Try or Swing Your Hardest?
Ever tried to put a little more power in your swing to hit a home run, hit a ball harder, further or throw faster? Most athletes find it doesn’t work out very well.
It really doesn’t matter the sport. Anytime you try to swing or throw harder, certain muscles in your arms and hands tend to tense up, which can negatively impact the fluidity of your body movement, your swing and ultimately reduce your bat, arm or club head speed.
We like to teach our athletes to have some tension in the muscles of their legs & hips, but even in the legs and hips, too much tension there, or anywhere is a power & speed killer. For sure you need to keep the arms and hands tension free so the body can create a sling shot or whip effect to sequence the development of power and maximize bat, arm or club head speed.
Athletes need to train to know where their relaxed cruising speed is and learn to perform at that level when they swing the bat, arm or golf club. Trying to swing at 100% usually leads to tension, less than max power & speed and exposes the back, shoulder and arm to unnecessary risk of injury.
We do want athletes to have an attack mentality we just don’t believe that pushing the accelerator to the floor ever works our very well. Better to find your cruising speed where you will still crush balls, without trying…
My Exchange with a Baseball Player
This past Saturday at a State High School Playoff Game, this was my brief exchange before the game with one of the hitters I’ve worked with.
Me: “Hey G let me ask you something. Considering all the home runs you’ve hit in the past two years, how many of them did you actually hit when you were trying to hit a home run?”
Him: “Hmm, maybe one.”
Me: “Ok well yesterday in your second game, I saw you trying to hit home runs and I watched you hit 2 pop ups”. I think you just need to focus on hitting the ball hard and the home runs will take care of themselves. You have the power to hit them, but you’re trying too hard.”
I texted him later that night and asked him how the game went and here’s his response: