By Chad Zimmerman
Think you've got the speed and stamina to rule the diamond? Prove it. Try this ultimate gut-check test from Steve Tamborra, strength and conditioning coach for the nationally-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team. In 2006, Tamborra's baseball specific conditioning helped lead the Yellow Jackets to their third College World Series in school history.
"Baseball is an anaerobic sport, not endurance," Tamborra says. "You have to sprint everywhere, so you shouldn't train your body to be slow by doing distance running."
To prep his athletes' bodies right, Tamborra uses 10-, 20- and 30-yard sprints twice a week. One training session can include up to 25 sprints, with 10 to 20 seconds of rest between, depending on the length of the sprint. To condition their minds, he uses out-of-breath conditioninga gut check. "We want to see who's going to quit when they're fatigued," Tamborra says. "You have to challenge and push yourself. You have to do that to be a successful baseball player."
Tamborra's gut check test
Sprint a lap around football field in 60-65 seconds
Rest for 3 minutes
Run another lap, this time in 50-55 seconds
Repeat 4-5 times
Coaching Point: If it's a real gut-check day, we'll do as many as eight laps. But make sure you set the number of total sprints before you start, so you know how to pace yourself. You have to really bust it to make it around the field in that time.
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