Whenever we’re working with players, whether it be youth, high school, or college and we’re working at 1st base, the first question that we ask is, “When you’re in your lead, where are you looking on the pitcher?” Most of the time, they don’t know what they’re looking at or for. Sometimes, I’ll get the answer, “His front foot.” Others will tell me his shoulders.
What we always used at Wichita State, and it seemed to work pretty well was to have a broad focus of the pitchers back. The only time I would recommend looking at another place would be if the pitcher has something that gives away what he is doing!
Why his back?
I recommend looking at his back because whether or not he picks over or goes to home, you won’t be fooled by balk moved. If a RHP wants to pick to 1st, he has to move his back and his shoulder before he can throw over. If you’re looking at his front heel, however, he could always pull a “balk” move to get you to make a false step and get picked off!
You want to be in a position to be able to see the entire pitcher, then one quick movement won’t get you picked!