One of the biggest things I heard over the last few days was for how to run a faster 60 yard dash. Most athletes in baseball have learned how to steal a base by watching athletes with rare athleticism and little form.
A few notes on Reyes form here:
1. Reyes stance is too wide (:03/04). He is taking this stance because it gives him stability and creates a lower center of gravity. However, he isn’t able to optimally PUSH his body in any direction. If you watch his initial step, you see that he has to drag his body outside his knee and create a good position, but he can’t extend. By the time he has taken 3 steps, Reyes back foot is only a foot from where his front foot started. That seems like a lot of movement for a foot of distance.
2. His chin is turned upwards. This takes him out of his lean position halfway through his run. In a 30 yard dash, minus 3 yards off the bag and 3 yards to slide, he only runs 24 yards yet his chest is upright within 10, we want to have a better lean longer. We can tell Reyes has his chin up and back to off by his legendary loss of a helmet. When he runs off doubles and triples his helmet usually falls off, this is from erratic movement and poor body position.
3. Arm Action is faulty at start and throughout. Reyes has the wrong arm position during his start. The back hand on his hip and other are straight down are for show, he is styling. Do you want to run faster or look cool? It is a real question and with Sportscenter and YouTube clips people think the style matters. Steal the base first. Once he is moving, his arms cross the midline of the body, this creates flailing legs and inefficient movement.
Some people will look at Reyes stolen base numbers and ask who am I to say how he runs, he is successful. Yet, he has been throw out 1 out of every 5 times he runs and has a storied injury history. Running mechanics won’t make you faster than your engine can take you, but they will maximize your athleticism and improve your chances of success.
Here is Eric Cressey going over the different steps. At Prospect Sports, we teach the crossover step in order to allow athletes to change directions in either direction, not just stealing but getting back to the base. The crossover step enables us to maximize the ability of the athlete and get movement happening quickly and powerfully in either direction.
Beyond the crossover steps, we also teach proper arm mechanics at both the start and mid run times. The athlete in the previous video had severe arm action issues, it wasn’t that they weren’t moving, it was that he threw them too hard! This over rotated his upper half which caused issues in his backside mechanics. Within a few sessions this athlete was consistently .3 or more seconds faster in a 60 yard dash
What to do
First, find a coach and learn how to properly execute the crossover step, it is a key to making the start position a routine and reproducible event. This allows testing and modification to improve performance.
Second, make sure you aren’t just under powered. If you don’t have enough strength to push and drive yourself down the field your technique won’t matter. So it may be an issue of just adding new strength
Lastly, get out and run. So much of the game is about running and moving, but everyone spends so much time just working on their fielding and hitting. Well, if you are faster and stronger I bet you’ll be better at hitting and fielding! So much time is spent on hitting and technique, occasionally we need to make you bigger and stronger. My favorite quote:
I can make you the best go-cart driver in the world, but if you want to race NASCAR you need a bigger engine!
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Hope you enjoy your Sunday
Bill Rom is the top strength and conditioning coach on Long Island.