I want to learn how to dive for softball?


i am a freshman and i play for my school softball team. i already have learned how to slide properly but i still want to learn how to dive dack to bases so i can get a bigger lead off. are there any drills, websights, ect. that can help me? also can you get hurt eayser when diving as opposed to sliding?



Answers:

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Let me preface this by saying, as an umpire, I see many, many different styles of diving back to a bag, and honestly, very few players at a sub-varsity level (and even at a varsity level!) know how to do this properly. There have actually been many studies (medically) about sliding feet first versus sliding head first. It is important to note that there is an increased risk of serious injury associated with head-first sliding, as opposed to feet first sliding. Generally, with head-first sliding back to a base, a player wants their knee(s) to hit first, then their torso -- arms and hands are usually left slightly off the ground so that they might strike the base unobstructed by contact with the ground (not to mention that sliding an unprotected arm along a hard dirt ground will definately cause a nice cut, I once cut the back of my hand on the warning track in center field during my playing days, going for a fly ball - I caught the ball, brought it back, and fell, back-of-hand first, onto the ground -- not pretty, but I digress). When sliding head-first, you never want to bury your head, even though looking straight ahead might leave you meeting a cleated enemy -- this is a main disadvantage of sliding head first.

Diving head-first, much like sliding head-first is equally dangerous for similar reasons. But, to execute this, first get into your position that you'd assume right before a dive "the runner's ready position" on a lead-off. Then, pretend a gust of wind, directed particularly at your upper body, is pushing you back to first base (your left side). Push off on your right foot, while allowing your torso to fall downward to the first base direction. Simultanously take all weight off of the left leg. First thing to hit is usually going to be your left knee -- to alleviate this stress, you might want to stretch out, trying to get your torso down at a similar time (but not before). In the dive, your hand often will slide across the dirt to the bag, which is why the dive can hurt sometimes.

There is no significant difference in speed between head-first and feet-first sliding at all levels of play, up to and including the collegiate level. HOWEVER, the most important thing to note is that at every level (up to and including collegiate ball), feet-first sliding on average takes less time (but not significantly less) to execute, mostly because players must take extra precautions when sliding head-first not to injure themselves, thus head-first sliding proves to be more a disadvantage more of the time.
Diving has a higher probability of getting you injured than does sliding because diving is usually not as taught, and usually is not as easy to put into practice in game situations. Sliding is usually anticipated in a game. Diving is not.

Like everything else, the only way you will learn is to practice this, especially with your coaches. Have them help you. You will learn infinately more from their wisdom than you will from online assistance.

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I'm not sure what the rules are in your state. But in my state you can't lead off until the ball crosses home plate for softball. I'm not sure if you can dive headfirst back into the base either.

Here you can only slide feet first in softball when advancing to the next base. Trying to get back to a base I'm not completely sure what the rules are.

But when diving, extend your arms infront of you and leap kinda at an angle and try to dive so you'll slide right onto the base, or to the side of the base away from the throw, and grab the base with your hand.

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Once you are advanced in your hitting technique and are comfortable at the plate, you may want to consider hitting to the opposite field. This can be a good way to advance your teammates on base.
Instructions

* STEP 1: Attempt hitting to the opposite field only if you're an advanced player. This skill is not for beginners.
* STEP 2: Hit to the opposite field to advance a runner on base. You'll want to hit toward the base behind the runner, so even if you ground out, the runner will advance. Of course, this move won't work so well if your ground out is the final out of the inning.
* STEP 3: Look for an outside pitch, which will make your hit to the opposite field easier.
* STEP 4: Swing late on the ball. Be patient and wait longer than normal.
* STEP 5: "Go with the ball as it's offered," says Ray VanderMay, women's softball coach at Seton Hall University. Sometimes the pitcher will offer you an outside pitch with no one on base, forcing you to hit to the opposite field. See what you can do with it.



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