Overload-underload training guide for increased hand speed

With the T20 Blast just around the corner I have been busy with Gloc CCC in their preparations for the short game. One thing I have looked at and improved is the players hand speed. How can you improve a players hand speed?

To become fast and explosive, you must train to become fast and explosive.

Overload/underload training:

Overload/underload training is a training method that utilises identical movements that one would encounter in his/her sport ( Bowling throwing, hitting) only the resistance will be increased and decreased slightly.

Simply put, using a resistance slightly above what one usually encounters increases strength. Using resistance that is slightly lighter increases movement speed and teaches the body to fire at a quicker rate. When combined the body learns how to become more powerful.

Is there any scientific evidence to back this up?
Yes, loads of it!! Overload/underload training has been used since the 70s by Olympic athletes to increase running speed, swim speed, as well as discuss, shot put, javelin and hammer throw. My good friend Steffan Jones ( Cricket Strength) uses a similar system to coach speed into fast bowlers, he has had great results!

So we know overload/underload trying works, now how can I implement it to increase hand speed for my batters?
A) grab your game bat
B) find a bat 5 oz heavier than your game bat
C) find a bat 5 oz lighter than your heavy bat
D) complete hitting a tennis ball as hard as you can with perfect mechanics, heavy bat first followed by light bat followed by your game bat. 6 swings per bat 3 x a week.

How much will you realistically gain in 4-6 weeks?
It is nearly impossible to predict how much improvement players will make on an individual basis. A professional batter with hand speed of 82 mph will improve less than a young county player with 50 mph.
Basically all players will gain velocity, most players should be able to make gains of 4-8mph easily, however that will depend on age and skill level.
Every 1mph you improve is 5 yards on the distance of the ball, so get hitting!!!

For more information on hand speed check out:

Hit Big!

Julian Wood

References: DeRenne, Coop, Szymanski, David. Effects of Baseball Weight Implement training. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 31 (2), 30-37, 2009.