The Importance of first Base and third Base Coaches
Wasting a split second to think, can cost you the game winning run. Base coaches are the eyes and ears of the game. Players will to often try to think for themselves and are not necessarily in a good position to make an important judgment call to run or stay on base.
When a player reaches first base, the first base coach is able to make an educated and rational decision as to whether the over thrown ball is in a spot that will enable the runner to make it to second base safely.
In the event of a passed ball, the first base coach would have a better view of the field and should also be aware of the strength of the catchers arm, which would determine if the runner should steal second base. If the base runner was left to decide, he would waste valuable time trying to see where the ball was and whether it was safe to run. Within the time that he is assessing the situation, he has wasted the time he would possibly need to make it to the base safely.
Once the runner reaches second base, it then becomes the responsibility of the third base coach to make the decisions. The runner at second base should be trained to watch his third base coach. The coach can let the runner know how many outs there are and if they should tag up on a fly ball or run, in the case of two outs. The coach can decide how far away a passed ball is from the catcher and if it is safe for the runner to steal.
Base coaches not only help to win games, but they also take added pressure off of the runner. If any mistakes in judgment are made, it then becomes the error of the base coach. The game of baseball usual comes down to momentum. The team with the least amount of errors, consistent hits and most important, smart base running can turn a game around in their favor. Base coaches are an important and essential part of the this great game of baseball!