Communication between Coaches and Runners
Communication between coaches and players is always important within a game, perhaps no more so than for the runner on the base paths. In addition to the vast experience a coach can lend, a good coach will serve as the eyes and ears for his runner, picking up things they the player can't and anticipating where the play will go.
- Out of the box, runners will pick up or instinctively know if they need to run through the bag. On balls that are hit through the infield, be sure to provide direction on whether or not they should attempt to advance to second, especially for balls that are hit to left field and are not immediately in the runner's field of view.
- Anytime a base runner gets on a base, show them the number of outs with your hand. Have them relay how many outs there are back to you before you give signs.
- With a runner on second, the baserunner's job is to keep his head on the pitcher while the coach watches the shortstop and second baseman. Some common phrases used to communicate locations of the middle infielders are:
- "You're okay, you're okay" meaning your runner can take another step
- "Hold" meaning your runner should hold their ground
- "Easy, Easy" meaning your runner should take a step back
- Once a baserunner gets to third base give them the number of outs. The coach should also feel free to provide direct verbal cues such as, "Back on a line drive, tag in the air, and ground ball in the middle we are off."
- No matter where the base runner is located, be very talkative and communicate with them through verbal and nonverbal language.
- Have a lot of positive energy as a base coach. The energy and passion you have for a specific area in the game will show that it is important.
- You should encourage your players to take pride in base running.