SPEED DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Speed is a skill and like any other skill, improvement is a result of a learn-by-doing approach with proper instruction.
When a player commits to my 14-week speed development program, I become much more than than a mere speed coach. I am also a resource for hitting, fielding and mental aspects of the game for each family.
Even though ballplayers spend the majority of their time in acceleration phase during a baseball game, pro and college teams judge a player’s speed based on their 60-yard dash time. At the beginning of our first session together, we run two recorded 60-yard-dashes. These sprints become the slowest times they will run ever again.
Regardless if an athlete is fast, slow, tall, short, strong, or weak, learning proper sprint mechanics will increase his or her acceleration, top speed, and overall athleticism.
There are three factors that this speed development program addresses:
relative force production, acceleration mechanics, and maximum velocity mechanics.
Relative force production is the amount of force an athlete can output relative to his or her body weight. If athlete X weighs 220 lbs and squats 350 lbs, and athlete Y weighs 190 lbs and squats 350 lbs, athlete Y has a higher relative force production.
When it comes to speed, relative force production is crucial. The ground is not going anywhere. The force that an athlete is able to drive into the ground both vertically and horizontally dictates acceleration and maximum velocity.
As stated earlier, in baseball there is far more time spent accelerating than maintaining maximum velocity.
For this reason, acceleration mechanics are a significant focus throughout the entire program. Athletes will learn how to optimize their stance, start and steps.
Without the proper stance, an athlete’s body will not be in the most efficient position to optimize force and direction into the ground. Much like hitting, optimal angles translate to optimal power output.
Whether we are sprinting during a game or running a timed 60 yard dash, the first few steps that we take make the world of a difference. After three steps, elite athletes sprint 33% faster than the average athlete. Elite athletes move 2 MPH faster than the average athlete after one step. Baseball is a game of inches so it is important to take advantage of all gains that can give us an edge over the competition. It is criticism to focus on generating as much force as possible with both legs in an optimal body position.
Unfortunately, humans are naturally inclined to run with poor mechanics until we are taught how to utilize our core and limbs. Proper body lean, arm swings, shin angles, dorsiflexion, and knee drive all contribute to optimizing an athlete’s mechanics during acceleration phase and maximum velocity.
The average untrained runner is unable to properly sustain maximum velocity. In fact, most athletes naturally decelerate immediately after reaching maximum velocity due to faulty mechanics and improper motor patterns.
On average it takes 12-14 weeks to rewire an athletes’ motor patterns. There are several strength exercises, movements and form drills that every athlete must nail down in order to become the best runner they can be.
All sessions are thoughtfully planned out for individual athletes to better their running form, core strength, and hip/ankle mobility.
In as little as 2 sessions, the majority of athletes can see and feel a difference in their speed. As the program progresses, so do the drills & movements. Even the best of athletes are challenged throughout the program as advanced movements often take more than one session to nail down.
Motor patterns don’t change over night. It takes dedication, commitment, and consistent training. In order to see gains, you must earn them.
Speed is learned, but it must be earned.