Q: Hey Alex, just emailing you to let you know I think a lot of things you post are great tools for athletes like myself. I used your in-season training program this past spring and I felt great the whole season. I just had a few questions. I am 5ʼ9 and weigh 205 lbs. I hit the ball pretty far and can throw across the infield with the best of them, but I run a 7.2-7.4 60 yard dash. I would like to get that down a lot. Iʼve played 3rd, 2nd, and SS in the recent past and would like to get my speed down to possibly make a home for myself at SS. I am going to be a college sophomore at the powerhouse, Everett CC in Everett, Washington and I would like to know if thereʼs anything extra I could do to push myself beyond the limits of squats, deadlifts, sleds (pushing cars) and so forth. Please get back to me. Thank You.
Isaiah, first off Iʼm glad my in-season program helped you! All of my athletes have taken that program back to school, (College) and had great success! Now letʼs talk speed. You tell me youʼre doing squats and deadlifts, so Iʼll assume youʼre doing all your strength and accessory work correctly. The strength work is key to running faster and Iʼve talked about that in the past. However, there are various exercises/movements youʼre missing in your training that WILL lower your 60 yard dash time.
Mobility – If you improve your mobility you will get to better ranges of motion in your sprint. Why do better ranges of motion help sprinting speed? Take for example knee drive. If you can drive your knee higher after performing a hip mobility complex, you will harness more power/force from the ground and exert that said force in your sprint while running. In fact, I lowered my 60 yard dash from a 6.9 my junior year of college, to a 6.6 my senior year of college. How did I do this? Mobility work leading to me getting into stronger positions in my sprint. Make mobility a part of your day. Two to three mobility sessions throughout the day for 5 to 10 minutes will make a huge difference in improving your mobility. Below I attached a quick mobility series you can do literally anywhere.
Sprint Variations – Using sprint variations in your speed training is a great tool to train your sprinting mechanics without thinking. Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you think, you canʼt hit”? Same goes for sprinting. Programming the proper variations can train good mechanics in all aspects of your sprint. Now you must be asking, what sprint variations do I program? Keep it simple. Push-up sprint starts and falling sprint starts will pay HUGE dividends to you lowering your 60 yard dash. Below you will see videos of each sprint variation being executed. As an added note, make sure your performing all of these sprints for only 10 yards. Anytime you go over 15 or so yards in a training session you must be careful and decrease volume (number of sprints). If you do want to run a couple 60ʼs, which I donʼt suggest you doing, then you could do one to two tops. The reason being is, that there is too much risk and not enough reward. So run actual 60ʼs sparingly. The 60 yard dash is won in the first ten yards, and thatʼs what you want to focus on in your training.
Falling Sprint Starts
Pushup Sprint Starts
Force Production – If you can apply maximal force into the ground at an extremely fast rate, you will run faster. The stronger you are the more force you can apply into the ground so strength is definitely number one. You said you’ve been deadlifting and squatting so I am assuming your already really strong. In that case, try implementing ground contact exerciseʼs to train your body to expend great force into the ground at a fast rate. I’ve been using these variations with my athletes before we do our speed work and they break their 10 yard sprint PR(previous record) time each speed session. This works so well because the athlete is practicing applying maximal force into the ground. The same maximal force that is needed in their sprint.
Here’s one of my favorites:
“Dumbbell Drop” Box Jumps
Keep getting stronger, improve your mobility, add sprint variations, and practice applying maximal force into the ground and your 60 yard dash will slowly trickle down in the 6ʼs. These are proven methods that DO work, implement them immediately!