5 Tips for Developing Explosiveness

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What is explosiveness?

I guess it really depends on who you ask. Explosiveness doesn’t really mean anything in terms of sports performance but it does have a meaning to parents and coaches.

Explosive athletes can have the following qualities

  • Sprint fast
  • Change direction quickly
  • Throw hard
  • Swing hard
  • Shoot fast

All of those things are power development. Power if force over time. The more force produced or the less time it takes to produce is how we create power.

Explosiveness is power.

The following tips will help athletes with their explosiveness.

  1. Move fast, really fast

The most important part of any power training is to move as fast as possible. This implies that the movement is under control.

If you want to sprint fast then you need to get out there and actually sprint as fast as you can.

This sounds simple but is often forgotten. Athletes that struggle with speed usually are never really giving it everything they have in the tank.

The same goes for throwing, swinging, kicking, etc. If you want to be powerful you have to move fast.

  1. Build a foundation of strength

Strength is the base for explosiveness. Power is force over time. Speed is time and that is why you need to move fast.

Improving force production is strength.

Let’s say you want to throw harder for baseball. You work on throwing as hard as you can control. At some point, the progress stops. Time has been completely minimized.

This is where strength needs to take over. You need more force and that is not going to come from decreasing any more time. We have to increase force to continue to improve on explosiveness.

  1. Remember how old the athlete is

Young athletes are going to struggle with power development because they lack strength. This could be due to age, lack of training, maturity, etc.

I have seen this a lot lately when we introduced better testing protocols at Evolution. We now look to measure an athlete’s vertical jump vs their drop jump. This pits strength vs power.

The funny thing about these numbers for our middle school athletes is not the comparison but look at both of them.

Younger athletes need to bring up both numbers. Usually both need work so we try not to ignore one in favor of the other.

  1. Avoid excessive conditioning

Over conditioning is one of the biggest detractors from speed and quickness. There should be a very distinct difference from conditioning and speed/agility training.

This gets lost in the hands of the wrong person.

Speed and agility efforts should be short, high intensity, and have a long recovery period. Conditioning often has shorter rest, longer periods, and less intensity.

It is also important to do conditioning at the end because quality will decrease at the end of conditioning

  1. Recover

Tired athletes are not explosive. Athletes are more tired than ever. The amount of games, practices, and other sessions that they play is insane. The days of playing for one team in one season are long gone.

Taking time to recharge and recover is all the more important now. If you want to become more explosive then you need to be ready to take some serious recovery time. This might mean dropping a team or taking a season off.

It is really hard to run track, play indoor soccer, and make great improvements on explosiveness. Unfortunately, that is the desire of too many athletes. Give yourself a break to train and you will be happy with the progress.