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Feet-first and head-first baseball slides about the same. I like Feet first.

Posted by John T. Reed on

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an article that says sliding head first and feet first deliver the runner to the base at about the same time. They said the injuries are about the same, too, but their own charts say that feet first causes no head injuries whereas head injuries are the main ones when sliding head first.
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I advocate only the feet-first slide in my two baseball coaching books. I believe Little League outlawed head first sliding. Good.
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Pete Rose popularized it. He said he was motivated by getting his picture in the paper. If players had started out head first early in baseball history, Rose would have slid feet first to attract attention to himself by being different.
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I also advocate always using the feet-first pop-up slide so you can go to the next base if the opportunity presents itself. I am not aware that there is a head-first pop-up slide.
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The article presents the material with much show of science. I’m not buying that. They only looked at 90 non-game slides and took the fastest of each three by each player. That is too small of a sample and only game footage should be used.
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In theory, head first ought to be faster, but it appears that those who slide feet-first slide harder—I assume because they accelerate until closer to the base than the head-first sliders. Gong in head first causes the sliders to pull their punch a bit to avoid injury.
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The old school players had it right the first time. Feet-first is better when you measure results with electric timing and take into account which body parts are injured most.
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https://www.johntreed.com/…/john-t-reed-s-baseball-coaching…
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The article can be read by Googling the title I believe: “In Baseball, There’s No Wrong Way To Slide.”
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I disagree with that title. Head-first is wrong.

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