Compared to most sports, baseball requires very little running or moving around. While that’s part of why the game appeals to me (I hate running), speed and quickness are very important factors in the game and how you are evaluated as a player. There’s a lot of standing around and waiting, but players have to be alert so they can react to the ball, whether it be to chase down a ball in the gap or steal a base. And while there are plenty of guys in the MLB that have terrible speed and more like average joe’s than athletes, the reality is that being fast and quick can do nothing but help you as a player and prospect.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably gone to baseball showcases and combines so you can show scouts what you can do. One of the first things they do at these events is have you run a 60 yard dash or some variant. I cannot stress enough how much scouts love fast guys, it can be the difference to getting a call or not, and be a deciding factor when you’re just on the edge of consideration. Say your power isn’t too great, but you’re a great contact hitter yet get down the line slow. That’s going to look very bad to scouts. While some are lucky enough to have incredible power and thus get cut some slack when it comes to their speed, contact hitters need to be quick down the line and capable of stealing bases. Also, being able to swipe bags will help coaches and scouts tolerate a lower average than a player that doesn’t offer that threat, and the increase in speed will also help you leg out more hits, improving your average. Of course, being fast also helps players in the field, which is just as important.
The problem is that baseball players and coaches often don’t even consider speed training drills for baseball. And most speed training drills are targeted towards the 40 yard dash and football style exercises. This is unfortunate, because even though natural ability is a large factor, all players can improve their 60 yard dash times and speed in general if they work at it. And, because the 60 yard dash is unique and specifically used in baseball assessments, it’s imperative you train appropriately, as it’s a whole different beast than the 40, so football drills aren’t going to be of much help. It’s training I wish I had utilized more when I was younger, as it could have made a huge difference in how I was viewed as a player, if I was only a little bit faster. I’ve had success with these types of programs in the past, but on the basketball end. When I was in junior high I drastically increased my vertical with the classic Air Alert program. It had me dunking in 9th grade at 6’1″. For baseball speed training, several programs exist, but there are two that stand out from the rest. One is the 60 Yard Dash Secrets program. It offers an abundance of pertinent information and drills, specifically tailored to baseball players, and can help increase your speed and improve your base running techniques.
Thurman Hendrix, the creator of this fine program, has a wealth of experience training amateurs and pros alike, and has the education and certifications to bolster his claim that he’ll be whipping you into better shape in no time. What he also brings to the table is intimate knowledge of the scouting process and what scouts look for. This means you’ll be getting an inside look into a pro scout’s criteria, find out what it is they want in a player, then take this knowledge to the gym and practice field so you can start improving in these areas. Whether it’s becoming more explosive and quick on your jumps when running the bases, or getting better at reacting to the ball in the field, Thurman will help you shave time of you 60 yard dash, and as a result, get you around the bases faster and have you running down balls you never thought you’d catch.
Another outstanding resource is the Faster 60 program. Designed with the baseball player in mind as well, this program is similar the aforementioned one, but Andre Williams, the creator, has his own unique way to getting you to top speed. Andre emphasizes core strength in his workouts and uses his 13+ years of experience training baseball players to improve this crucial attribute. If you train with Andrew, you’ll be sure to learn proper techniques and mentalities that will ensure you finish faster and stronger when the time comes to impress those scouts.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, “Running sucks, but practicing running…that really sucks!” Hey, I’m right there with you, but when it comes to sports, being fast will always help you. Further, now is the time to utilize these programs, as they could play a defining role in determining your future. That’s not hyperbole, that’s the truth. When you’re in high school or even junior high, you’re trying to improve and show coaches, and eventually pro and college scouts, what you can do. And whether you’re destined for the big leagues or not there’s always the reality that baseball could at least pay for your college education, which is a huge financial burden without scholarships. You only have so much time to impress these folks before they move on to other players and your window of opportunity snaps shut. That’s why you can’t afford to wait, literally, because with so many baseball players out there throughout the country and world, the competition is stiff, so you have to squeeze every ounce of potential you’ve got if you want to make the show. And that means sweat, tears, blisters, and many, many hours are going to be necessary for you to become the complete player. These programs will enhance the skills you already have, and hopefully, impress the scouts when the time comes.