Professional baseball players are often lauded for their skillset in the game. However, it’s no secret that they have achieved such perfection through years of dedicated practice, determination and lots of baseball drills.
With years of practice, these players acquire different abilities like speed,endurance, coordination, flexibility, etc. But there is one ability that is deemed as the most important in the world of sports -Agility.
Agility promotes quick and easy movement in the body in different circumstances. Similarly, in the game of baseball, players need to be agile to cover specific spots on the field. They should be able to produce short impulses to hop, runs, and dive to ensure their teams’ victory.
If you are looking to boost your agility, here are some of the best baseball agility drills that you can incorporate in everyday practice.
5 best baseball drills for Agility
Agility drills consist of workouts that focus on boosting your speed, focus, energy, and improving your footwork. We have compiled some agility drills that you can do with your team and enhance the performance.
Side Hops: (No time limit)
This drill can be done at the start of the training as the rapid movements can be a great warm-up. It is very simple to start this workout, all you have to do is:
- Place the cones in a straight line
- Ensure that there is equal distance between them
- Start with jumping with your one leg over one cone
- Let the other leg follow
- To maintain balance and energy, keep your arms in sync with your legs
For a video explanation see below:
Agility Ladder Feet Shuffle Drill: (Time: 15 minutes)
There are many conventional exercises that can boost your agility, but none can match the potential of the Agility Ladder. The agility ladder is a modern workout invention and is used extensively in the world of sports.
An agility ladder looks like an ordinary ladder and is made from nylon and plastic. It comes with adjustable rungs for the different drills and at a length of 15 feet.
The movement of this drill may seem like a dance movement as the players follow steps:
- Step into the ladder with the right foot.
- Bring in the left foot. The players will be now standing between the first two rungs of the agility ladder.
- Step out with the right foot.
- Left foot moves up to the next “box” between the next set of rungs.
- Bring the right foot in.
- Left foot out.
- Right foot in.
- Continue with this footwork pattern all the way up the ladder.
Figure 8 drill: (2-minutes)
This is a comparatively simple drill but can enhance your performance to a great extent. It involves extensive leg and ankle movements and can improve your strength and agility. Here is what you need to do:
- Arrange the cone in a huge number 8 formation. Keep the first two cones around 5 feet apart, another two about 10 feet away and parallel to the first two cones. Then finally put one cone in the center.
- Make the player stand on the outer side of the left cone.
- When the coach says, ‘Go’, a player starts running in a diagonal direction through the middle cone while passing on the right of the middle cone, to the right outside cone.
- The player continues, running from the outside now, enters the 8 figure again, passing the left of the middle cone and outside again.
If you are performing the drill, you can ask your coach to keep a check on time with a stopwatch. You have to complete the drill in two minutes. You can watch the figure 8 ball drill here:
5-10-5 Shuttle Run: (3-10 minutes)
The 5-10-5 shuttle run a.k.a. short shuttle run is one of the common agility drills used by coaches of different sports. Set up three cones five feet apart. Start at the middle cone.
- Start by running towards the line in a 3-point stance.
- Explode in a lateral direction.
- Run 5 yards either to the left or right and touch the line with your hand.
- Change into reverse direction and sprint 10 yards to the farthest cone.
- Touch the cone with your hands and sprint back to the middle line.
With a little practice, you can master the 5-10-5 shuttle run and focus on completing it a limited time and boost your agility in the process.
This drill focuses on improving the improving acceleration of the players and preparing them for a sudden sprint burst that might be needed in the game. The drill is as follows.
- Stand in an upright posture
- Suck the belly button in and keep your back tucked
- Fall forward and burst into a sprint
Keep your knee, heel, and toe-up while stomping the leg back on the ground while driving the elbows behind with a greater force. To see how a falling run is done properly, you can watch this video here:
Agility Drills for Baseball Equipment Needed:
You might require some additional equipment to incorporate the above-mentioned drills in your training. Among other baseball training aids, here are some pieces of equipment to help increase your agility on the diamond.
The agility ladder is a must for the drill mentioned second on our list. There are many options that you can choose from online. Moreover, there are color variants too.
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When buying an agility ladder, you need to ensure the quality of plastic and fabric used in the ladder. Also, look for the agility ladder that comes with adjustable rungs, as such ladders can provide you with a variation in drills.
Often people get confused between discs and cones, assuming they mean the same. However, this is not the case. Cones are made of plastic and have a pointed structure. Whereas, discs are made of silicon and have a small conical elevation.
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Normally people have no problem using one against the other for the drill.
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Great baseball players have their own proficiency, which may take time to be discovered. These baseball agility drills are great practice for developing good footwork drills and improving your performance running the bases or sprinting to catch a flyball.
What kind of agility drills do you use during your own baseball practices? Any suggestions to add to this list? Let us know!
My name is David Farnum and I’ve been a Little League Coach in my community for the past 7 years. With 2 boys playing baseball and 1 girl playing softball, most weekends I can be found near a baseball diamond.