RUN DOWN DRILL
PURPOSE: To learn key points when properly executing a run down.
EQUIPMENT: Baseball, 2 bases, runners
SET-UP: Using two bases, have 2 defensive players go to each base for a total of 4, there will be one runner somewhere between the bases that will attempt to safely reach a base. One defensive player begins with the baseball.
EXECUTION: The defensive player with the ball begins by sprinting full speed at the runner with the ball exposed in an effort to make the runner turn their body to get away. If the defensive player can catch the runner, they make the tag by themselves. If they cannot catch the runner they make a throw to their teammate who then applies the tag. As teammate is waiting for the throw they should step to the ball side to make a clear lane for their teammate to throw in. Once a player makes a throw to teammate it is important for them to peel off to the side and stay out of the runners way, then proceed to the base where they just threw to. If the runner is able to turn around without being tagged the new fielder with the ball begins sprinting and the process is repeated. When properly executed rundowns should generally take 0 or 1 throws.
MODIFICATIONS: Have runners and fielder start in varying locations, examples: runner in middle of bases, runner 3/4 to one base, etc.
COACHING TIPS: Reinforce to sprint immediately to make the runner turn.
"If a base runner makes a mistake and gets caught between two bases, make them pay by properly executing the run down and tagging them out."
Sprint at the runner with ball exposed, this forces the runner to turn their body. Once turned it is difficult for the runner to change direction. Continue sprinting and make the tag yourself if possible, or make one throw to your teammate who will make the tag.
Do you have a question/comment about the Run Down Drill? If so, please E-Mail me.