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Sprint Workouts to Get Faster in Softball

Any softball player can get faster. It doesn’t matter if you are the slowest or the fastest on your team, you can improve your speed by sprinting. The great thing about these workouts is that you won’t need much equipment.

As long as you have an open field or a track, some cones (or other markers), and a stopwatch, you are good to go. This guide offers a medley of exercises and drills to help you increase your speed!

Warm Up

Before starting any of these workouts, your legs need to be warm and properly stretched. Don’t ever assume that you are in such good shape that you can forgo warming up. Proper warm-ups and stretching will help prevent future injuries.

Take a jog until your body temperature increases and then stretch well — a little sweat wouldn’t hurt. Remember, the best workouts you will have are the ones you genuinely want to do. So take your time and stretch thoroughly.

100-Meter Sprints

Track and field isn’t the only sport that uses a track for workouts. Sprints around a track are great because they give you a visualization of a starting and end point — push yourself to the end of the straightaway, and then you get to rest around the curves! Use iSport's Track Directory to find a local track, and then get hustling:

  • Line up at the top of a straight.
  • Start your sprint gradually; you will not take off at full speed. Take off at a jog, increasing your speed as you make your way down the straight.
  • By the time you hit the 50-meter marker, you should be at full speed. You’ll continue at full speed until you hit the end of the straight.
  • Do not stop your sprint abruptly (doing so will make you vulnerable to shin splints). Just as you gradually ran into a sprint, gradually slow down into a walk. Never come to a complete stop in this drill.
  • When you have slowed your pace into a walk, continue walking around the curve of the track. This is your rest.
  • At the top of the next straight, start your 100-meter sprint.
  • Repeat this drill for one mile (four laps).

20-20s

This drill looks more unforgiving than it actually is. The only things you’ll need are an open field (or track), two cones (markers), and a stopwatch.

  • Set up your cones 20 yards apart from each other.
  • Starting on one end, start your stopwatch.
  • Sprint to the second cone, and then back to the first cone, and then back to the second cone.
  • This is your first round. Notice, you end up at the opposite cone from where you started.
  • Rest for 60 seconds.
  • Complete 20 rounds.

Breathers

This workout is really going to get you breathing — and breathing hard. You will need two cones (markers) and a stopwatch.

  • Set up your cones 20 yards apart from each other.
  • Start at the first cone and sprint to the second cone, and then sprint back to the first cone. This is your first round.
  • Rest for 60 seconds.
  • Once the stopwatch hits the 60-second mark, start another round.
  • When you return, your rest time will only be 55 seconds.
  • You will continue in this fashion, decreasing your rest by five seconds each time, until you reach zero rest time.

You will have done 30 rounds of sprints at the end of this drill. When it’s over, take a real breather.

Tennis Court Shuffle

This drill adds some flair to your sprint workouts. Using a tennis court, the only other thing you will need is a stopwatch.

Every sprint needs to be done in 45 seconds (including any rest you wish to have). The stopwatch starts on your first movement; once the 45 seconds is up, the next round starts.

  • Start at the baseline of a tennis court.
  • Sprint forward to the service line, and then back to the baseline.
  • Sprint to the net line, and then immediately back to the base line.
  • Sprint to the opposite service line, and then immediately back to the base line.
  • Sprint to the opposite base line, and then back to the first base line.
  • This is one round, and needs to be finished (rest included) within 45 seconds.
  • Repeat for at least 10 rounds.

If the tennis court has its nets up, that’s fine. You can alter the workout by cutting your time down to 20 seconds per round.

  • Starting at the side line, sprint to the doubles line, and then back to the side line.
  • Sprint to the mid service line, and then back to the side line.
  • Sprint to the opposite doubles line, and then back to the side line.
  • Sprint to the opposite side line, and then back to your starting position.
  • This is one round, and needs to be finished (rest included) within 20 seconds.
  • Repeat for at least 15 rounds.

The great thing about this sprint workout is that you pace yourself. You may not have to sprint at full speed to finish within 45 seconds. Just remember that it is a sprint workout!

For information on the layout of tennis courts, visit iSport’s Tennis Court Dimensions.

Something Fun for the Team

This last sprint workout can be implemented into any team practice for some fun competition.

  • Split your team into two groups. One will be on offense at the plate, and one on defense at first base (as runners, facing away from home plate).
  • The first person at the plate will self-pitch herself a ball and hit it as far as possible.
  • The first person on first base, whose goal is to field the ball, is allowed to start sprinting as soon as she hears the bat make contact with the ball.
  • Both players will take off on the hit. The hitter will try to cover as many bases as possible before the person starting at first can get to it. The runner, meanwhile, will sprint towards the ball and try to prevent the hitter from getting too many bases.
  • Once the runner picks up the ball, the hitter has to stop on the base path, and however many bases she has touched will count.
  • After the entire lineup on the hitting team has hit, the teams switch.
  • The team with the most bases wins!

Get After It!

Be honest with yourself and work hard. If you aren’t sweating at the end of these drills, you aren’t working hard enough. Every drill, if done properly, will give you results. These should be done at least twice a week if you are serious about increasing your speed.

Of course, you can always run around the bases over and over again, but the repetition might get a little boring. These few drills are quick and effective — now get out your stopwatch and hit the field!

Every softball player should strive to get faster. If you increase your speed, you can improve your game. This softball guide gives a few hot workouts to do just that.
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