|RUNNING: THE LOST ART OF SLIDING|
|Sliding is a very important part of the game and I have seen lots of players that can't slide correct. It can make a big difference on a close play. So it's important to practice sliding and to know how to do it well. |
The Good news is that sliding practice is fun time - if the conditions are right. Some girls don't like to practice their slides because they think it hurts. It can hurt on a hard field but it it's easy to overcome that situation. Set up sliding practice on a day when it has rained, or water down the field to make it softer. And be sure to wear grungy clothes. You might also want to practice sliding on a grassy plot of land, or if you have a hill practice sliding down the hill, were the ground doesn't feel as hard.
Start off by sitting on the ground. Then lean over so that your right leg is bent under your left knee, or vice versa. At same time, raise your hands up in the air. This is the position you should learn to slide in. To be sure your hands are up, put something in them like wads of grass, dirt or my favor fresh eggs. And keep them up in the air.
The First thing to practice is the basic * slip and slide *. Jump with your legs forward in the position you've just learned and slide on your behind. This will help prevent you from getting strawberries, bruises on your legs, especially on a dampened field. Once your players feel comfortable in this basic slide, you can go on to others.
You'll want to use the hook slide when you're trying to avoid a tag. Slide past the bag on either the inside or the outside of the base. Be sure you don't come directly into the base. Then, as your sliding past the base, grab the base with your hand. This way you can avert the fielder's tag if she has the ball waiting for you to slide right into it.
The pop - up slide is were you go into the base in the slide position and immediately hop up like a jumping jack. Use the basic * slip and slide * as above. But then , as soon as your foot touches the base, push up off of it and return to the standing position. This is a helpful slide to use if there's a misplay or some other circumstance takes place that enable you to advance right away to another base.
Once you are comfortable with the first 3 slide and feel at ease practicing them, you might want to try the head first slide. Pretend your Superman sorry girls, taking off in flight. Or think of it as diving into a pool, even thought there is no water this time. Run and dive with your arms out in front of you (don't raise them this time). Land on your stomach and chest. Keep your head up so you can see where your going. Know that once you begin this slide, your not going to stop. Take it to it's completion. You can injure yourself if you try to stop int he mid-slide.
When you're contemplating your slid, keep the hands up in the air. It might feel unnatural at first, but it will make slide much smoother. And if you're hesitant about learning how to slide, fearing that you might get hurt, keeping your hands up will reduce the chance of getting hurt. The more you practice, the more comfortable you'll feel sliding, and the more fun it will become.