Figure 8 Drill for base running
When baseball players are asked to run at practice, typically it means sprints of various distances before and/or after practice. Sprints are fine but the drawback is that very rarely will players actually run a sprint beyond 90 feet. Little Leaguers typically run even shorter distances. Players of all ages also have to make cuts, turns, and dashes to break for a ball, get to a base on defense, or make a turn around a bag. Knowing this, drills that include these “usable running skills” can become quite valuable for your team.
Below is one of those drills that can be used at even the lowest levels of baseball. It’s called the Figure 8 Running Drill. It looks like this …
Do it as a running drill or as a functional warm-up drill before practice. Set up multiple Figure-8’s and run a competition with multiple groups running at once. I set the route up with 8 cones placed on the ground as shown above. Distances can vary depending on how much you want your players to run. For each turn, be sure to emphasize that runners drop the shoulder that is closest to the cones while turning. If they don’t (like some kids do around the bases) they will take too big of an arc around the cone and lose time. Have them go in the other direction the next time around if you wish.
By promoting good jumps, quick feet, and proper shoulder manipulation, the Figure 8 Drill is a good one to remember when you are looking for a quick and effective base running drill.