Here are some softball training drills that we use to teach our batters to take extra bases (and to also teach our outfielders to hit the cut-off man and to make sure we have all the bases covered).
We place a runner on 2nd base, a batter at the plate, and a defense on the field. A coach hits a ball to the outfield and the runner on 2nd tries to score.
The batter-runner then reads the infielders to see if anyone is rotating to cover 1st base, and they also need to read the flight of the outfielder’s throw to the plate.
If the throw can’t be cut off, the batter-runner continues their path to 2nd base. If the throw can be cut off, they need to recognize how big a turn they can make around 1st base, depending on the coverage of the infielders.
For example, on a hit to centerfield, the 1st baseman will usually be the cut off man to the plate. If the 2nd baseman doesn’t rotate over to first base, the batter-runner can make a huge turn without fearing getting “back-doored.”
By working on this softball drill, they become better base runners, our outfielders learn to keep their throws down, and our infielders learn to cover the correct bases.