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ttarn

First Base Feet Placement

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I am new to the forum and YES, I am a female in a baseball world. I not only played softball at MSU, but was on full ride and played first and third. I am now living in a world of men and baseball with my All-Star Little League 10 year old. With respect to many in the baseball world .... I have not only coached for 6 years and I was a boys physical education teacher for 8 years as well. I am a "teacher" and want the kids to learn fundamentals at an early age. I need some help from some experienced coaches as well as players as to the placement of the feet for first basemen that I may take back to some very old school men that have decided that a woman does not have any place in baseball :) ...... I tried to work with 10 All-Stars with feet placement. My "old" school lessons included placing feet on the corner's of the bag and then if the throw was from the infield the right foot would remain on the bag and if the throw came from second base or right field that the left foot remain on the bag. My 10 year olds are stretching too early (if stretching at all) and then trying to cross over to take a throw from second (which does not allow them to correct for a bad throw) Can someone give me some guidance on this please. I have watched the pros, college, researched the web, etc. and it has not been conclusive as to the proper fundamental technique. THANKS in advance!

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Good for you for coaching, and don't listen to the "old men" who tell you can't or shouldn't.

But, to your question, I was a first-baseman for most of my career which took me up through DI college. I am not an expert on coaching, but I have a fair amount of experience playing.

First, the "left foot" or "right foot" thing will vary depending on whether you've got a left-handed or right-handed first-baseman. So, I'm going to use the terms "glove side" and "throwing side" in the interest of clarity.

I have never seen or heard of anyone advocating a first-baseman keeping his glove-side foot on the bag. I always kept my throwing-side foot on the bag. If you think of the base like a pitching rubber, this would mean it's your push-off or back foot in the throwing motion. Your lead or front foot is facing ahead toward the throw. You just pivot your body around with your rear or throwing-side foot on the edge of the bag and point toward the direction of the throw.

Once I got back to the bag and was turned to face the play, I kept my feet placed relatively close together, very similar to the way a pitcher will stand when pitching from the stretch before he brings his hands together. Then, I would only step toward the throw if it was to one side or the other. I kept my feet planted in a balanced position until I knew where the ball was going. This allowed me to step left or right if I needed to. I never actually reached forward with my front leg/foot if the throw was straight at me. The dramatic "stretch" technique seemed to develop in the flamboyant 1970's and doesn't do much of anything to help get the ball into your mitt quicker, and it does a lot to prevent you from catching the ball should it be offline from where you initially judged it.

I can't picture a scenario where you would want your glove-side foot on the bag. This would place your mitt hand away from the play and make catching awkward. It also doesn't put you in the position to make a throw quickly, as you would have to turn your whole body 180º first.

Hope this helps!

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TTARN,

I agree with Skelly in regards to his technique and the part about dont listen to the old farts. Also, in regards to the technique it's how I was taught by some very good coaches. There is no "use one foot if the ball comes in from one side and use the other foot if the ball comes in from the other side" as you kind of described it.

1B goes over to bag and places both heels on the bag a little less than shoulder width apart. Then when the throw comes in, glove side foot goes out to position or stretches out to position. If from third base then glove side foot strecthes out that way if from second then glove side foot stretches out that way. Glove side foot from whereever the throw is coming from goes out at almost the last minute.

Hope this helps. And good luck to you.

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Setup:

first_cover.jpg

Stretch:

first_cover2.jpg

My "old" school lessons included placing feet on the corner's of the bag and then if the throw was from the infield the right foot would remain on the bag and if the throw came from second base or right field that the left foot remain on the bag.

This is very dangerous because if for some reason the throw is on you throwing side, behind you, and you have your glove side on the bag it will be hard to turn across your body. With the age group of your players and the throwing ability of them I would suggest you teach them to always use the throwing side foot on the bag and to not stretch until thhey know where the ball is going.

Here is a very good website to help with firstbase fundamentals:QCBaseball - Firstbase

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