Ways and Means of Running an Aggressive Offense from the Coaching Box and Dugout Baseball coaches who run an aggressive offense-- squeeze, hit and run, and double steal-- obviously have need of a sign system that will enable them to communicate with the players and adapt to changing situations and personnel quickly and efficiently. A good sign system will include all or most of the following: “Indicators” that alert the players that a “live” sign may be on its way. “Wipe-offs” that negate every live sign that has been flashed to that point. “Activators” that tell the player to proceed with the designated play (a green light). “Decoys” -- meaningless signs, at least in the context of the sequence in which they appear. Perhaps the most common way of flashing a sign is through touching a particular part of the body or uniform, e.g., an ear or the bill of the cap. Coaches from youth to semi-pro ball often use a simple system in which the first letter of the object touched matches the first letter of the corresponding sign. For example, a touch of the hat will call for the “hit & run”, a touch of the belt for “bunt”, and a touch of the sleeve for “steal.” Another popular sign system emphasizes the number of touches or taps rather than the location of the touch. For example, 1 tap will call for a take, 2 taps for a bunt, 3 taps for a hit & run, and 4 taps for a steal. The coach will flash an indicator to have the players start counting and another indicator to signal them to stop. The number of relevant taps in between specifies the play. Still other methods of transmitting signs involve the coach’s position in the coach’s box (front, middle, or rear), the number of times he claps his hands, the number of fingers he holds up, whistling, and calling out colors, names, or numbers. Regardless of how the coach delivers the signs, his system must be easy to comprehend and remember.
Tips on Making Signs Easy to Recall Under Game Conditions
1. Use a single...
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