If you want to look better in the field and save more runs you can't beat the sliding stop.
Sliding is a skill that is rarely taught a club coaching sessions so any fielding side whose players can perform it automatically have an advantage. It's a far faster method of stopping the ball just short of the boundary and returning it quickly.
It's also the flashy cousin of fielding skills so you need the confidence of knowing the basics well first. Those include clean pick ups and accurate throwing as well as catching both high and flat.
How to slide to stop a ball
Imagine you are chasing the ball to the boundary and it's going to be a close run thing as to who wins. You could stop it by flicking the ball back but that will slow you down.
Instead, slide yourself, legs first, to the right hand side of the ball (if right handed). Your left leg is bent and tucked under the right is pretty much the same position as a football sliding tackle.
As you slide past the ball, pick it up (or knock it back) and push your foot to the ground. This will bring you to your feet in the perfect position to throw.
Variation on the sliding stop
You can also slide while running to your right or left around the boundary. Sliding in this way you should be aiming to make your whole body a long barrier. The other main difference with this variation is to slide with your right leg under you if you are running to your left.
If you are running to the right keep the left leg tucked under. This is the same for both left and right handed fielders.
You can practice drill these stops by having the coach feed the ball to the edge of the boundary while you approach it from different angles.
If you want even more fielding techniques, tactics and animated drills from one of the best fielders in the world, check out Fielding: The Derek Randall Way on PitchVision Academy. Now with live video versions!
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