How to teach sliding in baseball

How to Teach Sliding in Baseball? Secret Explained

Sliding in baseball is considered one of the hardest tasks but it’s not when you’ve been taught properly. Sometimes teaching baseball sliding can get pretty tricky for coaches and parents as well. This blog article is all about making you understand how to teach sliding in baseball. 

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You must’ve seen a confident kid who’s sliding without any trouble. On the other hand, there’s also a kid with timid body language who’s having a hard time with baseball sliding. The difference between both kids is only one. The teaching of baseball sliding. Both have been taught in different ways. 

Right technique and understanding of sliding help in confidence boosting and becoming an impactful player. Every passionate baseball player must know the importance of perfect sliding during an intense baseball game. 

This blog post is going to help you learn how to slide in baseball which includes baseball sliding drills, sliding rules, techniques to avoid, and much more. So, let’s get into it.

Why is Sliding Important?

Indeed, sliding is one of the most important baseball skills. Sliding helps a player save the game if done properly. Following are three cases where the right technique of sliding must execute at the right time.

  • To avoid a tag: Sometimes, both a base runner and a ball reach the base at the same time. It’s important to avoid a tag by sliding or doing complex movements. Also, it gets a bit difficult to avoid a tag often.
  • To break up a double play: Sliding also helps in breaking up a double play to protect both players. The correct way of taking out makes you a good player.
  • Advance to the next base at full speed: It’s almost impossible that you will stop at the base, especially if you’re running as fast as you can. You must slow down to stop at the base. So, you’ve to be sliding to get the game right.

Sliding Techniques

There are two main baseball sliding techniques every player should know about. Here you go.

Feet First Sliding Technique

One of the common sliding techniques is the feet-first technique. In this technique, the player or a base runner first slides with his feet or legs. There are three categories of first feet sliding technique.

How to teach sliding in baseball

Hook Sliding

Hook sliding is one of the great ways to avoid a tag. The runner emphasizes making enough distance from the defender. The player takes the instant decision and creates a hook motion.

Bent-Leg Sliding

Young baseball players should learn to slide by practicing bent-leg sliding. It’s one of the easiest and safest techniques of baseball sliding. The base runner just needs to bend one leg while sliding on the base

Furthermore, a lot of experienced players use a combination of hook and bent-leg sliding. This way they can keep body parts away from the defender.

Pop up Sliding

Pop-up sliding drills or sit-down sliding is another easy and commonly used technique among young players. Also, these techniques don’t hurt players much. 

The player pops back up to his feet the moment his legs touch the base. Players should be careful while performing this sliding technique, otherwise, there’s a chance to get tagged out.

Head First Sliding Technique

In head first sliding technique, the base runner slides in with his head or upper body first. There are a few variations when it comes to head-first sliding drills, such as situational head-first sliding, swim-move sliding, and diving back to the first technique.

How to teach sliding in baseball

Sliding Techniques You Must Avoid

There are a few actions a lot of players perform that cause them to fail to slide. I’m going to discuss a few of them so that you avoid them next time when you’re sliding.

Too Early or Too Late

Sliding too early or too late won’t help you in sliding at all but make you regret the sliding decision. Sliding late can cause you to hit the base. Additionally, there’s a huge possibility of getting severe bruises on the hands, knees, and feet. On the other hand, sliding too early won’t let you stop right at the base.

Less Extended Arm

Another mistake a lot of young players make is not enough to extend their arms. This happens in head first baseball sliding drill. Make sure to have a body balance and extend your arms while sliding.

Jumping Before Sliding

You might think jumping before sliding is fun and cool but it’s not. It can cause injury and even deep bruises. Not only that, but it can also lead to unsuccessful sliding. Coaches or parents should teach their kids not to jump before sliding.

How To Practice Sliding in Baseball?

To be a good and impactful baseball player, you need to learn how to do baseball sliding. Also, if you’re a coach or a parent, you must know how to teach sliding in baseball. Here’s a right and safe method to practice sliding in baseball.

How to teach sliding in baseball

Sliding Practice

Practicing a baseball slide on a dry and wide flat surface is all you need to be a pro at sliding. A lot of coaches or parents suggest practicing over wet grass. You’re making a mistake here. Practice on wet grass can make your kid all wet and he won’t like it at all. This can make your kid hate sliding, for sure.

Sliding Equipment

Following is the equipment you must have for performing successful sliding practice. Here you go.

  • Sliding Shorts: Sliding shorts are designed to protect the knees of the players with the help of protective cups and padded cushions.
  • Running Surface: You can use dry grass, a flat dry surface, or even a DIY sliding pad.
  • Socks: Must wear socks for cushion effect and protection.
  • Baseball Sliding Mat: Get a sliding pad or mat to make the sliding practice even more effective. You can go with a plastic made mat and DIY pads as well.

Baseball Sliding Drills

There are a lot of variations of sliding drills. These drills are like the muscle memory of players. So they don’t need to think about it, it became their instinct. I’m going to name a few baseball sliding drills for your ease.

  • Bent-leg sliding
  • Hook sliding drills
  • Situational Sliding drills
  • Diving back to the first drill
  • And many more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Feet-first sliding is one of the most basic sliding techniques. So many young players start with this sliding drill.

You can but it’s not an ideal way to practice sliding. Wet grass can make your socks and attire wet which can get pretty annoying for a lot of young players.

Dominant foot and leg should be used for sliding in baseball. It’s great to stretch straight your dominant leg while bending the non-dominant one to perform perfect sliding.


A lot of coaches don’t know how to teach sliding in baseball. Also, they are afraid of kids getting hurt and serious bruises. But the right method of teaching baseball sliding drills can avoid unwanted situations. 

I compiled this blog post so that less-aware parents and coaches get to the basics of sliding that includes what to avoid, how to practice, basic sliding techniques, and the importance of sliding in baseball.

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