Whenever we watch softball games, we see a lot of players beautifully sliding. Why and how do they slide? Knowing the right ways on how to slide in softball is one of the essentials in playing this sport. Learning the techniques in sliding will increase your speed and help you reach the bases faster. It will also add excitement and fun, especially to those watching your game, as sliding surely looks good. More importantly, learning the proper ways of sliding will help you stay away from injuries. Although sliding in softball seems easy to do, especially when done by professional softball players, it is not that easy. But learning the basic technique is a great first step to mastering this trick. So below, we listed down the basic steps on how to slide in softball. Hopefully, after reading these techniques, you will find time to try it out because as we all know, practice makes perfect.
So why slide?
Sliding makes you play faster and more efficiently. It is part of the best ways to reach the bases more quickly and miss tags. This provides a great advantage especially when you are caught on a close play. A perfect slide executed by the player can win the game. This technique is so easy to execute even for beginners.
How do I slide?
Tip 1: Use comfortable gears . Make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes and pants. It is an option to wear sliding shorts as well. Discomfort may lead to an ineffective slide. So the first step is to ensure that you are on your right gears.
Tip 2: Run swiftly. Once you have decided to slide, make sure that you are running at your full speed. Then be conscious in preparing for your slide.
Tip 3: Know when to start sliding Start sliding four steps away from the base. Once you are at it, lower your body, bend your legs and shift your weight to your left side.
Tip 4: Do a Four Bend your left knee and position your right leg to make a 4-like shape. Be sure to tuck your tuck your left leg below your right leg and then extend the right leg. Be careful as you might hurt yourself.
Tip 5: Make your slide As you make your slide, make sure you lean back. This will give you the control you need to stop quickly when you need to. Please, always make sure that you do not use your hands or legs to drive your body because this technique slows you down.
Tip 6: Touching the base Using your stretched out right leg/foot, hit the base. Do not do it with your left foot as you may get injured.
Different Types of Softball Sliding
The Hook Slide
Hook slide is a technique that touches the base after sliding to the side and past it to prevent from being tagged. It is usually done when the ball comes before or it arrives right on time just like the runner. If the slider wants to hook the bag using his toes, his body will fade away from the tag. If you want to experience hook sliding, you don’t need to worry if you can’t put your legs in a perfect position. As long as you can bend your left knee and slide on it at the same time, you’re doing it well.
Applying hook slide sounds so simple, but the truth is, there are rules that you need to follow so that you can play the game very well.
- Sit on dirt or grass together with your legs extended in front.
- Bend your knees together with your feet on the flat ground. Also, put your hands behind you.
- Take a little step forward using your right foot and push off the ground using your both hands. Try pushing your weight forward and begin leaning to the left side. You should bend your left knee that is only enough for your body to roll onto your left side.
- When your legs are full of dirt, let your left arm stretch behind you. Most of your weight should be on the left aspect of the body so you can get the exact position.
- Go through the drill again together with the base to your immediate left.
- As you pass the bag, hook it using your left hand.
Fast Pitch Softball Sliding Drills
How it works
The drill needs ¼ of the player to line up behind the first base, another ¼ of the players line up behind the second base, and another ¼ of the players line up on behind the last base or third base. The ¼ of the players left should be line up at the home base.
Setting up the Drill
You need to have many eggs, real eggs and not hard boiled eggs. Give two eggs (for the left and right hand) to the first player in line at the home base. The first player needs to run towards the first base and slide while her/his are up to avoid breaking the eggs.
The first player in line at the first base will receive the eggs from the runner and then run towards the second base and slide. It continues until all the players finished running and sliding with the two eggs safe on the last player’s hands.
How to hit Slow Pitch Softball
Slowpitch softball is an outdoor game that should be played on green grassy areas for security and to avoid injuries. This game consists two main elements: a softball and a bat. They say that this game is only for professional people, but it isn’t true. It is suitable for every type of players as long as you can follow the rules and enjoy the game. There are few things that you need to consider on playing slow pitch softball. It includes:
Selection of Bat
The bats used in slow pitch softball are usually in of 34 inches. Choose the best and light bat in order to get greater distance and to make an effortless swing. A good bat like demarini single wall bats will help you win the game.
Technique for Gripping the Bat
To get a powerful hit, use your hands where you feel comfortable. For example, if you’re a left-handed player, put your left hand above. The same thing with the right-handed player put your right hand higher than your left hand. Players should hold the bat tighter and closer to the handle for the best hit.
Effective way of hitting the Ball
To have reliable and efficient hit, players should warm their muscles up to create a better swing. Keep your eye closer to the ball and hit it with a bat, but the speed of it must be in control. Be aware of your strike zone you can hit the ball in the best and perfect time.
There you have it! Those are the basic information to learn the how to slide in softball. It doesn’t need you to be a genius to learn and to win the game. Those techniques is so easy even for beginners.