Improving running form is the simplest way for a softball player to get faster. Yet most baserunning drills are designed around running in a straight line, not for rounding the bases.
Unless you plan to run base-to-base and never go for an extra base hit, you need to add an important drill to improve your baserunning. Rounding the bases requires you to make turns to create more of a direct path but still somewhat of a circle.
To round the bases correctly, you need a slight body lean, which originates in the ankles. Simply improving ankle strength will help you make sharper turns without losing much speed.
Baserunning Cone Drill
You need 8 cones and a base.
Make a circle with the cones about 10 feet in diameter and about 1 foot away from the edge of the base.
Start at the cone directly across from the base. One at time, runners make two laps around the circle running at full speed. Focus on timing your steps and pushing off the base in a counterclockwise direction.
Make two laps, one at a time, in the opposite direction. No need to use the base, but do the drill in both directions to develop balance in the ankles.
Runners should feel their bodies leaning inward and feel the burn in their ankle joints. No need to do more than two laps in each direction.
To make this drill more advanced, make two 10-foot circles side by side and run in a figure 8 pattern. Each runner should go through the drill four times at full speed.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock