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Baserunning Analysis

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Baserunning Skill AnalysisBaserunning is a skill that is sometimes thought of as an easy skill that does not need as much work as hitting for example.  At least until we are in a game and a baserunner is called out for missing a base, or runs into a fielder with a ball with the base empty behind them.  This is why baserunning analysis is an important component of your coaching so that your team can run with confidence and you don’t have to worry about what is going to happen this time on the base path.

Baserunning Analysis Considerations

The best way to analyze softball skills is with video analysis.  The ability to slow the motion down and see specific movements by the player will allow you to not only take not of the refinements but also allows the player to see it as well.  This will be useful in the development of kinesthetic awareness.  With baserunning you can also use a stopwatch as well as incorporate obstacles and activities that simulate real game situations

Technical / Tactical Skill Factors

We don’t always consider it but baserunning is a technical and tactical skill.  Running form can have an affect on the amount of speed that the runners can have.  Adding knowledge of the game and instinct with deliberate practice will have a huge effect on the performance outcomes of your team.

Some Technical Errors for Baserunning

Technical Errors Improvement Strategies
leaps for the base use cones for stopping distance
makes the turn too wide use cones as guidelines
hits the middle of the base color the corner in baserunning drills
poor running mechanics develop in preparation phase

Some Tactical Errors for Baserunning

Tactical Factors Improvement Strategies
don’t know when to stop work with coaches
not watching for signals practice drills
inexperience add to practices
don’t know the signals signal sheets

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Psychological Requirements

Softball is a game that has a lot of psychological barriers for athletes during competition.  The psychology of baserunning requires skills that are going to have

  • Narrow focus – watching the ball in the pitchers hand
  • Confidence – sliding to evade a tag
  • Emotional Control – being able to stay calm in a run down
  • Concentration – watching and listening for the coaches

Some Psychological Challenges for baserunning

Technical Factors Improvement Strategies
not aware of the defense use video tape
not aware of runners ahead check before pitch
not following the plan consider substitutions
playing individually team work activities

Physical Requirements

Softball is a power sport that requires the following biomotor skills:

  • Coordination – sliding, timing the pitch and the lead off
  • Balance – pop up slide, most efficient starting position, leaving the batters box
  • Speed strength – push off the base in a pop up slide
  • Maximum strength – pushing off the base
  • Flexibility – sliding
  • Agility – evading a tag, run down

Some Physical Challenges for throwing

Technical Factors Improvement Strategies
lack of speed train in general preparation

Performance Outcome Factors

Every softball skills is executed with a desired outcome.  That outcome however can be broken down just as the skill itself is.  Here are some expected outcomes that you might have.

Expected Outcome Mechanics / Biomechanics
safe at the next base body upright on acceleration
takes most efficient path hits the inside corner of base
maximizes bases advanced watching the defense and coaches
follows coaches signals looks up at appropriate times
is aware of their surroundings takes advantage of errors


As coaches, error detection and correction is what we do.  There is a time and a place however for that activity to occur.  During competition is generally not the time.  Following is a few recommended paths you can take to help your players improve their skills.

Intervention Timing
Break down the skill During practice
Kinesthetic feedback During practice
Skill instruction During practice
Provide a mentor During practice

Baserunning Analysis
Article Name
Baserunning Analysis
Baserunning analysis is critical to baserunning improvement. We can't expect perfection or close to perfection without practice.
Publisher Name
Softball Tutor
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