Friday, September 23, 2011

Movement Economics 201: The specifics of athletic performance econ

We’ve touched on the economics of movement from a developmental stand point. 

In this level of Movement Econ, we’ll break down a specific movement. Since the majority of the clients we work with are high level baseball pitchers, we’re going to examine the act of pitching a baseball.

The details are easy to follow: A baseball weighs 5oz. After 13 years of age, the distance from the pitching rubber to the leading edge of home plate is 60’6”. The catcher crouches about 12” behind home plate which is 17” wide by 17” deep. The total distance of each pitch before it reaches its target is approximately 63’.
To get the 5oz ball 63’ with the best movement econ each of the phases of pitching should be taken into account.

We’re going to give pitching a baseball a number: it costs $100 to pitch at a high level.

As soon as we begin the motion of pitching any area that is not prepared for the movement or is in a less than optimal position to pitch will “waste” movement capital. The areas of our body that are not prepared for this movement will have to be compensated for and in the case of high level athletics the more compensation that happens the less actual output you will have.

Here’s the best explanation for this:

The Wasteful Pitchers:
These athletes demonstrate weakness in vital areas like their hips, deep core and spine muscles and scapular (shoulder blade) control muscles. They might also have tightness in critical muscles such as their hip flexors, hip extensors and deep shoulder ligaments and muscles. Lastly they are uncoordinated, not coached, and/or not properly warmed up or recovered from previous/current injury.

If you think about this in dollars and cents, they are bringing their $30 to a high level movement that requires $100. If you run out of funds when trying to perform at a high level, you will have pain and you run the very high risk of being injured.

The Elite Pitchers:
These athletes are strong and flexible where it matters most. They have excellent motor coordination, are well-coached and very importantly come to play properly warmed up and recovered from any previous injuries or pain they might have had.

All of the $100 brought to the game are spent to propel this athlete to the finish

Why? They are not wasting their hard earned money!!

Movement Econ 301 will break down how to add those funds to your account so you will ready to compete at the next level.

Be well.