Properly Programming Skill Work & Speed Training to Maximize Athletic Performance


Swinging a baseball bat, throwing a baseball, and sprinting at max intensity are three of the fastest movements in all of sports. With that being said, these movements are going to impose the most demand on the nervous system.

Having said this, if you’re a sport coach, does it make sense for your players to be taking 400 swings a day? Make hundreds of high-effort unnecessary throws in practice? How about running suicides or max effort sprints with incomplete recovery? I don’t think so.

Better Solutions to Improve Athletic Performance:

Speed If you want to improve your athletes speed, have your players rest one minute for every ten yards they sprint at max intensity.

Skill Work In regards to improving your athletes skills, preach to them that there needs to be a purpose behind each swing and throw. Throw with intent, and don’t waste any pitches. Make every swing have a purpose.

Strength and conditioning coaches, does it make any sense to make your athlete sprint after a practice where they performed high volume sprints? What about having a pitcher perform high volume medicine ball throws following a 50 pitch bullpen? I don’t think so.

Better Solutions to Improve Athletic Performance:

In my opinion, a better way to improve your athletes performance is to monitor total swings, throws, and sprints and adjust your program/plan based off the volume of skill work your athlete is performing on any given day.

Remember, throwing a baseball, hitting, and fielding (changing direction/sprinting) are three skills that CANNOT be hindered by fatigued, ESPECIALLY at the professional level. One little mechanical flaw can not only be detrimental to the athletes swing or throwing motion but it can also potentially cause injury.

In closing, I hope this was post was able to help educate players, parents, and coaches. It’s my hope that coaches across the country are more mindful in regards to managing their athletes daily outputs in order to enhance their athletes on-field performance!

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