Coordinated Power. Thinking through the Ballistic Ball

Original post February 2016

By Scott Damman  Headed back home right now after a lap through Florida, reflecting on the Ballistic Ball conversations over the past 4 days.  The goal of this trip was not to focus on demoing to prospective customers; rather, it was to visit with the existing Assess2Perform customer base, spend time talking about the Ballistic Ball & Bar Sensei use and application.  There is plenty to discuss for each product, but since bar speed / VBT is an established methodology, the emergence of the smart medicine ball made for fresh conversation.  The momentum is building.

MLB is leading the way of market acceptance with the Ballistic Ball, and visiting our customer teams before camp broke to talk BBall was the primary reason for this mid-February trip.  I also spent a few hours with one of the thought leaders of modern day medicine ball training, Vern Gambetta.  In fact, the book Vern co-authored with Steve Odgers (The Complete Guide to Medicine Ball Training – 1991) is my read on my return flight right now.

The discussions this week covered a lot of ground, from the macro to the micro.  One of the main takeaways related to practical application was using the Ballistic Ball as a measureable tool for the athlete to express power.  I did not say develop power.  Coaches have numerous tools, strategies, and methodologies to develop strength and speed (with the result of power).  This training balance, knowledge, and execution is the art of coaching.  But, at some point it all needs to be tied together and expressed by the athlete.

Enter, Coordinated Power.  The steps to examine this are actually quite simple:  identify the movement, add the appropriate resistance, execute the movement, view the Power (watts) and Speed (m/s).  Let me explain the concept of Coordinated Power in the real-world.

Take a 10 pound 12-inch diameter Ballistic Ball, do a triple extension overhead throw.  Focus on exploding up & landing the ball behind you just a bit, not “arming it” way back for distance (the days of “how high” and “how far” are over).  This assessment combines the lower extremity power with the timing & transference to the upper body and arms to coordinate a powerful throw!

Take that same 10 pounder and complete a chest pass.  Do some reps with a countermove and some reps non-countermove / static.  Football Coach, is your S&C programming creating an offensive lineman who can express power (think blocking technique) and be explosive with a 10, 12 or 20 pound static Ballistic Ball throw?

Take a 3 KG 9-inch diameter Ballistic Ball, do a rotational throw.  This validates whether (or whether not) all of the vertical performance training you have been Coaching, along with the mechanics of the movement, result in a coordinated effort to express rotational power gains! Piles of sport movements fit into this category.

Coordinated Power, something to think about.