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Running

If you want to Run Faster... RUN!

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JoshuaPerich Bio-2

The best and easiest way to increase your speed is to simply run, or better yet... sprint. Even without an expensive speed coach, the action of running and pushing yourself will help your form. You wouldn't expect to be good at hitting without taking swings in a cage, or be a good infielder without taking ground balls, so in order to be a fast runner you need to practice running.

A very simple sprinting routine is as follows (make sure to warm up appropriately before each workout begins):

Warm-Up:
- Jog nice and easy for 0.5-1 mile
- Dynamic stretching routine (see attached video in "Stretch" tab).
- 2 to 3 40 yard build sprints starting at ~75% finishing at 100%

*Know your body... if you do not feel loose, continue warm-up drills until you are ready.

Monday and Thursday:
- 5x20 yard (walk or jog back slow)
- 4x30 yard (walk or jog back slow)
- 3x40 yard (walk back)
- 2x60 yard (walk back)
- 4x20 yard (walk back)

Tuesday and Friday:
- Jog-Sprint-Jog-Walk (10-20 minutes) (SEE DESCRIPTION BELOW...)

Sunday:
- 2 mile run


JOG-SPRINT-WALK-JOG
For this exercise, first find a relatively large flat area where you have roughly 90 ft by 50 ft, and set up 4 cones about 15 feet apart for the lanes and 60-90 feet apart for the distance.

Start in the Jogging Lane and jog to the far lane (Sprint Lane) and perform a sprint past the far cone. Then slow yourself to a jog and continue on back to the Jogging Lane. Jog around to the Walking Lane and walk at a pace where you will be rested and ready to go once you get to the Jogging Lane again and repeat by continuing your jog back to the Sprint Lane (see diagram below).

JSWJ




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Make your first step One Step... Not Two.

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JoshuaPerich Bio-2

This is another "Hot Topic" in baseball lately simply because there is a little truth in both methods. However, this is one area where I feel that what was taught historically is still the best way.

Too often than not when a player is starting from a base running position, they will take their right foot and they will step toward their left foot (in the completely opposite direction of where they want to go). They do this in order to try to get their center of gravity over their feet which is what they need to do in order to use the drive from their legs to propel them toward the direction they want to go. Though counterintuitive, the first move when starting from a base stealing position isn't a step at all, but a fall.

In the time it would take for the untrained player to take his reverse step to get his weight over his legs, a trained player would have thrown his upper body over his right leg to achieve the same position only 3 feet further to his goal.

Now you will find hundreds of videos from old men dressed in baseball pants telling you that they now look at the tapes and see that all base stealers take a drop step when they take off. However, I would argue that what they are seeing and what they are saying the base runner is doing is not exactly the same. Now, I will admit that if you look up videos of major leaguers stealing bases and all you are looking at are the base runners feet, it will
appear that he is taking a step back before going forward. However, I would also argue that if you look at their upper body you would see it being pushed over his right foot which he is rotating (maybe taking a slight step back to turn his foot) in order to allow for his left leg to drive straight toward the next base.

Often times this new basis for why the step back method is the revolution of these coaches is flawed on two accounts. First they are misrepresenting the crossover movement, and second they are often using really fast guys as their models.

First let me explain that the crossover move that I prefer is not you throwing your left leg and arm over your right foot, but for you to drop your upper body over your right leg to achieve the "Sprinters Position" that you would be trying to achieve by dropping your right leg (again, only 3 feet further). See the below video which shows in slow motion exactly what I am talking about.



Secondly, almost every video I found proclaiming that the drop step is the preferred method is with a video of a big leaguer who is
really fast. Let me be the first to inform you that if you run a sub 6.5 sixty yard dash, you will be able to get away with a few minor mistakes. However, if you look at the tapes closely, often times you will see that though it does appear that their foot is taking a reverse step and more often than not, they are simply rotating their right foot, and their first move is mostly their upper body falling over their lead leg. Below is one such video which is a good example.




Honestly, either way has some basis as to why it works and is better than the other method. I have found that after teaching it correctly, the crossover method worked best for my players as well as myself, but it is easy enough to test for yourself. Get out there and try both, however, I would argue against trying to use a stopwatch. Try the tennis ball drop test. For those of you who do not know what the tennis ball drop test is, it is pretty much how it sounds. Have a friend stand roughly 10-15' away from you (while you are standing in a base stealing position), and extend his arm out to his side parallel to the ground with a tennis ball in his hand. When he drops the ball, you take off and try to catch the ball before hit bounces for the 2nd time. The below video gives an example, only the runner should be standing in a base running position (as if the ball being dropped was 2nd base), and the guy dropping the ball should not throw it down (simply drop it).







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Stretch to get FASTER

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JoshuaPerich Bio-2

No... I'm not talking about what we all used to do before Gym Class, and I'm not trying to get into the war between those who think stretching before competition is the key to success and health or those who believe it is a completely out of date philosophy passed down to us by the same guys who also used that crazy belt vibrating machine. I'm talking about increasing flexibility to increase stride length and increase stroke distance from your drive leg.

Fat-Belt-3


Think about it... If you can increase your flexibility which in turn lengthens your stride by 1" per stride, it could make a pretty big difference. Now, we will keep this math fairly simple, and we will deem the time it takes to take a longer stride as being negligible, but on average a runner's stride at his peak is ~1.14 to1.17 times his height. Therefore a 6' tall man would take on average an 82" stride during the peak of his sprint. Over 60 yards, that would mean he is taking more than likely ~30 strides (including a few extra strides to get up to speed). If that man were capable of running a 60 yrd sprint in 7.0 sec, that would mean he is taking roughly 0.233 second per stride, and if each of those 30 strides were 1" farther, that would mean he would be able to cover the same 60 yards in only 29.58 strides. Though it does not seem like much, that 0.42 fraction of a stride saved at 0.233 seconds per stride, calculates out to 0.1 seconds. That would mean that this player now runs a 6.9 second 60 instead of a 7.0, and though it does not seem like much, to many coaches and scouts being a sub 7 can be a deal maker.

Hip Flexor Stretch-resized-600

Try to increase flexibility in all the muscles of your legs, however, focus on hip flexors and hamstrings since these muscles are key to increasing stride length and the drive of each stride. Though it sounds crazy but the focus should be on your back leg (drive leg) when increasing stride not your front leg. Whether it be with static stretching or dynamic stretching (see attached video below), do your research and gain that extra inch on your stride.




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