1. Sprinting can improve strength
Strength is the foundation for everything in sports. Take a 150lb freshmen, get them to deadlift 300lbs, and they will get faster and more explosive. But as an athlete becomes more and more advanced there becomes less and less correlation between max strength and speed.
Taking an athlete ‘s 400lb deadlift to 500lbs will see less speed improvement than the previous example.
For the 240lb athlete that’s strong as an ox too much strength work can actually be a hinderance to their performance and slow them down.
This athlete’s focus should be on the speed at which they can display force or their rate of force development.
But Let’s face it, that 240 pounder that’s strong as on ox most likely loves the weight room and will look at you like you’re crazy when you tell them to focus less on strength.
What this athlete needs to understand is that the central nervous system (CNS) is the driver of both strength and speed work, meaning speed and strength go hand in hand. The more power you are able to display in the weight room equals more power on the field sprinting and vice versa.
Strength and speed assist each other. Higher outputs in one lead to higher outputs in the other. If you want to get faster or stronger you need lift AND sprint, not one or the other.
2. Sprinting Creates a better athlete
Be an athlete first and your position second.
A lot of times you’ll see pitchers skip their speed work all together and just run poles. What a disaster….
Throwing a baseball is an extremely explosive movement with rests in between each pitch. Running sprints will have a much better carry over onto the mound than distance running every will.
A faster, stronger, more explosive athlete can create higher outputs of power. in other words, throw the ball with more velocity.
Sprinting involves every muscle in the body at extremely high velocities; There’s nothing we do in the weight room can replicate the speed of sprinting.
You may not need to be a good athlete to be an effective pitcher, but it certainly helps, and sprinting is one of the best ways to develop athleticism.