How to steal a base in baseball

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

The first tip to a great stolen base is learning to read a pitcher's move to the plate. Pitchers will throw over to first base to keep you close. You need to watch the pitcher for any tip offs. That is, things they do when they throw over or throw home. Most pitchers have little movements or facial expressions that they repeat when they throw home or over to the base. Find that tip off, and you can leave a bit early to get a great jump.

Step 2

While it seems obvious, it is important that you dig in your pivot foot once you have your lead set. Do not dig in so deeply that you can not return to the base easily, but get a good cleat in the ground. This will insure that you do not slip when you go to take off for second or third base.

Step 3

Use the bluff to gauge the readiness of the defense. Some teams are not paying attention. If you bluff a steal or two, and nobody covers second base immediately, then you know you are in prime position to succeed. Check out how quickly the catcher rises out of his crouch as well. A slow catcher can make it easy to steal a base.

Step 4

Time the pitcher's move home from the dugout. Before you ever reach first base, you should know the timing and movement of the pitcher. This can allow you to get bigger jumps, and steal more bases.

Step 5

Learn to use the base when you steal. If you are heading for a base while stealing and the fielder is straddling the bag, you want to give them as small of a target as possible to tag. This means that you should slide into the base with a foot. If they are in front of the bag, you should slide to the backside of the bag. If they are behind, then slide to the front. Anything that helps you become smaller will help you succeed.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Stuff You'll Need

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This Student Author

This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

All the way up until I entered college I was always the fastest kid on the team and always just used my pure speed to steal a base but I never learned the art of taking a base. My first fall ball game in college I got on base with a walk and decided that this was the perfect time to show off my speed to the coaches who were evaluating us. I took off on the pitchers first move and had a head full of steam heading into second, I took a look at the catcher and he was already going through his follow through when I wasn't even half way there. Long story short I was thrown out by a mile.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

After that day I started to study some of the greatest base stealers to ever live such as Ricky Henderson, Carl Crawford and Kenny Lofton. After taking tips from some of these guys I learned how to become a better base stealer and have rarely been thrown out since.

Other Tips from Benjamin