Baseball Speed Part One

Whenever I build out a speed and agility program I like to look at what movement language does the athlete need to be able to express.  When we look at each position we can see that each position group has different movement skills that they need to be successful. 

Infield: (movements in bold are more necessary for 3B, SS, & 2B)

  • Acceleration
  • Frontal Plane Starting Technique
  • Sagittal Plane Starting Technique
  • Shuffle
  • Crossover
  • Drop Step 

Outfield: 

  • Acceleration
  • Frontal Plane Starting Technique
  • Sagittal Plane Starting Technique
  • Drop Step

Catchers: 

  • Acceleration
  • Frontal Plane Starting Technique (from kneeling and squat)
  • Sagittal Plane Starting Technique

Pitchers: 

  • Acceleration
  • Frontal Plane Starting Technique
  • Sagittal Plane Starting Technique

Now If we have younger athletes then by all means they will just need to understand the language of movement and learn how to move in order to excel at wherever the coach wants them to play.

From my experience most baseball players will specialize at a younger age and will need to learn movement and all it's language components not just what is specific to their positions. However with our higher level college and professional guys we will focus on the movement skills that will specifically enhance their game. 

We can see that every grouping has the same three needs of Acceleration, Frontal Plane Starting Technique, Sagittal Plane Starting Technique. Now with that being said if you have high school athletes looking to get to the next level you will have to sprinkle in transition and max velocity technique work or they may struggle with the 60 at there camps and showcases. 

What you will notice is there isn't much listed in the way of change of direction. If we look at the sport of baseball the only time a baseball player will need to change direction is if they are in a pickle, they have made a terrible read on a ball, or have to quickly change direction due to being too aggressive on the base path. Now with that being said we need to make sure they can reactively change direction quickly. 

What I mean by reactively change direction is move from an athletic base into whatever direction is required to make the play. While we may not need to work on deceleration to re-acceleration into a new direction like in most acceleration sports. Baseball players will need to be able to to reposition the feet so they can get the best possible vector to concentrically push them into the direction they need to move to make the play. 

Now if you were to spend the majority of your time working on the heavy hitters then you would make great strides with improving baseball speed. 

In part two we will dive into how we would create a program to improve the heavy hitters (acceleration, frontal plane starting technique, and sagittal plane starting technique).