Baseball: Running the Bases
Photo by Ducksters
When running the bases you should always run hard. Even if it appears you will be out by a mile, you never know when a defensive player will make an error. If you run hard, eventually it will pay off. Plus, coaches are always watching and will notice you if you hustle.
Every run and out are important in baseball. When you are on base you need to be paying attention to the game and your coaches. Losing your concentration and getting picked off at first can change the entire outcome of the game.
Sliding is an important skill in base running. On close plays you will need to slide (except for first base). Sliding is a skill. You need to do it the right way and practice it. Here are some steps to making a good slide:
****Always wear long pants when practicing your sliding.
- Lead with your left foot.
- Bend your right leg as you start to slide.
- Slide on your backside, not your side. Sliding on your side can lead to more cuts and scrapes.
- Keep your hands up. Don't use your hands to stop, use your legs and backside. If you put your hands on the ground, you may end up with a sprained wrist or scratched up hands.
Note: We don't recommend that young players ever slide head first. This can lead to injuries.
The rules for base stealing are different from league to league. The best thing to do here is to learn the rules (for example, can you lead off or not?) and then listen to the instructions of your coaches. To be a good base stealer you need to be fast, but you also need to know how to slide. If you plan on stealing bases, be sure to practice your sliding techniques.
Wild Pitches and Passed Balls
Wild pitches and passed balls are common in youth baseball. As a base runner you need to always be paying attention and ready to move if the opportunity arises. Watch the ball, pay attention to your coach's instructions, and always be ready to run!
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