The transition from little league to Babe Ruth or Pony League baseball is difficult for a number of reasons, most of which have to do with the fact that the field they are playing on is significantly bigger than ones they've used before. With the larger dimensions comes the need for different baseball equipment and, of course, a bunch of rule changes. One of the most significant of these is the fact that baserunners can steal at any time.
If youth baseball players were discouraged by getting walked before, they now have an added incentive to get to first any way they can. On the big field, a base on balls can quickly be as good as a double with a steal of second.
The first thing that young baseball players need to know is that the key to being good base stealers doesn't entirely have to do with how fast they are. The key to grabbing extra bases is being able to get a good jump on the pitcher.
There are a lot of different ways to do this, but the biggest one is knowing the pitcher's delivery and his tendencies. Before they even get up to bat, baseball players should be watching the pitcher every time he throws the ball to see what his first move is when he's about to throw. He may lift his head slightly, bend his back knee or lift his hands up. With that in mind, base runners will know exactly when they need to take off for the next base.
Another thing to look for is the timing between pitches. A lot of young hurlers will work rhythmically, and if that's the case, runners will know exactly how long they need to wait before they make their move to advance.
For more tips for coaching young baseball players, check out YouthBaseballPlans.com.