3 Drills to Improve Your Speed on the Base Paths

STACK Expert John Cissik shows how to increase base running speed with drills that simulate live-game situations.

Baseball Speed

All baseball players should be able to run the bases quickly. Without this skill, you are more likely to be thrown out when attempting to stretch a single into a double or score from second on a base hit. (Listen to Jimmy Rollins talk about base stealing.)

To increase your speed on the base paths, you must focus on your ability to accelerate, sprint and react. And the best way to accomplish this is with sprints of various distances and situations.

The following three drills will help you improve your base-running skills. Do them three to five times each, twice per week. If you don't have access to a field, set up cones to simulate the distance between bases. (See also these exercises to improve your baseball speed.)

Double Drill

Reinforces base-running speed when running to second for a potential double.

  • Set up in a batting stance at home plate.
  • Sprint to first base. Focus on staying low, lifting your knees, running on the balls of your feet, and pushing against the ground.
  • As you approach first base, move off the line into foul territory to get yourself ready for the turn.
  • Round first base by touching the inside of the base. As you do this, drop your inside shoulder to help keep your turn tight.
  • Accelerate toward second base.

Base Stealing Drill

Improves your ability to get a quick jump and accelerate when stealing a base.

  • Take a body length plus a step lead off first base. With your weight on the balls of your feet, push your hips back and allow your arms to hang down.
  • Pivot your feet toward second base and punch your left hand toward second to help you turn your upper body faster.
  • Cross your left foot over your right.
  • Accelerate toward second base. Focus on staying low, lifting your knees, running on the balls of your feet, and pushing against the ground.
  • Slide feet first into second base.

Getting Back to First

Helps you get back to first base more quickly on a pick-off attempt.

  • Take a body length plus a step lead off first base. With your weight on the balls of your feet, push your hips back and allow your arms to hang down.
  • Pivot your feet toward first base and punch your right hand toward first to help you turn your body faster.
  • Push off both feet as explosively as possible.
  • Slide headfirst into first.

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Topics: BASEBALL | BASEBALL DRILLS | RUNNING | SPRINT | DRILL | STANCE | FASTER