Your baseball fitness regiment consists of plenty of running, I’m sure. You probably think you’re a speed demon, running the 60 yard dash in record speed every time you line up. But is it actually ‘useable speed?’
Let’s use football as an example. Athletes all the time show up to the NFL combine decked out in shorts and a cut-off shirt, running the 40-yard dash in times that make cheetahs think they’ve got competition. But in reality, football speed is all about cuts and initial explosiveness wearing pounds of equipment every time you step on the field.
Now let’s switch back to baseball. Running a lightening-quick 60 yard dash is great. Athletes should always strive to be the fastest that they can possibly be. But the real speed that colleges and professional scouts are looking for is ‘useable speed.’ In football, it is the cutting and the explosiveness that make athletes so good. In baseball it is much of the same, with major emphasis on your lateral explosiveness, your 1st step quickness and your acceleration,.
If you are serious about becoming the best baseball player you can be, it is imperative that you begin to understand how to transform your 60 yard speed into all-around baseball speed.
In baseball it all starts with the first-step quickness. If you’re a hitter in the box, the odds of beating out a grounder to the shortstop is whether or not you explode fast enough out of the box.
- On one leg, explosively leap to your other leg for a specified distance continuously.
- To increase the overall workout, bound on each leg for 20 yards, then immediately explode into a full sprint for 20 yards.
- This is basically running a figure eight but with sharp corners.
- Place four cones in a box shape about seven yards apart. Create two total boxes, totaling eight cones. Have the boxes of cones side-by-side or adjacent.
- Start at the corner of one box and then sprint to the second conewhich is half way to the other end of the second box.
- Then sharply turn inside to continue your sprinting to the other side across the middle of both boxes. Then repeat the sprint around the next half of the boxes.
- Do this five times.
Finally, to fully develop baseball speed, you have to develop lateral explosiveness, increasing your overall stride and cutting down on the total number of steps.
1st Step Quickness Workout:
- Start in a pushup position with your body in a proper posture aligning your spine
- Position the ball of one foot into the ground under your hips
- Place the weight on your front leg and explode to destination
- Do this three times on each leg, going around 30 yards
After learning the importance of that quick first step, you then have to master the art of acceleration. In baseball, acceleration is unique in the fact that baseball players have to be able to understand the art of angles going around the bases while continuing that quickness throughout.
Article Title: Translating Baseball Fitness to Usable Baseball Speed