Videotape Opposing Pitchers From the Perspective of Your Baserunners
Videotape Opposing Pitchers From the Perspective of Your Baserunners

Baseball/Softball: How to Videotape Opposing Pitchers for Your Baserunners

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education

One of the keys to successful base stealing is the ability of the baserunner to read the body language of the pitcher.

If you use video to provide scouting information to your baserunners, here's a tip. Get some video from the perspective of your baserunners. For example, get video of opposing pitchers from down the first baseline and from the outfield, behind second base.

Why This Perspective is More Effective
Most videotaping is taken from a spectator's standpoint, somewhere behind home plate. But this isn't the view your baserunners have of the pitcher. Some of the pitchers' cues that are apparent from the front may not be visible to a runner on first base. And some cues that are visible to a runner on first base may be unseen in a frontal-view video.

One example of such a tell-tale sign is the back of the left knee on right-handed pitchers. This knee is often stiff when the pitcher plans a pick-off throw, but bent when the throw is to the catcher.

This knee is easily seen by a runner on first, but isn't visible to a front-view observer.

Finally, video demonstrations of pitchers' idiosyncrasies are most effective when from the point of view of the baserunners. It allows them to better visualize themselves on base, ready to run and reading the pitcher's body language. The result should be instant reaction and a better jump on the pitch.

Reference: Chris Ballard, "Art of the Steal." Sports Illustrated, September 15, 2008.

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