How to Perfect the Hook Slide
The Hook Slide is a great technique used to avoid a tag. In the professional game, feet first slides have all but disappeared, having given way to players almost exclusively sliding head first. In youth baseball, however, feet first slides still play an integral part of the game. Sliding into a base requires proper form to avoid injury so be sure to practice regular slides and pop up slides before moving on to more advanced techniques. Coaches at youth baseball camps and in Little League should make sure to teach correct technique so players know how to slide without getting hurt.
The idea behind a hook slide is that, in a non-force out situation, the player slides to one side of the bag or the other to avoid the tag. The player picks a side and reaches out to tag the bag as they slide past it.
To perform a hook slide, start your slide a step or two later than you normally would for a regular slide. Start your slide to the right side of the bag and try to focus on keeping your weight on the left side of your body. As you slide past the bag, hook onto the base with your left hand. Make sure to keep contact with the base. You should also make sure they get in the habit of calling “time” before trying to stand up. A smart field player will hold the tag on the base runner just in case the runner loses contact with the bag while standing or after the safe call.
The hook slide should NOT be used to try to break up a double play. The rules state that if there is any chance of contact, the player must slide directly into the base.
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