Dynamic Power (Speed) Positions in Softball April 9, 2018 By Denny
Updated: Apr 24, 2018
When a kid wants to maximize the quick release of energy in softball, whether it is hitting, throwing, or fielding, she must know how to put her body into the correct position. Let’s talk about dynamic power positions.
I sort of dislike putting those two words together, dynamic and power. Actually, we should call them dynamic speed positions. We are looking for the most efficient positions to cause an explosive release of energy. The word power carries some connotations that can cause people to think in ways that hamper speed. Let’s say a kid bends over dramatically at the waist, chest down, in an effort to get off the mound with more explosion. There are some kids who do that fairly well, but our work in the lab proves that even those kids can do a better job when put in a more “athletic” position. If we were together in person we could show you several experiments that conclusively prove this is true. Is the kid “bad” who bends at the waist? Not at all. If she can do this well, she probably has phenomenal core strength. Could she be better? No question.
Any kinesiology expert will agree that athletes are more explosive when the chest is facing the target. That is a speed position. Look at another sport. The lineman in football is not looking for speed, but for power. He is like the bulldozer, staying low and plowing into the opponent. His job is to be an immoveable force, not a sprinter. The wide receiver, on the other hand, is like the drag racer. His job is to fly off the line and outrun the defender. His chest is up and his core is completely stacked, or stable. That is a dynamic speed position.
With girls, these dynamic positions are even more important. Girls are quad dominant. Their hamstrings are more of an afterthought. If we put her in a position where the hamstrings are stretched to provide power, we are asking a weaker muscle group to do the work. We must better activate the quads. This is just one of the ways where the female body is far different from the male, and we want to account for that. Males will tend to think with far different muscle groups when training females, and we have to be so careful about avoiding that bias.
This discussion could fill a book. Our Certified Instructors are well trained in the areas of female biomechanics that not only help build more dynamic speed, but significantly reduce injuries among pitchers. Feel free to contact them, or me, with questions.