Basically any sport other then track or endurance type stuff, all of our movements are for short, quick bursts.
Football and Soccer would be the sports where we would run the farthest distance, 100 yards (soccer can reach 130).
Now how many football players have you EVER seen, run 100 yards in a straight line (linear) ? 95% of the time, there is a cut or some other move at some point in the run, to shake a tackle.
What about soccer? Anyone ever see a soccer player run from one end to the other, un touched without any (non linear) movements? It would never happen.
My point is, All our sports require short bursts of speed and power.
Now how many times at your normal practice do you work on improving your speed and power bursts?
I would bet my next paycheck that less then 10% of coaches work on it. There are two reasons why you wont see these drills at practice.
1) MOST youth coaches dont really understand how to maximize your bodies full potential.
2) The higher the level you go, you will find fewer coaches working on fundamentals. They are there to fine tune what you showed up with (This important FACT, will be discussed in a later post)
So how do you improve your speed and power bursts?
First you must know what muscles we use to accomplish the task.
An athlete consists of two muscle fiber types.
Slow twitch (type 1) and fast twitch (type 2)
*sub categories have recently been added to Fast twitch muscles, for their difference in property’s. Fast-Glycolytic (FG) or Fast-Oxidative-Glycolytic (FOG), or 2b and 2a fibers respectively. FG fibers differ from FOG fibers in their pure fast-twitch properties.
OK so the nerd part is over. Now you know what the two types are. Now we need to learn what the two types do.
The names I guess, give a pretty good explanation.
These muscles are designed to give us a great deal of power and force in a very short time. Like an outfielder breaking on a deep fly ball or a hitter starting his batting swing. We want quick and powerful and we want it NOW!!!
These are the muscles where we get our endurance or stamina. You find these muscles used in marathon runners or body builders. These muscles help us go for a longer period of time. Running that weekend 5k or trying to pump out that 3rd set of 10. These muscles just help us have more strength in the long run. No pun intended…haha
So just because your benching more weight or able to run 2 miles now without a sweat, dont wonder why you arent getting better or faster at your respective sport. Your in fact just simply building your endurance.
Your not getting quicker!!
We do want our stamina strengthened regardless the sport. We just need to make sure we are working on our speed as well.
It doesnt matter how much you bench press or squat, if you cant track down the deep ball or stop that grounder from sneaking up the middle.
As a hitter what is our goal? To get our bat on the same plane as the pitch quick and be long through it (another post).
In a couple days I will give you a great pre game exercise that helps build your fast twitch muscles.