Sacrifice Bunting Analysis

Sacrifice bunting is a tough skill that takes persistence and patience to master.  It seems like such an easy skill that anyone should be able to do because it looks simple and does not require a lot of movement because it is a sacrifice, and all you are doing is catching the ball.  It is actually not quite as easy as that, sacrifice bunting analysis is a useful tool to break it down.

Sacrifice Bunting 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 sacrifice bunting, view it from all angles because there is no rotational movement until after contact.

Technical / Tactical Skill Factors

There are different philosophies on bunting ready position.  Do you have the bat on an angle?  How low to the ground do you set up in your ready position?  Depending on how the set up is, the analysis is the same.  The foundations of the bunting position are about preparation and execution.

Some Technical Errors for Sacrifice Bunting

Technical Errors Improvement Strategies
poor ready position practice in front of a mirror
leaves strikes good positioning
eyes not on the ball use different colored balls
shoulders not square practice catching the ball
drops the bat practice using knees to move


Some Tactical Errors for Sacrifice Bunting

Tactical Factors Improvement Strategies
don’t understand importance go over with the athletes
don’t understand sacrifice discuss scenarios at practice
inexperience observe game situations
runs outside of the bunt line use cones in practice

Psychological Requirements

I would think that the most important aspect of the sacrifice bunt is patience.  Waiting for the ball can be hard in a game that consists of speed in almost every other aspect.  Being able to wait and then make minor adjustments depending on the flight of the ball takes practice and patience while focusing on bunting rather than getting to hit if you miss the ball

  • Narrow Focus – catching the ball with the bat
  • Confidence – able to contact almost any pitch
  • Concentration – focusing on the ball and contact point
  • Emotional Control – focusing task at hand without distractions
  • Relaxation – not too stiff on contact to avoid popping up the ball

Some Psychological Challenges for sacrifice bunting

Technical Factors Improvement Strategies
afraid to pop the ball up ensure proper mechanics
can’t comprehend sacrifice coach takes responsibility
don’t want to bunt importance of team work
have not had success look for small successes

Physical Requirements

Balance and coordination are important in sacrifice bunting.  There is no strength and power are not required in the execution except for when leaving the batter’s box.  Speed is essential for running out the bunt because you never know how the defense is going to field or play the ball.

  • Coordination – movement to bunt position
  • Speed – possibly obtaining a base hit from the bunt
  • Balance – able to maintain position until bunt is executed
  • Reaction Time – ability to instinctively know where to go on the bunt

Some Physical Challenges for sacrifice bunting

Technical Factors Improvement Strategies
coordination practice
reaction time agility drills
balance use boards / benches

Performance Outcome Factors

Every softball skill 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 for bunting.

Expected Outcome Mechanics / Biomechanics
ball lands in fair territory upper body is square to pitcher
ball lands in the desired area bottom of bat hits top of ball
runner advances ball is absorbed using arms
batter gets on base bat is on top of the strike zone
no double play appropriate timing


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
Sacrifice Bunting Analysis
Article Name
Sacrifice Bunting Analysis
Sacrifice Bunting Analysis is a way to spend some real time looking at players bunting preparation, execution and follow through and how they can focus on getting the ball on the ground instead of being able to hit.
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Softball Tutor
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