base as a sprinter’s block.
- Running through the bag like 1st base is the fastest ending format – eliminates sliding and slowing down.
- Reduces timing issues between starting the timer & calling “go.”