How to Lay Down the Perfect Kickball Bunt

Monday, September 21, 2015 - 19:17

How to Lay Down the Perfect Kickball Bunt

We've all heard someone snark, "It's kickball, not bunt-ball!", but the truth remains that the short game is still the most effective way to get base runners on. A popular kickball team strategy is to bunt a few people on, move them into scoring position, and then rip a line drive to score some runs.

Sounds easy, right? Well, not so fast. Bunting a kickball with the right accuracy and pace is not only a skill, but dare I say, an art form. We reached out to some of the best kickball bunters in the game today to get their tips and feedback.

After reading this blog (and many, many reps at practice), the goal is for you all to be painting lines like these tremendous CLUBWAKA players do.

Get a running start

"The biggest piece of advice I can offer is get a running start." The Situation's Jeremy E. shared, "It doesn't have to be much, but starting at a standstill severely hampers your speed." 

Against elite infields, the difference between being safe and out is often less than a second on even the best bunts. That's why it's important to be moving down the line as fast as possible.

"This is also probably the most difficult part of bunting because attempting to make contact with a moving object while moving yourself take a lot of practice." Edge continued, "However, once you develop your timing, you'll be amazed how much faster you seem. Your run-up will all depend on how comfortable you are at the plate. I personally stand a step behind the left cone for my approach. Some people like a much longer approach."

Don't lean back. Keep your chest over the ball. 

"Remember, boobs over ball!", KA's Lisa F. stressed. It's important not to lean back. Keep your chest over the ball. If you get caught leaning back, than you increase the odds of popping up. 

Make contact with the ball in the upper middle part of the ball. 

Cardiac Arrests' Brad K. may be one of the most technical bunters in kickball. One of the things he focuses on is where his foot makes contact with the ball, "Watch it all the way to your foot," Brad continued, "Lift your foot high enough that you're hitting the top of the ball and pushing it down the line. If you hit too low, it's sure to pop up."

Don't follow through too much. 

"Lift your knee and come down on the ball trying not to go past your plant leg." Lisa added, "Don't swing your entire leg like it's a golf club."

There is already energy in the ball as it's pitched towards you. You don't need a big swing, but just solid contact. KA's Manny A. added, "When bunting, imagine you're kicking a cinder block on contact. Don't allow your bunt leg to go past your plant leg." By doing this, you'll avoid pop ups or bunts that get to the pitcher/charger too rapidly and lead to easy put outs.

Use the instep of your foot and lock the ankle. 

"Make sure to keep your ankle locked and you're not just reaching your foot in," Brad advised, "Bunt with conviction, dammit!"

You wouldn't try to hit a baseball with a floppy bat. So, it doesn't make sense to bunt a kickball with a loose ankle. Keep it locked and point your toe slightly upward while making contact with the ball on the instep of your foot.

Practice, Practice, PRACTICE!

DCOMB's Erin R. had some very simple advice, "Go to practice when you can!"

Simple but important. None of these techniques come naturally and take many reps to get the muscle memory in place.

"I try to get to any and every practice I can, even if it's not with my team." Lisa said, "Just to improve in anyway I can. The more practices you get to, the more exposure you will have to different types of pitches, be able to work on timing and tweak anything you feel seems a little off during games."

Don't just bunt the ball, be the ball. 

"For me, the most important aspects of bunting are mental," Brent W. stated, "Confidence, patience, and persistence are key. It's about walking to the plate and knowing that you're going to get on. It's in your body language and the pitches you choose to go after. Pitchers can tell when someone is scared at the plate and they'll take full advantage of it."

In summary, here are the key points to focus on: 

  • Get a running start and meet the ball at the plate in stride
  • Lean forward. Boobs over ball!
  • Make contact on the upper half of the ball
  • Don't follow through too much
  • Lock your ankle and make contact with the instep, toe pointed slightly up
  • Get plenty of practice!
  • Be confident. 

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Guest blog post by Brent Wentworth from CLUBWAKA in Hampton Roads, VA.