What happens when old men demonstrate slidebys

Just had to share this photo. One week ago today I was explaining to our 14U Glory team about not sliding or running into a tag, especially at home. Instead, I said, if the ball beats you there use a slideby. Softball sliding strawberry

Knowing, however, that many people learn better by seeing than hearing, I positioned a catcher at home with the ball, strolled up the third base line, and then took a run at the plate. (I was wearing shorts at the time, incidentally.) As I approached the catcher I got out wide, beyond her reach, executed the slideby and touched the plate with one finger. Safe!

When I stood up to review what I’d just done, one of the girls pointed out that I was bleeding. I didn’t think much of it, but we took a break while I cleaned it off.

Turned out to be worse than I thought at first. In fact, the photo you see here is after a week of “healing.” It’s made for a great war story though, and it definitely demonstrated that I won’t ask my players to do anything I wouldn’t do.

Still, you’d think I’d know better. Old men, especially fat ones, and sliding are not a good combination. I have to think that the added weight didn’t do me much good as I tried to “glide” across the infield dirt.

In any case, while it looks bad I am fine. I’ve been wearing two 3″ x 4″ gauze pads over the area for the last week, changing them each morning before I head to work. It’s not as bad as it was, but I have a feeling I’ll be showing this particular scrape in some form for a few more weeks. Oh well, all for a good cause.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on July 15, 2010, in Baserunning. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. That’s why you invest in a pair of $20 sliding pants. 🙂 I used to rip my legs up sliding like you did, but finally got sliding pants last year and have been scar-free since (aside from taking a cleat to the shins while making a play on a runner sliding into home – a lesson on why real catchers wear shin guards).Sliding pants can actually make you more aggressive since you won’t fear the repercussions of sliding with exposed legs.

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  2. Just wanted to say I really enjoy your blog, as well as the guest posts you’ve done on “softball performance” blog. It’s also nice to meet someone else from Illinois (we’re in Evanston). Great blog — keep up the good work!

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  3. Thanks, Liz. Glad you enjoy the posts. Perhaps I’ll see you around the fields!

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  4. I was catching at our second to last practice, as I have done at several practices before. This one got me. Girl was up to bat, the other coach was pitching. Pitch comes in, batter swings and tips a flat foul right at my face..Had enough time to turn my head and take the ball on the side of my head..Closed Zygomic fracture…Had I been slightly off to the side, or wearing the proper head gear I wouldn’t have had any injury…Lesson Learned..

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  5. Gene, all I can say is ouch! And what were you thinking? :-)Actually, I did that once too — catch without gear. It was right before a pitching lesson. I was kicking several boys off a softball field to do the lesson when they became fascinated with the idea of trying to hit off a softball pitcher. This particular one happened to be very good, so I said I’d catch without gear. I didn’t expect them to get a bat on the ball. She hadn’t warmed up yet, though, so they were able to hit — weakly to right field. One foul tip and I’d have been in trouble! That was the last time I did that.

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  6. One of the funniest things I ever saw in all of my years of coaching was when one of my assist coaches, a rather big man, decided to show the players the “proper technique” of running the bases. So off he sprinted to show how to “touch them all”, shouting instructions the whole way and around second the “gorilla” jumped on for a ride. Suddenly the “instructions” became more winded and the pace suddenly came to a crawl. Needless to say, the players looked at me and me at them and we all (including the assistant coach), got a good laugh out of it. Now the point of this is that although it did not come off quite as he had planned, he did lighten the practice and make it fun … and actually did show how to hit the corners … albiet a little slower by the end.– DanFastpitch Softball Coaching

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  7. Steve Nichols

    Good story, Ken. I’m all for becoming proficient in all parts of the game to demonstrate them properly but … sliding in shorts?! Try wearing baseball pants on sliding days.

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  8. Ouch…Believe me, I can relate. I have hurt myself more than a couple time trying to show the girls on my team how properly do stuff. The worst one for me was showing them how to run bases. I ran for about an hour and could barely walk the next day…the things we do for our teams…LOL.

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  9. Sad part is we really never learn. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. By the way, it finally did recover. But it took about a month and a half before I could quit wearing bandages on it.

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