Making Things Happen – Short-Game Skills and Aggressive Baserunning

Today, I was in NY State with my good friend Sean Cotter. Sean is the Head Softball Coach at Plattsburgh State University,  one of the best NCAA Division III softball program in the country.

Sean is very well-known for driving his opponents crazy with a very aggressive style of play. And I mean really aggressive.

He uses just about every ways he can find to “manufacture runs” and “make things happen”.

I know. I used to play him in exhibition games a few years ago with my 23U team and he would drive my players crazy.

Of course, they do the basic. They steal. They slap. They drag. They squeeze. They hit and run or run and hit.

But, they can be quite unconventional. They often take two bases on a sacrifice bunt, they’re running to home from 3rd on anything that is hit on the ground (“angle down” ball), they always suicide squeeze (very rarely use the safety), they leave slightly early,  they slap from the right side, and the list goes on.

Some people would call that crazy or too aggressive but guess what? They are very successful. And they do drive their opponents crazy and they get in their head big time.

Whether or not you adhere to such an aggressive style of play, there are certainly a lot of things that you can learn from this.

The purpose of our meeting today was to shoot a new DVD on “Making Things Happen – Short-Game Skills, Aggressive Baserunning,  and Offensive Strategies for Success.”

So, I basically spent 6 hours picking his brain and learning more about his offensive philosophy and how he runs his offense.

I tell you – very interesting stuff. This DVD should come out in a month or two. Stay tuned for that.

I also have to tell you, it’s so nice to see such a well-run program.

All of his athletes are very disciplined and very classy.

On the way back, I was discussing with my cameraman (a baseball player himself) and he was telling me that they never really practice that stuff in baseball.

I told him it’s the same thing in more than 90% of softball programs.  They spend very little time working on the short-game skills, baserunning and sliding skills, reads and decision-making skills on the bases, and refining their offensive strategies.

That’s too bad because it’s one of the most critical part of the game.

If you can’t score runs, you can’t win.

Be honest, how much time do you dedicate to working that part of your game?

Think about it. How many costly errors do your players make on the bases every year?

We need to spend more time practicing that part of the game.

And keep in mind, you don’t have to be a fast team to be a great running team. A smart and heads-up runner will always beat  a fast runner who doesn’t make the right decisions.

Make your running game your strength and you will experience a lot more success.

Train hard. Play hard.

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