Baseball Baserunning Skills: Working as Hard Backside as Frontside

Learn to put the brakes on and retreat to the bag quickly with these baserunning tips for your next season.

Legging out an extra-base hit can be great for a team’s momentum. But getting thrown out at the base and being too aggressive can take the air right out of your squad. That’s why being able to get back to the bag can be as important to a baserunner as their speed advancing bags.

Hustling hard regardless of advancing or retreating is known as, “Working just as hard backside as frontside.”


A common example of working hard backside is when you send a well-hit single to the outfield grass. Imagine you’re rounding first and hoping for another base. However, with your head up, you notice the defense has cleanly scooped up the ball. It now becomes clear that trying to advance would be a fruitless attempt.

“At this point, we plant our lead foot and work as hard backside as we just did frontside,” former professional baseball player CJ Beatty says.

Keeping an eye on the ball and listening to your base coaches can help you make the right decision on the basepaths. Be sure to hustle hard regardless of which direction you’re headed. Use these baserunning tips to stay smart between the bags this season.

Running smart can also lend itself to other baserunning rules. Find out why you should never make the first or third out at third base with these additional Pro Tips.