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How To Improve Your 60 Yard Dash

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Written By
Xan Barksdale

60 Yard DashI hate to stereotype people, but let’s be honest.  Catcher’s aren’t usually the most “swift-footed” players on the field.  We (yes, I’m including myself) are generally bigger bodied guys who are built more for strength than we are speed.  Believe it or not, there is actually a reason for this.  We play the most physically demanding position on the field and we need to be durable to withstand a long season behind the plate.  Guys with smaller bodies tend to break down sooner than larger guys, so bigger guys are generally better suited to play catcher.

While being a bigger, stronger player works out for us in a lot of ways, one thing that is usually sacrificed is speed.  It’s rare to find a player who has a unique combination of size, strength, and speed.  Even though being a catcher doesn’t demand as much foot speed as a center fielder or shortstop, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t an important part of our game.  Everyone who has been around the game of baseball for any significant amount of time has heard the phrase “speed doesn’t go into a slump!”

With that said, I spent the long Labor Day Weekend re-reading the eBook 60 Yard Dash Secrets by Thurman Hendrix.  I had forgotten how much great information it was packed with!  It’s over 150 pages of nothing but running technique, drills, and theory that are designed to help improve a player’s overall speed, but more specifically their 60 yard dash time.

Here are a few of the valuable things that I took away from reading this book:

  • A training program that I want to try with my players who struggle in the 60 yard dash
  • Position specific 60 yard dash expectations.  Did you know that professional outfielders are expected to run faster than 6.8 seconds?
  • There are 10 different ways that 60 times can be improved
  • Ways to “trick” the guy holding the stopwatch
  • Tons of other tips!

In the “Showcase Era” that we’re in right now, one of the easiest ways to get checked OFF of a coaches list is to have a bad 60 time.  Don’t think that just because you’re a catcher “it’s OK to be slow”, or “speed doesn’t matter” because that’s simply not true.

If you’re serious about dedicating yourself to becoming the best baseball player that you can be, you don’t want to leave your speed out of the equation.  I recommend everyone to check out 60 Yard Dash Secrets immediately!

P.S. There are always exceptions to the rule, and I am in no way implying that you can’t be a good, talented, durable catcher if you don’t have a large frame.  I’m simply referencing the trend of catchers being heavier than other position players.

Written By
Xan Barksdale


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My name is Nick, and I catch for a 13 year old travel team in CT. I read your book and it seemed to help me understand the importance of my position even more. With regards to college recruiting and AAU baseball, when is the appropriate time to start trying out for elite teams and going to showcases. By the way, I am finishing up 8th grade right now. Thank you Xan, you are very helpful, and any info I can get will help me even more.

Cory York

Do you have anyone in your area that you would recommend?

Coach Xan

Hey Doc, thanks for leaving a comment! I think by age 12, a player should have a good understanding of blocking and should understand the importance of it...therefore, he should be aggressively blocking by now. It's never too early to get quality instruction whether that be from a private instructor, camp, or coach. I can't recommend anyone in that area because I don't know anyone there, but I'd be willing to guess that there are some good instructors available. Try contacting a few of the local colleges and ask if they have any recommendations.

Doc Ellis

Hey coach my name is Doc Ellis and I am a Dad that has been coaching my son for 7 years down here in Corpus Christi Texas. My son is a catcher and plays for a select team here in Corpus. His name is Logan by the way. Logan is about to turn 12 years old on March 27th. We try to train almost every day when the weather permits. I have covered my garage floor with turf so we can do some things even in bad weather. I have a couple of questions for you if you have the time. First, at what age can you expect a young player to be aggressive at blocking. My son does the technique very well in training but sometimes in the game he doesn't seem to want to do it. I suspect he's afraid of getting hit. Next, at what age would you recommend to start sending him to professionally run training camps and which would you recommend. I guess that's all for now. I have a lot more questions but don't want to take up too much of your time. Thanks in advance.

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