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Am J Sports Med. 2002 Nov-Dec;30(6):834-6.

Head-first versus feet-first sliding: a comparison of speed from base to base.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Two basic baseball sliding techniques, feet-first and head-first, are taught at all levels of play. Because of the risk for injury to the upper extremities and the cervical spine during head-first sliding, it is potentially more dangerous than feet-first sliding. There is an assumption among coaches that head-first sliding is more aggressive and faster, but there has been no scientific study to prove this claim.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to determine which technique provides a faster slide into the base.

STUDY DESIGN:

Controlled field study.

METHODS:

A total of 60 players ranging from Little League to college level was analyzed. Each athlete was evaluated three times from a standing start at first base to either a head-first or feet-first touch of second base. Each athlete was also timed in a 40-yard sprint and his or her preferred sliding technique was recorded.

RESULTS:

We found no statistically significant difference in speed between head-first and feet-first sliding at all levels of play in this study.

PMID:
12435649
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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