Baseball is a popular game all around the world. It is America’s national pastime, with two teams playing with the bat and ball. The game is quite simple and cheerful. However, there are specific rules and regulations that baseball enthusiasts take care of.
Being a novice learner, there are a few important considerations you must learn about. One of the significant aspects of the game is How to slide in baseball when you are running the bases? It seems exciting in the field, but it actually involves rational techniques so that you may be able to slide safely and successfully to turn the game in your team’s favor. It is a critical skin that is essential to master as a base runner.
So, in this article, we have come up with some insights on how to slide in baseball, along with various baseball slides and the rules one must follow while sliding. So, Discover this challenging aspect of the game and let us know how our guide proved helpful in the comment section.
Types of Baseball Slides
If you want to reach the base faster and safer, here are a few types of slides you should master. So, here are a few types of slides to learn about. Note that if you are a beginner, you must only practice the bent-leg slide because it is the safest way to slide. Moreover, it is also the most common and popular way of Sliding. However, if you are a professional baserunner, you can practice any of the slides listed below.
- Bent-leg Slide
Bent-leg slide is performed with a dominating leg leading and the non-dominating one bent towards the other leg’s knee. It is the most common way to slide and is safe as well. In this position, the lower half of your body seems like number ”4”.
- Head First Slide
The Head first slide is a different sliding posture where you slide like diving in the pool, i.e., throwing your hands and upper body ahead of the lower body. To slide this way, you must lift your chin to keep it away from the ground as it may cause serious chin injury if you don’t. It is a difficult and dangerous sliding position so one must do it if he is skilled.
- Hook Slide
The hook slide is quite like a bent-leg slide. However, there is a difference in the non-dominating leg’s position. The leg will not be pointed towards the knees of the opposite leg but anywhere away from the base.
- Backdoor Slide
This type of slide is suitable when the throw reaches the defender before you. The slide starts the same as the bent-leg slide in a way that you slide away from the base. Move your hand towards the base instead of sliding the leg towards it.
- Hands First Slide
You can practice the slide when you are near home plate. This slide requires you to dive into a position where your hands are pulled away from your body and towards the home plate.
- Take Out Slide
Take out slide is used to break up the double play. The body is aimed toward the defender so he may move away from your way.
How to perform bent-leg slide
We recommend you practice Sliding when you are not running but in a still position. It is a reasonable way to start learning because this is how you can avoid potential injuries. Learn all the steps and practice them in a still position so that you may be able to perform them in the field successfully. Once you are well-versed in performing the steps at the still position, you can proceed to do it on a tarp or the base path. Here is a step-by-step approach to achieving bent-leg slide.
1. Sit on the Dirt
The first step is to sit on dirt because it is performed in a sitting position. Sit on the ground straight with your legs pointed towards the plate. Most right-handed players have the dominating right leg, while left-handed players have to dominate the left leg.
2. Put all Your Weight on the Butt
Many people put pressure on their sides while sliding. However, you must not do this in this case because it may cause injury. It is better to put your body weight on the butt and slide. It is because the butt is the most padded part of the body and can tolerate the intense slide and weight.
3. Raise Your Arms and Hands
Moreover, you should raise your hands in the air or above the head to avoid dragging them on the ground to cause injury to your elbows and wrists. This position also improves your balance.
4. Tuck Your Chin Down
While playing baseball, it is very important to maintain balance because you have to run fast, and there is an obvious chance of throwing the balance off when doing this. To maintain balance while sliding this way, you must tuck your chin down towards your chest and keep your body firm.
5. Perform Slide
Prepare to slide when you are a few feet away from the bag. Start the slide by sitting and performing the action by tucking your left leg into the right knee, making the number ”4”.
The goal of a bent-leg slide is to avoid a tag from the fielder at the base. Here, it is important to foresee where the tag is going. However, as a beginner, you must perceive the tag is moving where the fielder moves. You should slide it to the opposite side of the bag. Bent-leg slide is the commonly performed practice, and once you are proficient in it, you can easily perform the hook slide as well as the head-first slide.
How to Perform the Hook Slide?
The hook slide is a bit different from the bent-leg slide. All the steps while sliding in the field are the same except for the last step.
You have to hold your bag, which is quite obvious when you hook the bag around with you and grab its base. While this is considered an advanced version as you have to slide the bad to your one side to avoid the tag.
If you are an advanced player and are good at the bent-knee slide, then you can move on the hook slide. When you perform the hook slide, you need to make sure that you perform the hook slide to find out where the tag will be going.
You have to make sure that you completely rely on the other side of the bag so that it becomes difficult for the fielder to tag you out.
Start the slide a little later than the normal bent-knee slide, and you can even slide to the base. You can aim the slide to one side of the bag as well.
You can even stop sliding at the base without fail. The slide must be aimed at only one side of the bag.
Read: Best Drop 3 Bats
How to perform the head-first slide?
Professional baseball players perform head-first slides. This is because this type of slide needs a lot of practice, so if you are a beginner, you should never practice this in the field. The slide is fast and natural. In this type of slide, your body moves forward.
The player runs fast and then leans forward and dives like one does while diving into the pool. The slide ends you with your chest on the ground. The palms are also pointed towards the ground, but it does not cause jamming or bending of arms. Make sure you slide in a way that your stomach may not hurt.
Stretch your arms when you perform this type of slide. Do not stiffen your arms because the wrist or shoulders will jam this way while maintaining contact with the bag. Once you want to stop sliding, you can tuck your toes into the sand, which will produce friction in order to stop you or slow down your sliding speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which foot do you slide in baseball?
The right foot is often the dominating foot of most people, which should be aimed away from the base while the other foot should try to touch the base.
Should you slide head first or feet first?
Head-first sliding is a bit dangerous. It is fast and natural, but it may cause injuries to your upper body like the cervical & spine, etc., while the feet-first slide is a safe option.
Does sliding slow you down?
Yes, Sliding slows you down because your feet do not move forward.
We hope now you have enough knowledge about how to slide and that you better understand the importance of learning to slide in a baseball game. There are some important rules and regulations, too, which you should review in order to slide during the game. Wait for our next editorial to learn about them. See you next time.