The 300-yard shuttle run can be used as a maximum effort anaerobic test or training tool for multi-sprint athletes like baseball, football, basketball, soccer, etc. Among baseball players, it is often used as a pre-test during the first week of spring training to measure anaerobic capacity, i.e., the maximal rate of energy production by the combined phosphagen and lactic acid energy systems for moderate-duration activities, and/or as a training tool during the off-season to improve anaerobic endurance, speed, agility and change of direction1.
How to do it:
- The test or drill consists of six 50-yard sprints; down and back is two sprints.
- The test administrator places marker cones and lines 50 yards apart to indicate the sprint distance.
- The player starts in a standing position with one foot on the start line and, when instructed, runs to the opposite 50-yard line, touches it with his foot, turns and run back to the start.
- The player sprints all-out down and back six times (300-yards) without stopping.
- The test is repeated after a 3 to 5-minute rest and the score is the average of the two 300-yard trials. For most players, the goal is an average time of 52 seconds or less.
- Players are not allowed to walk or stop during the test
- Players should face the same direction at the end of each 50-yard sprint, i.e., touch one line with the right foot and the opposite line with the left foot.
- Failure to face the same direction at the end of each sprint will cause the player to make a small circle just before the end of each sprint, stop on the same foot in each sprint and run a slower total time.
- Most players can improve rather quickly. Practical experienced indicates that those who perform this run as a conditioning drill three times per week on non-consecutive days will make measurable improvements within 2-3 weeks.
- Norms by age and level of play exist for both pitchers and position players2
- Reduce the length of the course to 25 yards to increase the difficulty of the drill because the player will be required to make more changes of direction (6 vs. 3).
- Total time for each trial and the average time for the two trials will be increased slightly because of the increased number of changes of direction.
- Baechle, TR and RW Earle, Roger W. Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, 2008.
- Mangine, GT., et. al. Effect of age on anthropometric and physical performance measures in professional baseball players. JSCR, 27(2):375-381, 2013.
Lee Tressel, CSCS, RSCC-D, two-time Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year (2012 and 2017) is the strength and conditioning coach for the Yankees’ Rookie Ball Gulf Coast League Team in Tampa, FL.