Softball Skills: How to Take a Baserunning Lead

Knowing how to take a proper lead as a baserunner can help you successfully make your way around the bases.

March 31, 2019

It’s every batter’s goal to get on base. But what happens once you get there is just as important. There’s more to strong softball baserunning than just stealing bases. It may not always show up on the stat sheet, but it can help your team on the scoreboard.

When it comes to baserunning, there are different elements to success. One key to becoming better on the basepaths is the ability to take a proper lead.

“To be an effective baserunner, you always have to be prepared to take the next base,” former collegiate softball player Jordan Mowatt says. “One of the best ways to do this is to always take a proper and aggressive lead.”


The first step in preparing for a proper leadoff is to have the correct body positioning.

When on the bag, imagine yourself as a sprinter lining up for a race. For proper positioning:

  • Place your left foot on the edge of the bag.
  • Your right foot should be behind and to the side of the base.
  • Lean forward with your right arm bent in front of you and your left arm down by your side.

Just as a runner is prepared to go once the start horn blares, this stance will help you be ready to explosively push off the bag in sync with the pitcher’s release.


Good baserunning is a balancing act, so technique is key. Depending on the pitch outcome, your next move can either have you take the next base or pivot and return safely to the bag.

To make sure you’re in position for any situation, you should take three to four hard and explosive steps while keeping your body leaning forward at a 45-degree angle.

“Aggressive and proper baserunning can be the difference between being called out or safe,” Mowatt says.

Now that you’re armed with these baserunning tips, learn how to be successful on the other side of the bag with this guide on defensive pre-pitch movement.