Speed wins! It’s one of the five basic tools in baseball and the only one that can be used on both offense and defense. All things being equal the athlete who has better speed will be the better player. How fast you run is a function of both genetics and training. Genetics sets your upper limit. Training determines how close you come to reaching your genetic potential. Speed can improved through systematic directed work. The following drills are designed to work on the two primary components of speed for baseball, starting ability and acceleration.
Starting Drill: Lean, Fall and Sprint
- Stand tall with your feet at hips width (no wider), and your weight slightly forward onto the mid foot. This will put your hips slightly in front of your ankles.
- Your shoulders and hands are relaxed and your head is in a neutral position with the chin down.
- Set your abs and tighten your glutes.
- Lean forward from the ankles and “Fall Forward” with your shoulders in front of your hips
- Take a short first step and let your foot come down under your hips to prevent over-striding.
- Each step should get progressively longer until top speed is achieved.
- Keep your elbows close to your sides and bent at approximately 900 on the way up and let them open slightly (about 1050 on the way back.
- Move your hands forward and backwards from “Cheek to Cheek” – move your hands forward to the height of your face cheeks and backwards just past your pocket (butt cheeks).
- Keep your head straight from the neck and your eyes down for three steps, and then slowly raise your head up over the next three steps. This will ensure that your
Basic Sprint Mechanics
- Stand tall with the feet at hips width (no wider). Slightly displace weight forward so the weight is on the mid foot. This will put the hips slightly in front of the ankles
- Shoulders relaxed (not shrugged)
- Head in a neutral position with the chin down
- Tight stomach and tight butt
- “Lean Forward” from the belly button
- “Fall Forward” with the shoulders in front of the hips
- “Take a Short first step” and naturally let the foot come down under the hip (not overstriding)
- Each step should get progressively longer until top speed is achieved
- “Smooth Arm Action” with the elbows at 90 degrees along the sides of the body and the hands relaxed.
Posture, Forward Lean, and First Step
Key Points of Our Speed Program
- The Ultimate Goal: “Accelerate low” and be aggressive in the first 10 yards to achieve top speed as efficiently as possible.
- Baseball running mechanics (i.e. crossover step and infield/outfield footwork) are an extension of basic sprint mechanics.
- We will progress straight line speed progressions to become powerful runners in stride.
- Our agility programs will incorporate the multidirectional movement skills necessary to transfer our speed into baseball situations.