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How to Increase Quickness & Running Speed for Baseball

A baseball game can change in just a few seconds. Players need to be ready to run for the next base or dive for the ball, hop up and throw the ball. If you're not prepared to move, you might be tagged out. You need to train for speed and quickness a couple of times each week. Each time you train, push yourself a little harder so that you can see improvements in your baseball game.

Warm up for five to 10 minutes before starting drills. Do some light jogging followed by some dynamic stretches, for example. Dynamic stretches such as walking lunges with a twist, leg swings and alternating knee pulls into the chest are a few options.

Perform form running drills to correct your running technique before you begin sprint and agility drills. Start with high knees for thirty seconds or 20 yards. Push off your left foot and drive your right knee up high towards your chest. Alternate your knees as quickly as you can, landing on the ball of your foot. Perform glute kicks next by driving your foot up towards your butt, alternating each leg quickly. For both drills, keep elbows bent at 90 degrees, driving alternating elbows back with each step as if you were sprinting.

Perform resisted running with a parachute or weighted sled. Attach yourself to the harness and set yourself up so that you have a flat, uninterrupted surface to run on while pulling the object behind you. Sprint as fast as you can for 20 to 30 yards, or 60 to 90 feet. Time yourself as you sprint or have a partner time you. Rest for two to three times as long as it took you to sprint the distance. Repeat up to 10 times.

Perform a 15-yard turn drill to develop quickness without reaching top speed, suggests Carl Kochan, Major League Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Francisco Giants. Set up three cones in a triangle so each cone is 15 feet, or five yards, apart. Start at one cone, sprint to cone two and run around it as close and as fast as you can. Sprint to cone three and run around it, and sprint back to cone one. Reverse direction and run the other way after a rest period. Do this drill three to four times in each direction.

Tip

Work with a partner, or your coach, so he can help time you and correct your form. Practice your speed and agility drills on a regular basis. Doing them just a couple times will not improve your quickness on the field. Constantly push yourself to be faster than the last time. Record your times so you know what you are trying to beat. Rest between bouts and in between sessions. You won't get faster if you don't recover properly.

Warning

Don't go all out if you don't understand the drill. Run it slow first and then pick up the pace. Stop immediately if you feel pain, light-headed or nauseated. Don't perform any drill without speaking with your coach first.

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Things Needed

  • Running parachute or sled
  • Cones
  • Stopwatch

About the Author

Bethany Kochan began writing professionally in 2010. She has worked in fitness as a group instructor, personal trainer and fitness specialist since 1998. Kochan graduated in 2000 from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. She is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, Medical Exercise Specialist and certified YogaFit instructor.

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