Baserunning Analysis

softball baserunning analysis

Baserunning 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 base runner is called out for missing a base, or runs into a fielder with a ball with the base empty behind them.  This is why softball  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


add to practices

don’t know the signals

signal sheets

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

Baserunning Analysis

Some Physical Challenges for throwing

Technical Factors

Improvement Strategies

lack of speed

train in general preparation

Performance Outcome Factors

All softball skills are 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.



Break down the skill

During practice

Kinesthetic feedback

During practice

Skill instruction

During practice

Provide a mentor

During practice