Baseball Magazine

To Run Faster, You Have to Run Faster

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

To run faster, you have to run faster

“To run faster, you have to run faster.”


On the surface, the title of this post may look pretty stupid.  However, most baseball players don’t do much running so it ends up not being so stupid after all.

Like it or not, a young player will be judged on their running speed.  Unless you are projected as being only a catcher or a pitcher, how fast you run will be a huge factor on whether or not coaches and scouts will consider you as a prospect.  It’s not the only factor of course but it says a lot that every showcase starts with 60 yard sprint times.

In my career, nobody ever referred to me as “fast.”  That changed when I became a pitcher full time.  As a minor league shortstop for three seasons, I had enough running speed to help me get to the AA level but I was by no means a road runner.  I also didn’t practice my running very often because playing every day over the course of a 142 game schedule tends to wear you out pretty quickly.  You basically do enough running to get loose but most of your energy is conserved for the games.  

As a professional pitcher, your running tends to increase.  Considerably.  You run all the time.  Distance running, poles, short sprints, long sprints, and everything else in between is a daily part of being a pitcher at that level.  You can’t escape it.

Since I was mostly a relief pitcher over the last two seasons in pro ball, sprints were typically better suited than the distance running starters tended to focus on.  Therefore, most of my daily running consisted of 100-300 foot sprints (roughly 30-100 yards).  

And you know what happened?

I got fast!  I know because an opposing coach actually said so!  

We had an injury to an infielder so I got thrown in as a couple-day “temp” until a replacement could be brought in.  I had played shortstop at that level (AA) the year before so I was the natural fit.  As I stepped into the batter’s box during my second game, the other coach yelled out “Hey! … Good wheels here!”  (I had beat out a routine grounder the night before.)  I was so shocked I actually stepped out of the box to regroup.  Nobody in my entire career had EVER indicated that I could run fast.  It felt pretty friggin’ awesome.

Obviously, the only thing that changed from one season to the next was the amount of running I did, especially sprints.  

Most young players would love to increase their running speed but, unfortunately, most do nothing about it.  They avoid running like the plague and just “wish” by some miracle they could become faster.  Don’t make that mistake! 

“To run faster you have run faster!”

Run sprints and run them often!  Short ones, mid-length ones, and long ones.  Incorporate them into your training program over the next two months prior to the season and I think you will like the results.   Someone may even start calling you “fast!”

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