Speed and Strength Train Like Spiders

Before I get into spider webs, I just wanted to give a shout out to a couple of athletes for their recent accomplishments.

Congrats to current RZT Athletes:

Nic B. and Zach R. for winning the Norcal U13 Babe Ruth Tournament to send them to Utah for the next round of the Babe Ruth World Series. As of this morning their team was 2-0 in Utah!!

Zareena M. – moved up to the top team at her club, Pleasanton Rage!

Charlie P. – her team won their tourney and she hit her first Home Run of the season!

What do Spider Webs Have To Do With Training

Between being a camp leader for our church last week down in Oakhurst and getting my house ready to be painted, I have seen a LOT of spider webs. Has anyone else cleared off a spider web only to have it reappear the next day or two? The reason a spider can spin its web so quickly and efficiently is due to the simplicity of the design. Lately I have had a greater appreciation for simplicity; that and minimalism, but that’s whole different topic.

In health, fitness, and performance, complex is often celebrated or worn as a badge of honor. “Look at me! I just did a single leg, barbell snatch, while standing on a physioball, with my 2 year old strapped to me!”

While I’m not here to bash the complex by any means, I feel we often sacrifice the simple, the basics, and the fundamentals in search of the complex, the intricate, and the advanced.

Pareto Principle basically states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the input, or work. What that principle doesn’t say is that 20% of input, or work, comes from basic, fundamental input.

Take baseball for instance. A pitcher typically has a specific strikeout pitch they go to. So, applying the Pareto principle, 8 out of 10 strikeouts will probably be from that pitch, with the other two coming from a secondary pitch. Which pitch should the pitcher continue to work on and refine, the one which gets the majority of strikeout, or a lesser pitch that is not as effective?

With Athlete Development, we have seen the continued shift to more advanced, exotic, and complex exercises and drills. While this may be absolutely appropriate for an advanced, fully mature athlete, we should not be seeing this in the younger population where they are not even close to mastering the basic, fundamental movements.

For instance, I had a parent bring me a video of an exercise that his baseball coach wanted him to do. Just watching the video of the kid performing the drill, I could tell right away that he was in no way prepared to perform this drill correctly, so we broke it down into several basic parts. Get better at the basics so you are eventually able to progress to the more complex.

I think a lot of the time, exercises and drills are progressed too fast, or to advanced forms, due to the boredom factor. Adults and kids say they get bored doing the same thing over and over again. They say this, yet in baseball/softball you throw and hit over and over, soccer you run and kick over and over again, basketball you dribble and shoot over and over again; so why is strength training and conditioning different?

It’s not, it becomes boring because you perceive it to be. Your mindset has tainted your perception of what you are doing to the point that it will start to affect your results. You change the focus from the process to the outcome because the real results come much later down the road, years in fact and our instant gratification mindset wants to focus on the immediate.

You strength train to not only improve your performance, but more importantly to resist injury so you can continue to practice and play your sport. One of your results, improved performance may not pay off for a few years as you are building your fundamental base upon which performance can be improved. The other result, being injury free, is often the unseen and not thought of since the goal is not something that we ever really reach, since it is always on going. Most goals have a tangible time frame, but remaining injury free is a constant.

Speaking of goals, my goal with this newsletter is hopefully get you to see that the improvement can be and often is the result of the basics, the fundamentals and if you want to progress to the complex or advanced you have to master the basics and fundamentals first and earn the right to go there.

We hope this helps and if you or your athlete is looking to invest in their health or sports, maybe we can help