Some Quick Tips for Proper Running Form
When we look at running form to teach our players, we are looking at the top sprinters in the world. We don’t look at the distance runners when we are working on sprinting, however, we do have some resources on this website that do show some great tips that the top distance runners use.
Baseball Specific Running Technique
Watch Ichiro steal a couple bases here. Good body lean over his front leg and gets up to top speed quickly. Impressive.
Stride Length & Frequency
Stride length and frequency are important. When you watch Olympic sprinter run, you will see them stay low right out of the gate and then when they do become more vertical, their strides are so graceful. They basically just pull their front knee up, but not quite getting all the way up to their hip and then their foot will reach out as their front leg almost extends (some runners do extend) and then the foot will land under their knee. The back leg pushes up and off the ground behind them. If you watch the video below, you will see how effortless it looks when the best runners are running. Turning your legs over quicker is the stride frequency part of it. Once you figure out how to get to your maximum stride length without over-striding, you then stay right there and just work on turning the legs over quicker with more force.
Slight Body Lean
A slight body lean forward is ideal. There is much more body lean when you first start, such as in stealing a base, but as you get up to top speed you will become more vertical. Try to still keep a slight lean forward, but don’t exaggerate it.
Once you do get more vertical, make sure to run tall with your head upright.
Your arms will be around 90 degrees, but as you move them forward and backwards, the angle will change quite a bit in the back swing. For most runners, telling them to stay around 90 degrees and pump them aggressively will do the trick. The angle usually changes on its own in the back swing and then it comes back to around 90 as you bring them forward. Stay loose and relaxed in your hands too.
When you do some distance running, you could learn a lot from watching Allie Kieffer. Her technique is outstanding. So for the players that like to run poles or miles to stay in shape, learn how to do it properly and it won’t be so miserable for you.