Straight Line Turns at 1st Base-Slow Down and Go Faster!

Turns at 1st base are heavily lopsided toward kicking out early and rounding into the bag. This makes sense since you are running at a high rate of speed and need to round into the bag to stay on line with the next base. However, what happens in reality is that the runner makes a large turn at 1st base and ends up swinging out too wide going toward 2nd base. Thus, they defeat the purpose of the first bump out turn. Why spend time bumping out on the way to 1st base if you are only going to make a wide turn anyway going to 2nd base. You see, what happens is the faster a runner goes, the more he builds up force pushing him wide after he hits 1st base. So, he ends up losing time on his way to 2nd base.

There is a better way. Sometimes you have to slow down to go fast! Why not run directly at 1st base, slow down enough to reduce the G force that pushes you wide, and make a turn that is more direct toward 2nd base. As long as you don’t slow down to a stop or significantly lose your momentum, you will end up with a quicker time to 2nd base by cutting down the distance you have to run. Running a more direct line toward 1st base (faster), running a more direct line toward 2nd base (faster) and the slow down on the turn will not significantly affect you overall time. Think about it, why run as fast as you can if it only pushes you farther from your target? Does that make sense? Also, by running a direct line to 1st base and getting there quicker, it puts more pressure on the outfielders to pick up a clean ground ball or cut off a marginal shallow gap ground ball.

I know it is counter intuitive to think about slowing down to go faster, but when you throw in the obstacle of turning at 90 degrees to your next target, cutting down distance is the main contributor toward reducing running times. Try it!