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Friday, February 5, 2010

Baseball Speed - The 60 Yard Dash is Different Than Stealing Second Base

By Thurman Hendrix

Although it is very obvious that running a 60 yard dash is different from attempting to steal second base, I often wonder if players understand the differences between the two. Actually, based on my experience with training baseball players to improve their speed, I am fairly confident that most do understand the differences, but fail to make any changes in their strategy when it comes to running their 60 yard dash.

Although every scout or coach may assess the 60 yard dash utilizing different rules, the following are the most popular:

The runner must start in a traditional steal-start position.
The time will begin based on when the runner makes their first movement.

Therefore, it is usually understood that the total distance between a 60 yard dash (180 feet) and stealing second base (under 90 feet after taking a lead-off) is different. However, the most important thing to understand is that you cannot get picked-off when running a 60 yard dash and the only thing that you'll need to worry about is running forward (to your right) and not backwards (to your left).

Even though the rules of a 60 say that players must start in a traditional steal-start stance, they do not say exactly what that entails. The only thing that distinguishes a baseball start from, say a track start, is that in baseball the player starts sideways to where they are running (second base). The player uses this type of start because in a game they have to be prepared to move in either direction. Therefore, in a 60 yard dash, as long as the runner starts sideways to where they are asked to go, they will most likely resemble a traditional baseball start and usually will not be called out for cheating.

With that being said, here are a few changes that should be incorporated into your 60 yard dash start:

The front (right) foot should be pulled back so that the back foot is able to move directly towards the target and not have to go around the front foot.
The front (right) toes should be turned out more so that the runner could push-off immediately and not have to turn it any more upon first movement, wasting valuable time.
The arms should be switched so that the right arm is loaded and ready to fire.

Remember, in a 60 yard dash time usually starts on your first movement. Therefore, you should immediately cover ground and eliminate any movement that simply gets you ready to run.

To learn how to improve your 60 yard dash and baseball specific speed visit:

Thurman Hendrix is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and specializes in training athletes. As a former pro baseball player he will help you increase speed in a very short amount of time.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick