Earlier this season we explored ways to dominate the outfield, but that is only half the game! Today we are going to outline some strategies for the offense and how to maximize the potential of your runs and kicking line up.
1. Optimize your kicking order
Every player has a spot in the kicking order and depending on their individual strengths, will have an optimal place to maximize your offensive impact. The leadoff kicker should be one of your best and fastest kickers. Their goal is to get on base however they can. The 2nd and 3rd kickers should be reliable and consistent kickers as their job is to move up the previous kickers and make it on base (usually with a strong, low kick). Cleanup coming in 4th should be your most powerful kicker. You want someone who can kick the ball far and hard (think hard to catch) to help bring around the other players and the first runs of the game. 5-8th kickers should be your players who are not as confident in kicking but may get singles or fast runners to get on base. Then run through the rest of the roster and remember to keep your male / female ratios in mind when setting up the order.
2. Know when to hold back
As with placement in the lineup, each type of kick has its time and place. It is not always the best plan of attack to try and kick the ball as hard as you can, especially if that is not your individual skill. If there are 0-1 players on base and neither on third, it is a better idea to try and kick it low and hard to get a base hit and advance your runners. Save the big power kicks for when you have a player in scoring position to give them the time to run home. Don’t forget the power of a sacrifice fly as well, sometimes it is all you need to get that player home and tie up the game!
3. Run Smart
As a base runner, your best plan of action is to be aware of the play. Know how many outs you have and what position in the lineup you are in to optimize your running. If you are on second or third and no one right behind you, you do not have to run. If the ball is coming at you or towards the base you would be running to and it is not a forced play, hold up and wait until the next play to lessen the chances of being thrown out. If the kick is popped up, keep that toe on the base and wait until the catch to see if you have time to advance bases. Just remember, if there are 2 outs, run on contact no matter what as you either advance / score or the play is called out and the inning is over, you have nothing to lose!
Now that you are armed with both offensive and defensive strategies, you are ready to go out and play your best game ever. But as always, be sure to have fun first!