Why do we run the bases with a stationary start? Does this make sense? Science tells us that an object in motion tends to stay in motion. Also, the initial force to start an object moving is much higher than everyone thinks. It is a major obstacle to getting up to full speed. Why not get a running start into your initial move? Pitchers understand this and they wind up and get body momentum into their release point. Infielders and outfielders know this as they get their feet going before making a throw. Hitters are starting to catch on to this again after going through a “foot down early” period in baseball. More and more hitters are getting momentum into their launch positions to make a quicker turn to the ball. With everyone seemingly throwing 95-105 mph these days, hitters need momentum to be quicker.
So how exactly does momentum help the runner? First, having momentum will reduce your initial reaction time as you don’t have to overcome the initial force to get started. Second, this momentum will help propel you faster into your first two steps. When you are stealing a base or going from 1st to 3rd on a single, this make a significant difference.
So, how do we do happy feet. Simple, all you are going to do it take baby steps (1-2 inches) on every lead, bouncing back and forth on the balls of your feet. Think about having a stove under your feet and you don’t want to burn your feet. As long as your feet are moving, you can capture momentum to reduce your reaction time and propel you quicker into your first to steps. The key is that you have to do this on every lead otherwise the opposing team will know when you are going to steal. Try it out. I think you will realize fairly quickly that getting momentum using the happy feet technique makes a lot of sense.