Baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint, but that doesn't mean your conditioning program shouldn't include sprints. According to Greg Vandermade, S+C coach for Cal State Fullerton baseball, to build a strong base for the rigors of the season, you should focus your training on short bursts of speed.
"Baseball players think conditioning is going out and running a couple of miles," Vandermade says. "The sport demands sprints and change-of-direction speed, which require an anaerobic energy system, which is different from distance training."
To gauge your conditioning level for the upcoming season, Vandermade offers the simple 150-Yard Shuttle Test used by his four-time College World Series champs.
150-Yard Shuttle Test
• Place two cones 25 yards apart
• Sprint from one cone to other; touch "line" with foot
• Sprint back to first cone
• Perform three continuous down-and-back reps for a total of 150 yards
Sets/Rest: 10, with 10-second rest between
Goal: Run every 150 in 26 seconds; keep working until you can pass this test
Adaptations: Mix up your shuttle routine by performing 300-yard shuttles or 60-yard dashes
Benefits: Develops linear speed, change-of-direction quickness and anaerobic conditioning
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