When it comes to bang-bang plays in baseball, every inch and every second count. When base runners are running full pace to beat a fielder’s throw, they can often do a dive to get to the base quicker and better when escaping a tag.
Knowing how to slide in baseball can seem easy, but it takes some instruction and practice to get it right. A well-executed slide can be the distinction between a runner reaching base safely and getting thrown out.
There are several kinds of slides and several ways to deliver them.
Let’s begin with a step-by-step breakdown of the most fundamental slide in baseball: the bent-leg slide.
(Bent-leg) How to Slide in Baseball
Learning to slide begins by getting used to tossing yourself on the ground at a maximum running pace. For the time being, we’ll concentrate on a feet-first slide, which is the most popular form of a slide. You should become acquainted with the different aspects of sliding before trying a full-speed slide.
Learn the Sliding Form (Bent-leg)
The most popular sliding technique involves leading with your dominant foot, straight leg, and bending the non-dominant leg until the foot is hidden behind the dominant knee. The thigh and shin on your non-dominant leg should be the part of your body that is currently rolling on the deck.
Keep Your Hands Up, and Chin Tucked
Raise your hands past your head, arms extended away from your body, when in your sliding stance. This can help your body remain stabilized when you slide and keep the defence from tagging your hand easily with their glove. You can have your chin tucked into your stomach to keep your head from flopping backwards and hitting the ground.
Sit in Sliding Position for Several Minutes
When performing a slow-motion slide, practice the correct sliding method by staying on the ground in the sliding pose for a few minutes. Remember to tuck your chin and lift your hands.
Walkthrough Sliding Practice
The first few practice slides should be completed at a jogging or walking pace. You won’t really ground-slide at low speeds, so these drills would aid you to find out the distance from the base you have to drop to a sliding mode. If the space between you and the base is approximately your body weight, you can begin your fall. Though this isn’t an absolute science, it’s critical not to slide too quick or late, or you risk missing the base or you slide past it.
Practice on a Mat
Using a smooth pad or a grassy surface when attempting to slide on the gravel basepath since these sessions are all about emotionally preparing you. Take your time progressing from walking around your slide to jogging and, then, running.
Practice on the Dirt
The final step of your preparation should be on a dirt basepath, and your target should be to make sliding feel as normal as possible at this stage. Please make contact with the base you’re slipping into with your toe and hold every part of your body, touching it at all times. If you are not hitting the base at any time, the defender has the option to tag you out.
Types of Baseball Slides
We’ll first eveluate at the various sliding types you should practice on the way to being a pristine base runner. The bent-leg slide is the most valuable to master since it is the most popular type of slide and the easiest way to slide. If you’re a novice in baseball, the bent-leg slide is just about the sole type of sliding you can try; the others mentioned here ought to be considered as purely educational tools for the time being.
- Bent-leg Slide: Start with the stronger foot, leg straightened, toes pointing up, and less strong leg, knee bent. Your non-dominant foot should be placed under the opposite knee, forming a four with your lower half.
- Pop-up Slide: Utilize similar technique like the previous sliding we just discussed, however, you can have your foot flattened so your foot is parallel to the deck. Then, when you make contact with the floor, aim your foot for the broad side of it and use your momentum to spring up into a standing stance.
- Head First Slide: Put your hands forward and mimic diving into a pool, while at it, ensure your legs are behind and your chin rose away from the ground. You can only try this slide if you are fully confident in your abilities. This can be a risky slip even for experienced base runners.
The slide is one of the most valuable baseball skills that a base runner can master. It not only allows you to stop a tag play at a base, but it also allows you to get there quicker. Although sliding can seem to be easy, there are practical steps you should take to learn how to slide in baseball correctly. Remember to practice the slide’s body orientation from a stationary position first. If you’ve mastered your body posture and it becomes natural, you can try training by draping a tarp over grass.
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