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Why Running Speed Does Not Matter

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  • Why Running Speed Does Not Matter

    Softball is a speed and power sport. I know, I've said it countless times over the last few years.

    However, softball speed isn't what most people think.
    Being fast, to most people, means to be able to run faster than others in a straight line.

    Think 40-yard dash and 100-meter sprint.

    To most athletes and coaches, being fast means being like a sprinter so they assume they should train like it.

    So, you see a lot of softball players and teams that goto track coaches or to so-called "speed specialist" and they do sprinter-like training.

    In a nutshell, that means a bunch of running form drills and sprints.

    Can that help your softball game? It can't hurt especially when to it comes to running form.

    Is that going to really elevate your game to the next level? NO.

    Why is that? Because it's not softball-specific speed.

    The problem with most trainers, track coaches or speed specialists, they don't really understand our game.

    You see, softball isn't about running fast in a linear fashion.

    That's even more true in softball than in baseball where distances are even shorter.

    Running fast in a straight line (aka linear speed) is not an important quality in softball.

    What really matters for dominating on the softball field:

    Quality #1 - Ability to quickly accelerate

    This is what I call the "first three steps" or your ability to get to full speed quickly. This is very important.

    Quality #2 - Ability to change directions quickly

    Quality #3 - Lateral speed (multi-directional speed)

    So, if you spend your time running sprints in a straight line, you are wasting a lot of time because what you do will not really turn into a greater performance.

    Instead focus, focus on acclerating quickly in any directions, changing directions, and moving laterally.

    Working on these things will definitely help your game - not strickly working on linear speed.

    Keep in mind that in softball, by the time that you get to your full speed, you already have to prepare to change direction.

    What does it matter to work on linear speed if you never really use it in a game?

    Think about it.