When we take these leads off the base, suppose the batter does not hit the ball and we find the catcher sitting down at home plate with the ball. The runner needs to be in the position to always do what needs to be done. Can she get back? Can she go forward?
â€œA Step and a Diveâ€ Baserunning Drill plus Tips on How To Dive Safely!
In today’s video blog post, we are talking about a great baserunning drill exercise called â€œA Step and a Diveâ€. It will really get your players familiar with the common rule of thumb â€“ when she takes her lead off of the base, she is going to be a â€œstep and a diveâ€ away.
What Exactly is the Distance of a â€œStep and a Diveâ€?
To find this distance, have the player lie down on the ground on their stomach and stretch out, with their finger tips on the edge of the base. Notice where the feet are â€“ this would be a â€œdiveâ€ for this player. Have the player then stand up and take a step to the right. Now have the player make a visual reference of the distance to the base so they can understand what it means to be a â€œstep and a diveâ€ away.
The Dive Back to the Base
The focus of the dive back to the base is to make sure that the player is far on the outside of the base, so that she is away from any play that may come from the first baseman. So when she has taken her lead, and needs to come back, she is going to make sure that her body is as far away as possible and that her hand reaches to the far edge of the base.
If you have a first baseman who is coming back for a tag play, you want to make her chase you outside the line, making it more difficult for her.
On the dive, it is very important to notice hand positioning. You will have athletes who have their left hand down on the ground while their right hand is reaching, and this is setting up for injury in the wrist area of that left hand because it is taking all of the force. The player should be diving into the base with the hands straight out.
Another key is keeping your center of gravity down. Stay low and you will be able to stay quick!
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