Starting position for baserunners in fastpitch softball

I wanted to get everyone’s thoughts on this. As everyone knows you can’t lead off the bag in fastpitch softball and must wait until the ball has left the pitcher’s hand before leaving the bag.
Everyone’s seen the two methods used: 1. Crouched position with shoulders squared towards the next bag with staggered stance and back foot touching the bag
2. Same stance except the lead foot is touching the bag and the back foot is behind the bag and is swung forward during the windup to time the lead foot (now the back foot) leaving the bag with pitch release

My thought is to have the baserunner get into a sprinters stance using the bag as a starting block with the back foot pushing off of the bag. I plan on timing my girls with both methods when the weather permits but I wanted to get your thoughts on why this would be better or worse.

I don’t worry too much about the starting position. There are too many variables that you can’t control that can over-ride all the best plans and yield them n&v. ie. type of bag, and anchoring, infield conditions. We’re only talking 60’ here. The finish is more important than the start. If the bag can offer good resistance, put the front foot there.

Unless you have an electronic timing system, this is almost impossible to time. The eye is very inaccurate for identifying the “start” and a smart player will learn how to cheat just enough to make a difference but still not get caught.


Obviously the slide is critical but in a 60’ race you wouldn’t consider the start that important? Most of the bags that we use are the firm plastic variety and offer enough resistance that most 11yo girls aren’t going to generate enough force to dislodge them from their moorings.

TNT, so you advocate striding with the back foot during wind up?

I don’t “teach” any specific or should I say advocate one over the other. Spend more time on proper strength development and running technique and sliding. Those 3 will account for more than the foot placement at the start.
We’re only talking about 2.5 sec. here. Very hard to time.