Welcome back! This week we wanted to share a second guest blog post from Coach Brandon Golden from ECU. Brandon wrote an initial post for us a few months ago (if you haven’t read it yet, take a read through now!)
Before we get into this, we also wanted to take a minute and acknowledge the trying times the world currently is in. With so much of the next few weeks and months unknown due to the worldwide COVID19 outbreak, we know the uncertainty is unsettling. In an effort to do our part, we are doubling our educational content efforts in order to bring quality information straight to you so you can stay home, stay educated, and we can all help each other get through this together.
Brandon wrote this article about a month ago before the cancellation of the NCAA spring seasons. As a result, the language will be indicative of his intended season plans. Unfortunately, while those will not come to fruition for ECU or any NCAA team this spring season, the content is still relevant and applicable in a collegiate setting. We want to thank Brandon for his words and time and all of you for reading. Stay safe!
In this article I am going to shed some light on how I have constructed our in-season training program utilizing Velocity Based Training for our Baseball Team. First off I want it to be known that this was a compilation of information from various sources that I took and manipulated to meet the needs of our Baseball players here at East Carolina. My information came from works by Dr. Bryan Mann and Eric McMahon. Both of these individuals have had an impact on the way I utilize VBT for my athletes and they deserve the credit for its origination.
As I previously stated in my first post about VBT, we play 56 regular season games not including the postseason. This past weekend we played a double header on Sunday and are now on our way to play Elon as I am writing this. On Friday, we have the Keith LeClair Classic to celebrate the life of Coach Keith LeClair and raise awareness about ALS. To say the least, these guys have a lot going on in addition to being college students who place a high standard on academic success.
Our shortstop and third basemen are two-way guys who have shown the ability to both play a position and pitch at a high level. We are a “next man up” type team that has talent across the board. It is my job to make sure everyone is ready to go every day. VBT allows me to train the specific qualities I am interested in developing while also ensuring that if their name is called, they will be ready to answer the bell.
Prior to the season starting, almost as a deload, I used F-V testing to see where they were at in the beginning of the year. We will do this a total of three times throughout the season. The second time at the midway point of season, and the final one right before we head to Clearwater for the AAC Conference Tournament. I took the rep max in squat and bench for position players (safety bar squat for pitchers) and started them at 30% of their max, worked them up to 90% and in some cases we were able to go above 90%. The cutoff point for that specific testing session was .5m/s since we had opening weekend coming up, and they hadn’t been exposed to super high intensities.
Our system is broken up into three phases. Strength, Power, and Speed. Each phase has specific velocity ranges based on the movements being executed. Right before the season started, we finished Strength Phase 1, which is why it is not included on the graphic seen below. I wanted to provide something that could easily show what our in-season training looked like. We go from Strength to Power, and then move into the Speed phase and then repeat. Every phase is a three-week phase, and as the phases repeat, you will see the volume decrease as the intensity increases.
My hypothesis for this system is that by the end of May, when we test F-V for the last time, we will see an increase in power output by 5% (in watts) for everyone on the team.
Currently, our guys are really getting after it and are fully bought into the program utilizing VBT. It is truly enjoyable to watch guys hit weights at speeds they never thought possible. We have one more week in our Power phase and then we will transition into the first Speed phase. I’m excited to see how this program unfolds. I want to give a huge shout out to the entire ECU Strength Staff for allowing me to bounce my ideas off of them, and not just accepting them, but challenging me and making me better every day!
Brandon Golden #2wayU