Think about the game of baseball really quick. Now think about when you run during a baseball game.. What are you doing?
Well most of the time you are either:
- Stealing a base
- Chasing a fly ball
- Charging a grounder
- Running from home to first base
- Maybe even caught running in a pickle
All of these movements require you to be one explosive athlete!
Baseball is a game of short and intense bouts of explosiveness. So that is how we train.
Are you fast in all of these movements? Want to get better?
Awesome! Well here ya go:
Focus on these 5 movements for each aspect of the game.
1) Stealing A Base
3.25 seconds. That is the average amount of time you have to steal a base in the big leagues. Crazy right?That is less time than it takes to snap your fingers.
How can a base runner get a good chance to steal a base? It’s all about The Jump!
The Trick? Getting a big JUMP!
How Can I Get Better? Band Shuffle To Sprint Drill
- Get a partner and a resistance band
- Start by shuffling back and forth keeping your toes forward and hips low
- On the coaches cue of “go” slightly open your hip and sprint against the resistance of the band
Tip from the pros: Keep your hips and shoulders low and right before you take off slide your right foot back a few inches so that you can clear your front hip a little easier.
- Lower body explosiveness
- Great way to develop the “jump” needed for stealing a base.
2) Chasing Down A Fly Ball
It could be the game winning catch or you preventing the other team from starting a rally. Catching a fly ball in the outfield is a huge deal, if you can not get to the ball you can not catch the ball.
The Trick? Proper sprinting form staying on the balls of your feet while keeping your focus on the ball.
How Can I Get Better? Sled Drag March to Sprint
- Get a sled and load it up and grab a harness so you can drag the sled while moving your arms.
- Begin by slightly leaning forward
- Striking the ground with the ball of your foot, drive your legs in a “marching position with your hands bent at 90 degrees and your knees pumping past your waist.
- March 10 yards, then go into a sprint for 10 yards
Tip from the pros: When you hit your heels, your head bounces up and down…..not good for when you are trying to keep your focus on the ball in the air. Stay on the balls of your feet!
- Faster arrival time to the ball, sprint form and the habit of staying off your heels.
- The drag teaches you to drive your foot in the ground hard and makes you keep your knees and stride in a straight line.
3) Charging A Grounder
Getting to a grounder is not the hard part. The hard part is getting there and then switching your feet to be in a position to fire the ball and get him out.
The Trick? Getting to the ball fast and being able to switch your feet into throwing position with lightning speed.
How Can I Get Better? Boudro Switchfoot Drill
- Line up 4 cones in a straight linear line 5 yards apart.
- At cone 1, start by shuffling back and forth as fast as you can in a 10 yard distance.
- On the coaches cue of “go” sprint to cone 2.
- As you are sprinting your coach will point either right or left.
- Get to the cone and switch your feet in the direction your coach points as fast as possible.
- Go back in to your shuffle drill side to side and repeat at cones 3,4 and 5.
- Lateral movement efficiency, footwork, body control, ability to set foot in position to make a good throw.
- When you don’t have to think about where your feet are, you can focus on where you have to make the throw. Core control is huge for this drill.
4) Running from Home to First Base
Think of Ichiro Suzuki, he would crush opponents by barely hitting the ball. As long as he made contact with it there was a good chance he was going to get a base hit? Was it power with the bat? Nope, it was all about running speed. That dude can fly!
The Trick? Moving from one plane of motion to another fast and efficient (aka dropping the bat and getting your butt moving to first base)
How Can I Get Better? Quick Feet Med Ball Slams to Sprint
- Get a med ball something like 12-14 lbs.
- Start by moving your feet back and forth as fast you can in an athletic position.
- On your coaches cue of “right” or “left” slam the ball outside your lead foot.
- On you coaches cue of “right go” or “left go” slam the ball in that direction and take off into a sprint in the opposite direction.
- footwork skills, full body power, foot speed, sprint form,first step quickness
- Transitioning from one plane of motion to the next.
- The best part is when you slam and turn and sprint you are learning how to apply more force into the ground which is everything when it comes to getting a good start towards first base.
5) Getting Out of a Pickle
Matt VanSumeren (Head Strength Coach @ Xceleration) is here to show you how to get out of a pickle:
Getting in a pickle is not fun, you made a mistake now you have to dig yourself out. With quick feet you have a way better chance of saving your butt.:
The Trick? Fast and explosive change of direction, properly aligning your feet
How Can I Get Better? Transitional Ladder to Cone Drill
- Get a speed ladder and 4 to 5 cones
- Place the cones about 5 yards outside of the ladder
- Begin by moving your feet fast back and forth outside of the ladder staying in good position pumping your arms (stay in place).
- When your coach says “switch” drive your outside foot in the ground and cut to the other side of the ladder (move up the ladder).
- When your coach says “sprint” go to the cones outside of the ladder and perform a “slash stop” then go back to the ladder
- Keep repeating this until you complete the ladder
Tip from the pros: When you hit the cones slide your feet like you would stop on skates. You will shift your knees and feet in the right position so you can switch direction quick. Just like you would when getting out of a pickle!
- Rapid change of direction, lower body power, injury prevention.
- Ability to change direction fast in a safe position so you can fool the guys who are trying to throw you out!
So there ya go! Practice these 5 drills and become that kid who everybody in the stands is talking about.
Facebook: Xceleration Sports LLC