Softball Baserunning: Rounding the Bases Properly

by Tim Covey

Softball Baserunning: Rounding the Bases Properly

Softball baserunning is one of those areas that oftentimes goes unnoticed, and is often under-coached.

The reality is that taking a good turn, tagging up appropriately, or taking the right type of lead-off does not show up in the stat sheet. But all of these things can be the difference in scoring a run, not scoring a run.

And sometimes winning or losing!

In this week's Tip Of The Week on softball baserunning, I walk you through a few of the essential elements for teaching your players how to make an effective turn when rounding the bases.

Watch the video below and then read below the video for additional content on rounding the bases effectively!

As you saw from the video, there are two different types of turns that a player can make:

  1. Banana Turn: This is a turn where the runner knows well in advance that she will be rounding the next base. As a result, she gradually moves outside of the baseline to prepare herself to round the base. Her path between the bases forms the shape of a “banana.”
  2. Question Mark Turn: This is a turn when the player has to make the decision to round the base late. When this happens she needs to take a more drastic move on her turn. As a result, her path between the bases forms the shape of a “question mark.”

A couple of other key components, as are mentioned in the video, are to LEAN into the turn, and to try and hit the front of the base. This allows the player to get a good push off of the base.

The reason this skill is important for players to learn is that the result of a good turn will decrease the number of steps a player will need to make in between bases and allow the player to go straight into the next base.

For example, a poor turn around first base will result in the player swinging out well above the baseline between first and second. As a result, she will then have to bring herself back down towards the base and take a lot of extra steps to do so. A good turn, on the other hand, will allow her to go more straight into second base and take fewer steps to get there (and get there more quickly as a result)!

Practice this with your team this year! It may not show up on the stat sheet, but it WILL make a difference on close plays!

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Tim Covey
Tim Covey