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Rapid

25 Posts

Posted - 08/06/2018 :  07:24:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Speed kills. Itís a very useful weapon on the baseball field, and itís a great way to get recruited. Itís a very rare thing to be really strong, really fast, and really talented. This is why players like Mike Trout only come along every so often. While talent is natural, speed and strength certainly have windows for improvement. Speed requires strength because of the incredibly high demand of sprinting. Remember that Newton guy from physics 101? Something about equal and opposite reactions? When the athlete strikes the ground, the ground doesnít just stand there and take it, it pushes back. This is what projects you forward. This is why technique matters because the more efficiently I can strike the ground, the faster I run. In addition to efficiency, sprinting requires strength. The more force I can put into the ground, the harder the ground pushes back, and the faster I can run. This is why itís important to train strength athletically, not just back squat as much as possible all the time. Yes squatting is important for building strength. Itís a great exercise as old as time. If youíre not careful, though, it can stiffen you up and decrease joint variability. This is why, in addition to squatting and deadlifting, we believe in training strong single leg patterns (split squats, lunges, step ups, etc.).

The old adage ďyou canít teach speed, ď is not a useful way to approach training. While speed is highly related to genetics and body type, it can certainly be improved with intelligent training. However, if you run an 8 second 60-yard dash, you shouldnít expect to turn into Mike Trout or a track star. Speed improvement takes time, and comes in small doses. Becoming more efficient and stronger in the weight room is the first step to becoming more efficient and powerful on the baseball field. The rate of force development required to do a box jump or run a sled has carryover into how I drive off the rubber. Having said this, the most important factor in good speed/power training is effort. In order to improve 100% effort on the field, 100% effort must be given in the weight room or track. In order to move faster, you've got to do every drill with maximal intent. Effort and intent drive results!

To recap, speed can be improved with intelligent, appropriately prescribed training. In addition to getting faster, the improved ability to contract and relax muscles efficiently can help improve the specific demands of baseball. While you may not become an Olympian, there can be a lot of upside to building strength and learning how to run. The key is to work hard and to be consistent.

We hope this is helpful! Have a great week, and as always feel free to comment with questions or topic requests!

All the best,

The Rapid Team
www.go-rapid.com

Andrew Gordon, MS, CSCS
Andrew.Gordon@go-rapid.com


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