Purpose:

Practice throwing a stealing baserunner out at third base.

Setup:

  • Lines of players at Pitcher, Catcher, and 3B positions.

Execution:

  • Pitcher delivers pitch to home.
  • Catcher throws to 3B simulating attempted steal.
  • 3B makes the tag on a sliding player.
  • 3B returns ball to Pitcher.
  • Rotate and repeat.

Coaching Tips for Tagging Baserunners:

  • Catch in the web of the glove.
  • Catch at the base, rather than reach out for the ball because the ball can travel faster than the glove.
  • Sweep tag – on bad throws or close plays, helps sell the call.
  • Stationary tag – if the runner is clearly out, let him slide into it.

Tips for Younger Athletes:

  • Focus on the basics of receiving the ball securely. Young players should practice catching with soft hands to avoid bobbling or dropping the ball during high-pressure moments.
  • Teach the importance of visual focus. Young athletes should learn to keep their eyes on the ball from the moment it leaves the catcher’s hand until it’s securely caught at third base.
  • Encourage younger players to practice their positioning and footwork. Proper stance and quick foot movement are crucial for being in the right spot to apply the tag effectively.

Tips for Older Athletes:

  • Introduce the concept of deceptive tagging. Older players can learn to disguise their tag movement until the last moment, making it harder for the runner to evade the tag.
  • Stress the importance of quick decision-making. Older, more experienced players should be able to quickly assess whether to attempt a tag or hold the ball to prevent further advances by other runners.
  • Enhance their ability to communicate on the field. Older athletes should practice verbal and non-verbal signals with teammates to coordinate efforts in real-time during steal attempts.