As a child I loved hearing those words. Because I loved to race.

What I also loved was trying to find short cuts whenever possible, I wanted an advantage to help me win. But I always hated when other people cheated and took short cuts. Because there is a huge advantage to the person who runs a shorter distance than the other person. You seldom find someone who would intentionally choose to run a longer distance, accept in the game of fastpitch softball.

The objective when at bat is to crush the ball, and get to first base before the throw is made. The longer the distance that you run, the more advantage the fielder has to get you out. Yet I see so many players, at all age levels, that run and step on the back end of first base. The problem with that is that the back end of the base is a full foot further from home plate than the front end is. If I’m at your game you just may hear me yelling “Take the shortcut” which means …. “Run to the front part of the bag instead of the back part of the bag.”

It may seem small, but that is nearly 2% of the distance, which equates to about 7 100th’s of a second. That is about the difference in just being called safe, or just being called out. So my advice to if you are serious about trying to get on base is to practice as often as you can running intentionally so that your toe will touch that front part of the base. So be sure to take that shortcut from now on.

Category : Baserunning