90 feet at a time
Below is a link to a great read about Mike Napoli of the Red Sox and the pride he takes in base running. It’s so nice to see a major leaguer take such pride in things that 99% of the stadium never notices.
There is not a lot of glamour to good base running which is why too many players (and teams) don’t take the necessary time or focus to master it. I demanded my teams be great base runners and we worked on it every day.
I once had a slow high school player who never stole a base. Never. I showed him how (and more importantly, when) to delayed steal and told him I expected him to do it and be safe. He looked at me like I had just told him to swim the Atlantic. When he tried it and was safe, he had the biggest smile I’d seen on a player. A whole new world within the game had opened up to him.
That’s what demanding good base running can do for your players and your team. It fosters a blue-collar mentality that shows that everyone can contribute to winning. Even those with lower natural skills. It develops a pride that comes from paying attention to detail and the understanding that the things that lead to true success on the field and in life are not the things people will see.
That’s the same pride Napoli is referring to in the article.
To see the article, click HERE.