Day 3 continues with “Paul Nyman Week: It’s A Bad Week To Be A Hitter”
In case you missed it earlier, let me get you caught up:
Tuesday: Risk vs. Reward
Sit back and enjoy! It’s going to be an interesting day here at BaseballThinkTank!
Form vs. Function, Return On Training Time
One of the very important issues facing the player, coach, parent of the player is selecting those activities that provide the greatest return on a players training efforts. The principle of specificity and transfer are two key concepts that all training and instruction should satisfy.
Unfortunately most of what is being “touted” as specificity is very unspecific. And therefore has minimal if any transfer to the task of throwing a baseball in a game type situation.
Therefore one of the greatest challenges facing the coach and S&C coach in designing a program; is how do they distinguish between activities that enhance ability vs. activities that enhance skill?
Abilities are those raw components from which skills are constructed. And from what I see, many of the activities that players undertake neither enhance ability or develop skill!
A study was done in Australia on senior league level pitchers entitled “Medicine Ball Training Can Be “Hit Or Miss”. This study that was done several years ago on high level pitchers (all between the ages of 19-26 with 5 or more years of experience).
They were divided into three groups
- Control group did their normal training/practice.
- Medicine ball group did two of the most frequently used exercises for pitchers (two hand over head throw and twisting side throw).
- Weight training group did bench press and triceps extensions.
Pitchers were tested for velocity before start of study and at end of study (after 10 weeks of training).
The ONLY group to show a statistically significant increase in velocity was the weight trained group.
- One of the conclusions of the study was that medicine ball training as done in this study might not be specific enough to throwing a baseball.
- Also, that the higher the level of the player, the more difficult it is to effect a training response. (Medicine ball training as done in this study was not stressful enough to cause the body to increase it’s throwing performance).
These types of studies pose serious questions for those who advocate functional training as a more specific way to build throwing ability than traditional strength training. That functional training is not as “throwing specific” as they think.
Also what many functional training advocates do not take into consideration is that many of the athletes they work with a professional level every spent many years strength training using traditional methods. The question that can be asked is….
What is the worth of functional training at a professional level and does it yield the same results if those players had not trained using traditional methods prior to their functional training?
To be continued……..
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