Baseball tryouts will be here soon. One attribute your coaches will be looking for is speed. You either have baseball speed or you don't. If you don't have it, you can train for it. But you need to have a plan, work hard, and make speed a priority.
That quick burst you put on running to first base trying to beat out the bunt you just laid down? That's essentially what speed training operates off of. It's a quick, all-out burst of acceleration lasting less than eight seconds.
First, a few principles to get you started in speed training.
1. Make time to rest
To improve your speed, you must train fast and give yourself enough rest between sets. For instance, follow a 10-yard sprint that lasts less than two seconds with 10 to 20 seconds of rest (enough time to walk back and reload the drill). At least a 1-to-6 ratio of work to rest activity is a good place to start. Anything less, and you start to get fatigued and create opportunities for injury.
2. Add reactive training to your speed workout
Baseball is a reaction-based sport. Whether you are in the field or getting a large lead off first base, you must make a decision to plant your foot in the ground, drive your arms and get moving in a hurry. And sometimes your decision must be based upon what prior event just took place. That's where reactive training comes in.
Your reactive training could include:
- Sprinting on an audio cue
- Sprinting on a visual cue
- Multi-directional shuffling in the beginning of your sprint to mimic your lead off first base
3. Focus on reps and lots of 'em
The more you practice your speed drills, the more you'll move quickly on the field, because the moves become second nature. Don't just go through the motions; do each rep with the proper intent and care, so that you'll naturally sprint. No thought will be required because it becomes automatic and fluid. Coaches will pick up on that.
12-Week Baseball Speed Workout
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