How To Increase Baseball Speed For Stealing Second Base
Baseball is a sport where speed and technique are essential to your success. When focusing on how to steal second base, speed becomes a very important part of becoming a scoring threat. Building speed requires several elements to perform at your best. Sprinting at max speed requires hip flexor strength, plantar flexion, drive off the ground, stride frequency and stride length. Baseball players will struggle to accelerate at the speed they need to steal bases if any of these elements are missing. During this drill we are going to focus on two elements. The first being hip flexor strength and the second being power off the ground. Take a look at the video below as we walk through the drill.
Baseball Speed Wall Drill Set Up
As you have seen in the video above we will be working with Kbands. Kbands Multi-Flex Resistance Bands will allow us to maximize muscle stimulation in the hip flexors, as well as the glutes, as we drive off the ground. Each individual stride will be continually challenged with resistance throughout each active set. Kbands come with two levels of resistance to allow for progressive speed training. If you are an athlete over 110 pounds you will be able to utilize either the red or green resistance bands. If you are an athlete under 110 pounds, speed can still be trained but you should select the lighter bands to start. With the under 110 pound Kbands Kit baseball players will receive yellow and red resistance bands that are shorter in length. This will help younger youth athletes have the proper amount of resistance with their shorter hip width. Larger athletes will utilize the over 110 pound kit and can even upgrade to the blue resistance bands for max power.
Form Is Key To Increase Speed To Second Base
Refer to the video once again and take a look at the body position that must be maintained. The slight tilt towards the wall will help mimic the angle required to accelerate through the dig phase of your sprint to second base. This angle must be maintained throughout the duration of the drill working to maintain a flat back while driving up the knees, flexing at the hip flexors, to ensure proper body positioning. Another key to your success is focusing on foot-knee position. If baseball players allow their feet to slide forward out from under the knee they delay stride turnover and will have limited results. Never let the foot slide forward past 90 degrees during the set. This will cause habits of over striding during normal running. Baseball players must also maintain great dorsey flexion holding the toe up toward the knee, as they drive the leg up. Next, athletes must explosively drive off the ground bringing their knees up to a minimum of belt height. The resistance of Kbands will maximize muscle stimulation for fast twitch muscle fibers throughout this exercise. Keep in mind that fast twitch muscle fibers cannot be initiated unless max output is produced. Maintain 110% intensity, driving through the resistance, throughout the entire active set.
Comfortable With Technique Let's Optimize
Now that we have a good idea of our body positioning, let's take a look at our intent. Exercising with intent means that we must focus on the end result. Becoming mechanical will only slow our body’s ability to move quickly. Each baseball player must focus on the next movement working explosively. By driving the knee up and focusing on the next step our neurological functions will take over, allowing for max speed. This may sound a bit out of the ordinary but your mind is very powerful. If you are focused on knee positioning the entire exercise, there will be no time to become faster. Your mind is powerful and you must think to move faster than you currently are if you want to improve your speed. Stride frequency is a major component of speed. This is why we have combined resisted sets with unresisted sets. As you finish the resisted rounds you will then move into unresisted sets. That's where we have complete muscle activation. With complete muscle activation it will now be easier for you to focus on moving your legs with greater velocity. The muscles work as an all or nothing principle. By firing more muscles we now can train utilizing more fast twitch muscle fibers. This is a great opportunity for us to improve our speed throughout each set.
Baseball Speed Wall Drill Repetition
Complete 4 to 6 resisted sets with 60 to 90 seconds between each set. Your legs will burn so active stretching should be utilized. The more light stretching you complete between each set the faster the burn will leave your legs. Keep in mind the more you train with complete muscle activation the more your body needs to respond. This natural response will force your body to become more explosive. Two unresisted sets will follow these resisted sets. These sets will be the focus of your workout working to help with neurological functions as well as stride frequency. Utilize this window to optimize your results.
The Approach To Stealing Second Must Be Perfect
This baseball speed drill should be used 2-3 times a week for best results. It is also a great idea to spend some time working on your approach to second base. Take a look at our stealing second base footwork drill to help with your positioning. Proper foot positioning and body mechanics during your take off is very important to maximizing your speed to second. The stealing second base drill will help walk you through several important elements of your approach. Let us know if you have any questions with your training in the chat box linked at the bottom left of the website.
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