Whether you play kickball in a serious league, or you just like to get together with your friends and have fun every now and then, here is a list of the most important kickball tips that will help improve your skills and performance from here on. These tips are generally valid no matter if you’re a veteran of the game on a new kickball player.
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1. This might just be the most important tip of all. Warm-up and do some stretching before the game starts. Don’t go for a kick and then try to sprint without being warmed up. It’s one of the most common mistakes in kickball these days. You’re older than when you were playing the game as a kid. Many new players strain a muscle their first game because they ignore warming up before hand.
2. One of the most effective ways of getting on a base is gently tapping the ball and placing it right between the pitcher, the catcher and the third base man. That’s why another important kickball tip is: master the fine art of bunting. In order to successfully bunt, don’t make a kicking move, but rather just let the ball reach your foot, and direct the ball the way you want to by angling the inside of your foot. Depending on how strong the pitch was, you might want to gently tap the ball or in some situations just hold your foot in place, or, if the pitch was really fast you might even want to pull your foot back in order to get a successful bunt.
3. On two outs you should always run because at that point it really does not matter if they catch the ball or not.
4. As briefly mentioned before, if no one is on a base then a bunt or a grounder down the third base line is probably the best bet to allow you to get to the first base. This is mainly because it’s quite difficult to throw from third base to first. However, if you have runners on third or second, don’t use this strategy.
5. If you want to defend against bunts, your best option is pitching real fast and having a fast catcher.
6. When you kick, in most situations the best option is to keep the ball as low as you can. Why is that? Well, mainly because high balls are quite easily caught by the players in the field. In order to keep the ball low and prevented to getting too much air, you have to run up to eat at an angle and lean over it a bit when you kick.
7. On the other hand, there will be situations when a high and powerful kick is a good idea. For instance, if you have 2-3 people on bases and 0-1 outs, you should probably power kick. If you manage to kick the ball far enough, this will allow your runners to run in due to the time it will take for the fielders to return the ball from the outfield. Try and aim towards the right field, since this will give you the most time to advance bases.
8. For beginners, the first few games you play, you might want to ask for an outfielder position, rather than covering a base. There won’t be as many balls traveling your way as an outfielder, and when this will happen there will always be people around you to help you out. Meanwhile, you will be able to observe the more advanced player on your team and the opposing team as well, so you can mimic their strategies and learn their skills.
9. If you have a runner on the third base, it might be a good idea to kick the ball towards the first base. It’s true that this might end taking you out, but your team will score when the guy on the third makes it home.
10. Be aware of how far a person can usually throw the kickball. Most people max out the throwing distance from 1st to 2nd base. This being the case, be conscious that getting the ball from deep outfield to first base will require somebody in the middle to relay the pass.
11. Get one of your strongest players on third base. The third baseman should always have a strong arm to be able to make throws all the way to the first.
12. At the beginning of every play, check out which of the opposing team arm bases. This way you will have an idea of where the ball will need to go even before the play is made.
13. Positioning on the field is also very important. Remember that it is much easier to run towards the ball when you need to catch it, rather than chase it backwards. This is why you should always position yourself a bit further than you think you should. In addition, running towards the ball and catching it will give you momentum and you can use this momentum to throw the ball back with greater strength and speed.
14. Don’t ever hold the ball, especially if you are in the outfield. If you do that the runners will keep on running until the ball returns to the pitcher.
15. Practice makes perfect. If you want to improve your game learn how to improve your kicking technique. You can do that by checking out our other kickball guides.
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16. Don’t underestimate the importance of having the basic necessary equipment for kickball. For example, something as simple as getting yourself a pair of decent kickball cleats will give you improved grip and definitely give you an advantage when you’re running bases. Might make the difference between an in and out.
These were the most important kickball tips we could come up with. Now, you can further improve your game by checking out our other resources!