Ever wonder why the first thing you do at a pro tryout is run the 60 yard dash? Because you can’t play at the next level running a 7.9.
Well, unless you hit the ball 500 feet.
Cut to the Chase (no pun intended)
Use this off-season…whether it’s cold or warm in your area…
Speed is something you just can’t teach, right? Well, sort of. This workout below really touches on the technique behind running with the proper form, without you really needing to understand it. For example, doing the hill sprints forces you to lift your knees higher to get up the hill. Do it enough, and you muscle-memory creates a longer stride because your knees will naturally get higher when you run on a normal surface. Easy as that.Baseball and speed have to mix, unless you’re a DH or Firstbasemen. Whether you’re stealing bases or running down flyballs, speed must be present for you to become a next level ballplayer. Speed is key. And no matter who you are, you can improve it.
- Find a Hill (a steep one)(20 min) …The first few strides are crucial. Running up a slight hill (about 30 degrees) helps to develop power and acceleration. Keep the distances short (10-15 yards) and allow extra rest between sets and reps.
- 10 sprints – forward
- 10 sprints – backward
- 10 sprints – side shuffle
- Stretch – 2x day (15 min) My flexibility was the one thing holding me back that I didn’t become aware of until college, where I trained with a former Olympic sprinter. We worked on my flexibility, lengthened my stride, and improved technique. My 60-time dropped from 6.65 to a 6.45 in 3 months…stretch.
- Running Form Drills
- High Stepping – run in place, 15 sec sets, raising your knees to 90 degrees. Repeat 3-5 sets. This increases your running form and lengthens your stride.
- Army Walk – walk in a straight line, raising your leg straight out (unbent) and touching the tip of your toe with your opposite hand. Lengthens stride and improves flexibility. (walk for 30 feet = 1 set | 3-5 sets)
Stealing bases in baseball takes technique as much as it requires speed. So focus on the technique, and the speed will come. For more on baseball and speed, check out our Baserunning Section