Speed is one of the most important tools in the game of baseball. Everyone wants to get faster in some way, whether it be linear speed or being quicker towards the ball.
There’s a reason why the 60-yard dash is the first test that is performed at every showcase across America – because speed matters!
Believe it or not, you can train yourself to become a faster athlete. Since speed is a skill, it can be trained.
Since the 60-yard dash is the first test that is performed at showcases, it’s important to grab a coach’s attention early on.
To improve on the 60-yard dash, you need to have outstanding relative strength, mobility, acceleration/top speed mechanics, and start mechanics!
How Can You Improve Your 60-Yard Dash?
First, you need to improve your relative strength. The stronger you are per pound of bodyweight, the more force you’re going to be able to apply into the ground with each foot strike. What this does is propel your body further in space, leading to a longer stride.
Here’s a crazy display relative strength – Miami Marlins Outfielder, Matt Brooks Trap Bar Deadlifts 3x his body weight (550 LB)! It should come as no surprise that Matt is also EXTREMELY fast!
Next, you need to MOVE BETTER! Flexibility and Mobility is HUGE!
By improving flexibility and mobility in your hips and legs you will be able to improve extension of your hip, knee, and ankle when accelerating.
Improving your flexibility and mobility goes along with performing a proper warm-up before your 60-yard dash.
Sprint Technique for the 60-Yard Dash
When we perform the 60-yard dash, we go through two different phases of sprinting: acceleration and top-speed.
The first phase of your sprint in the 60-yard dash is known as the acceleration phase.
For this phase, your goal should be to maintain a steep forward lean and a positive shin angle. This will give you the best mechanical advantage to accelerate and dominate the first 10 yards of the 60-yard dash.
Exercises to Improve Acceleration Technique include Sled Drags, Sled Pushes, Hill Sprints, Push-Up Sprint Start, Mountain Climber Sprint Start, Falling Sprint Start
Once you have concluded the acceleration phase of the 60-yard dash, you will approach the Top Speed or max velocity phase.
For this phase, your body angle will shift to more of an upright posture.
You will want your foot strike to be directly underneath your center of gravity and you want to perform more of a cycle action of the lower limbs, as opposed to the drive action we’re looking for with acceleration.
Exercises to Improve Top Speed Running Technique include Flying Sprints, Speed Bounds, Straight-Leg Bounding, Running High Knees
Owning the Warm-Up
Now that we talked about some specific exercises and speed drills you can incorporate in your training to lower your 60-yard dash, we should talk about how to warm up properly before you run your 60.
This is SUPER important because you want to prepare your body in the most efficient way possible so you have the best opportunity to DOMINATE the 60!
Finally, you’re ready to practice your start technique!
Your starting technique is critical because this will determine how much distance you will cover in the first few steps. A strong start can help you lead into a stronger finish.
The start technique shown in the video below is the same starting stance I used to run an elite 60 (6.42 when I played) and continue to utilize with my high school and college athletes that have to run the 60-yard dash for scouts.
By improving on your mobility, mechanics, and strength, you’ll be a step closer into getting faster.
In his newest 8-week Speed Program, Six Stages of Speed, Alex covers multiple exercises and modalities to use that will help you own the 60-yard dash.
If you’re a baseball player that is serious about training for better speed, give the program a try!
Before starting Simone Baseball Performance Alex was drafted out of high school by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2010 MLB Draft and played four years of college baseball. At the conclusion of his collegiate career Alex signed a professional contract with the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League.
Since starting Simone Baseball Performance Alex has worked under Eric Cressey of Cressey Sports Performance and has been recognized as a Certified Physical Preparation Specialist (CPPS), one of the industry's leading certifications, and endorsed by world renowned sport performance coaches Joe DeFranco and Jim Smith. He currently coaches baseball players of all levels from professional to pre-pubescent athletes and has consulted for high school and college baseball coaches worldwide.
Latest posts by Alex Simone (see all)
- How to Own the 60-Yard Dash - September 25, 2018
- Should Baseball Pitchers Run Long Distances? - June 12, 2018
- In-Season Training Guidelines For The Baseball Player - April 3, 2018