How To Develop a Baseball Sliding Technique

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

The first step to sliding is to be committed. You have to develop the willingness to allow yourself to drop to the ground mid-sprint and slide into a bag or leg, or anything that you may encounter when playing baseball.

Step 2

To make this movement easier to start, simply roll out something softer than dirt or grass to practice. Most people will use a slip and slide or a tarp with water or even a blanket or loose rug on a hard, but slick surface like a basketball court.

Step 3

To obtain proper position, simply sit on the ground with both legs in front of you.

Step 4

Next, tuck your strong or dominant leg underneath the other by bending at the knee. You will form a final position that resembles a "jump kick" appearance from most pictures of karate that you may have seen. It is also like the sprinter stretch used in track.

Step 5

When running to a base and needing to slide, you need to learn how to drop your strong leg underneath your opposing leg to carefully slide without injury. Using your padded backside to support your weight as you gradually make it to the ground is an ideal option and when done right, leaves no discomfort or pain.

Step 6

Due to the weak friction of the dry dirt, your body will usually slide very easily and since baseball pants are thick, you should almost never suffer from large bruising or friction wounds.

Step 7

To practice, slowly build up the movement. Work on a soft surface like a trampoline or bed and just drop into position to work on coordination and landing.

Step 8

Next, extend your comfort to actually running and sliding on a soft, but slick surface like a thick blanket on a basketball court.

Step 9

Once comfortable, begin on the baseball field until it feels natural. Switching legs and developing overall coordination is also a bonus to practicing and will add extra comfort and ability to adjust slides according to ball and fielder position.

Step 10

Remember to always have your foot in front and leading and pointing straight up. If your toes are forward or your leg is weak and not prepared, you will likely injure your ankle or knees slamming into a still base.

Step 11

Also remember to keep your hands up and sit up in an upright position for balance and control so you do not fall backward or injure your wrist.

Step 12

Sliding head first is also an efficient way of quickly getting to a base, but still requires some technique like the basic slide. You must get comfortable using the same drills I instructed above and make sure to keep your palms up and ready to catch the base. Your head should be up and your landing should focus initially on touching your chest, but your hips and legs will need to hit soon after.

Step 13

There are other forms of sliding using the same concepts to avoid being tagged. Sliding is only really necessary for tag-outs and close plays.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

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There are several skills needed to excel in baseball that are unique to the sport. One of the odd movements not really seen in this form is the slide technique used when running the bases. When properly performed, it can give you a quicker path to the base and make it harder for the defender to reach you on a tag.

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