Developing a Running Technique may seem to be more appropriate for a track and field website, not a baseball coaching one, but running is just as much important in baseball as any other sport, and we’re going to learn some drills which will improve our running technique.
Physical Skill Drills:
Sometimes Baseball Training Tips have nothing technically to do with baseball. What I mean by that is instead of always learning and thinking solely about the bat, ball and glove, you should concentrate some of your time on conditioning and improving your physical reactions, reflexes and speed, which will translate to improved base running, a quicker glove and increased hand speed.
Get Up andTag Drill
This drill is designed to teach and improve First Step Acceleration, which is critical when covering short distances, such as a ground ball to your immediate left or right, or a sprint to a base.
(1.) You’ll need two players for this drill, who can alternate positions.
(2.) Have 1 player in a standing position facing the finish line which is @ 7-10 yards away. He’s not to be in a running position, merely standing upright.
(3.) The 2nd player will be laying on his stomach in a prone position on the ground, another variation is to have the player in a push up position, about @5 yards behind the 1st runner.
(4.) The Coach yells “Go!” and the player in the rear quickly rises to his feet and begins chasing the front player who takes off for the finish line upon the same command.
It’s not expected for the trailing runner to beat the front runner to the finish line, even if he is faster because of the short distance covered, but rather train the rear runner to quickly close the gap in the first 1 to 2 steps, as the entire intent of the drill is to produce quick acceleration by the rear runner.
Four Cone Drill:
This drill is intended to teach balance, agility and quick reflexes of the feet, imperative for all athletic maneuvers.
(1.) Place 4 different color cones at the four corners forming a box @ 5 square yards in size.
(2.) The player will begin the exercise in the center of that square.
(3.) The Coach will begin the drill yelling a particular color, then another, then another.
(4.) The player can not turn around to run straight at a cone. He must reverse and change directions as quickly as possible in order to run to the designated colored cone.
In the absence of different colored cones, the Coach can point at the individual cone, directing the player.
Box Drill: and Running Technique
This drill is intended to increase Multi-Directional foot speed.
(1.) Using 4 cones create a box @ 7-10 yard square.
(2.) Have 2 runners stationed at opposite corners of the box, as the competition between the two maximizes the drill’s intent.
(3.) When the Coach yells “Go!” the runners are to begin running from cone to cone while Always looking forward, never turning around or sideways.
By utilizing all foot movements, this drill enhances the players’ forward motion speed, rear back peddle speed, left and right directional speed.
Ball Pick Up Drill:
This drill increases foot quickness and eye to hand coordination.
Items required. 6 baseballs of two different colors, for a total of 12, two buckets or clothes baskets, spray paint, string, chalk or other method of drawing a dividing line.
(1.) After Establishing a line which divides to two players, take 12 balls of two different colors. Take 6 balls, of the same color and scatter them, on one side of the divider line, the other color on the opposite side.
(2.) 2 players each on opposite sides of the line, have their own bucket or clothes basket to drop their balls in stationed at the starting line.
(3.) When the Coach yells “Go!” both players run as quickly as possible to retrieve one of their colored balls and get back to their bucket to deposit it, then go retrieve the next ball until they’ve retrieved all 6.
(4.) The player is allowed to use Only One Hand to pick the ball up, which most likely will be their throwing hand, which is very important.
(5.) In order to prevent a player from tossing a ball into his container, thus not running the entire distance, should the ball bounces out of the bucket as they deposit it, the player must start over with all 6 balls dumped out again.
This drill teaches quick acceleration and balance, agility, hand to eye coordination, and a soft touch, which is required when chasing down and retrieving a stopped ground ball in the outfield, minimizing fumbling for the ball.
Quick Release Drill: and Running Technique
Quick retrieval and release of the ball after making the catch is critical in increasing the speed a play can be completed. This is especially critical for the speed and quickness required to turn double plays.
(1.) Have 2 players face one another about 10 feet apart.
(2.) Using a tennis, rubber or racquet ball and being Bare Handed, have the 2 play catch, with the instructions that the physical catching and returning the throw to be one smooth quick motion, with no stopping or hesitation.
(3.) Once the players establish a rhythm, increase the speed of the drill until they can no longer efficiently perform it.
(4.) Switch to using a baseball, players to use fielding gloves, and perform the same drill, pushing to ever increase the speed the drill is performed.
Each Running Technique, although seemingly not directly baseball specific, are essential for training the body for quickness and muscle memory, which will make quick feet and hands the norm, instead of the exception.