The Art of Bunting

Whether you play fastpitch or baseball, one of the most important and sometimes overlooked aspects of the game is that of bunting. Bunting is a key part of the game because it can mean the difference between winning and losing. For instance, your team is down by one run on the road in the final inning and you have a runner at first base with no one out. Ninety nine percent of coaches will ask their hitter at the plate to lay down a sacrifice bunt to move the runner into scoring position. Not all fastpitch players will be able to bunt effectively but with practice and repetition any player will be able to bunt that tying or winning run into scoring position.

The first key to putting down a strong bunt is to start out at your chin with the bat. Most inexperienced bunters will begin with their bat around their waist and then have to move the bat upwards, which can lead to popping the ball up into the air. You always want the ball on the ground. If the bat is at your chin it is easier to move it down towards the ball, which will push it into the ground and avoid a popup.

The second key to putting down a strong bunt is to start out with your hands away from your body. If you keep your hands close to your body when bunting then you will force the ball to go foul in most cases. If your hands are away from your body when bunting you can pull them closer to your body to lighten the strength of the bat hitting the ball, which will prevent the ball from reaching a player quickly and forcing an out at a base that is unwanted.

The third and most important key to putting down a strong bunt is to bend with your knees. If you stand tall while bunting, you will have to reach down with your arms to bunt a low pitch, which will cause the ball to either popup or go into foul territory. It is best to keep your arms still, around your chin, and move your body towards the ball when bunting. If you move the bat and keep your body still you will either miss it or pop it up for an out.

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