Simple Way to Steal More Bases
As a former player and coach nothing fires me up like stealing bases. A team that can do it well collectively puts constant pressure on the defense, and can drive a pitcher nuts.
An aggressive base runner that knows what he's doing can take the pitcher's mind away from the hitter, and in turn get his teammates better pitches to hit.
I'll take this approach over a SAC bunt every time, but that's a post for another day.
And the best part about it is you do not have to be fast to steal bases. Renowned Hitting coach Steve Springer likes to say, "The game is the test, and the pitcher has the study guide." Well, the same holds true for stealing bases. It does not matter who the catcher is, you should be stealing bases off the pitcher. That starts in the dugout paying attention to the pitcher to find a tendency and give your self an edge. I always told myself my speed just gave me more room for error on the bases.
The first thing to look for, and probably the easiest way to get an advantage over the pitcher is to pay attention to where the he keeps the ball when he's getting his sign.
Why would I take note of where he keeps the ball?
The pitcher that keeps the ball in his hand can pick over at any moment; The Pitcher that keeps the ball in his glove will take a lot longer to pick because he has to bring the ball back to his hand. This allows the base stealer to be a lot more comfortable fish-eyeing.
Fish-eyeing is when a base runner gets out to his lead, and discretely takes a peak in at the catcher's signs, only using his eyes.
As a base stealer, being able to peak in at the signs and know when they're going to pick, throw a fastball, throw an off speed pitch, or pitch out allows you to pick the perfect pitch to steal on.
The pitcher that keeps the ball in his glove is giving you the answers to the test.