The Ole Ball Game

what foot should touch the bag when rounding first to second

by Kevin
(Indianapolis, IN)

Touching inside corner of bag with right foot

Touching inside corner of bag with right foot

Kevin asked:I have seen it taught both (right foot first/ left foot first) ways and wanted to teach the correct way. thank you.



Rick answered: Kevin, thank you for your question!

You are correct, it is taught both ways.

The most important factor, especially for younger kids, is to hit the base in stride, no matter what foot you use. Slowing down, shuffling feet are going to slow the runner down more than which foot they were touching with.

There is information at baserunning home to first on what we teach our players. While the test we ran was far from scientific, we concluded that players cut their times down hitting the inside corner with their right foot.

Bases have a slight downward slant, which provides a good push towards second.

The runner's body mass is towards the inside, which helps pull them towards second, rather than out towards right field.

All are small points and overlooked results, but we feel if the players believe in it, and it helps you beat those close plays, it is worth the effort to work on.

With experience, players figure out where to set their drive point so they are hitting the inside corner with their right foot. Just takes practice.

This past week while I was watching a Diamondback's game, they mentioned during the broadcast the D'backs teach "right foot". Others teach left. That is often the way in baseball.

I am a true believer in the importance of teaching base running. It is fun to teach and pays very large dividends come game time.

Good luck with your coaching. It is one of life's great pleasures!


Yours in baseball,

Rick

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Jun 06, 2019
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Right or Left ? NEW
by: Greg White

Hi; First let me say your right in that when first learning the game it's more important youngsters keep their stride going. And in a pinch older kids and adults should make sure they tag the bag.

Second, without seeing how your test was done I am not going to say your wrong about preferably hitting first with your right foot. I will say that the human body does not round corners like a motorcycle.Well in a way I guess it does in that leaning a motorcycle like leaning your body requires slowing down.Also hitting the bag with your right foot requires your next step is to cross your left leg in front (and in the way) of your right leg, again requiring slowing down so as not to trip yourself.

Though a different sport with different dynamics speed ice skating best illustrates the awkward and unnatural aspect of leaning in a turn and crossing a leg over the other at the same time.

Hitting the bag whether first, second or third with your left foot allows you to remain more upright (moving faster) and not cross a leg over the other.

Granted this requires lots of practice to obtain a natural and fast stride, but I'm willing to bet that test results can vary for a number of reasons including what is the subjects most comfortable stride, are they a righty or lefty, what way were they taught and have done for years, pressure knowing their being tested, perceived desired outcome, etc.

Thank you for reading this.

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