Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What's your Speed?

In baseball the 60 yard sprint has been the bench mark of a player's speed for decades. There are few players that will run 60 yards in a straight line, the exception being a center fielder maybe trying to cover a gap. With that said, what does a 60 really tell us in respects to the game? It is the total distance from home to second or second to home, but in a real baseball situation we have a 90 degree bend in the middle. Many professional organizations and colleges are slowly making the switch to the 30 yard sprint and the 10 yard sprint. In functional terms this provides a coach and player with a better baseline evaluation of speed. The 30 shows how fast the player can get from one base to the other and so is a true functional measure of speed. The 10 yard sprint is a function of how fast the player is getting up to speed, which in most cases can make or break a player’s true functional speed. Baseball is a game of reaction and explosion and so the faster a player gets up to maximum speed, the more plays they will make both offensively and defensively. In most cases, even when the 60 is still used the player that has worked on his 10 yard burst and 30 yard sprint will also improve their 60. The real lesson here is to know your true speed, and in the case of baseball maybe quickness trumps true speed.

Brian Niswender

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