Softball is a game of pure acceleration. You never hit top speed. The following speed drills will condition your players for speed and power on their runs — whether they are running the bases, or going after that ball.
For this speed drill, you’ll need a partner and some kind of a belt or just hold on to the back of the pants.
- The running player falls forward with good posture, keeping their head up.
- Hold that position for a couple of seconds, and then drop the runner and let them go into an explosive sprint. Gravity helps to pull him forward for explosive acceleration.
- The runner must use good run technique. Knee up in front of the body and heel up under the hamstring, toes pulled up toward the shins.
- The runner should cock and load that foot so they step down to the ground with greater force.
Speed Drill Repetition: Our distance is 10 yards. We want to go down and back as one repetition. Do three sets of three repetitions. These are great reactive, explosive sprints.
Let go’s with resistance
Now let’s do our let go’s speed drill with a little bit of resistance.
- Fall the runner forward into the same starting position as last time, and continue to hold onto them as they explode into a full sprint.
- After three to four steps, let the runner go. This is like pulling back on a slingshot and firing them out. You want to get a little extra muscle recruitment followed by an explosive release of that muscle energy.
- The runner needs to be aggressive, use good technique and explosive acceleration.
- Be sure to step down to the ground and drive the elbows back.
Speed Drill Repetition: Down and back is one repetition. Do three sets of five repetitions.
Resisted arm work
For this speed drill, we simply need some two- to three-pound hand weights. These can be small dumb bells or small bean bags. This provides a little extra recruitment at the shoulder and arms to get our arms to work more explosively for speed. **This speed drill does not require a partner.
- Do about 15- to 20-yard sprints with the hand weights in your hands, being sure to drive the elbow back.
- Stabilize the core so you’ve got greater force at the ground.
- Focus on swinging the hands right by the hips. The hands should come back as far as the butt cheek with a good aggressive driving action backwards.
- Resist down and back, then repeat without the weights in your hands.
- Let that muscle recruitment explode with a free expression of speed. This will help to generate faster leg speed and greater acceleration for softball speed.
Will you be trying these speed drills with your players? Do you have a favorite “go-to” speed drill you always use with your players? Feel free to share below! And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where I will share even more great speed drills and tips!