Today we get to talk about the fun part of Mass Specific Force (MSF), and that of course is increasing force. Strength matters. If two athletes both weigh 175lbs and from a skills perspective they are relatively similar, but athlete A doesn’t lift weights and athlete B can deadlift double body weight (2xBW), who do you want on your team?
I know several coaches that would say they really don’t care how much the kid can deadlift; they care whether or not they can play. I understand that thought process, especially if you have no idea what that big deadlift indicates. So let’s delve in. A kid with 2xBW deadlift is going to have a very good vertical jump, which is one of the purist, cleanest tests of MSF. When combing through NFL combine data, they found incredibly strong correlations between vertical jump and forty results as well as strong correlations between vertical scoring and pro shuttle performance. Vertical jump is the strongest indicator not only for how fast an athlete will run but also how quickly they will be able to change directions and accelerate.
Now with all that information a big deadlift relative to body weight seems a lot more appealing. Strength Matters! Deadlift is absolutely not the only way to get stronger, and it is important to adapt which tools you use according to the athlete and the setting. All that being said, if your athlete isn’t getting stronger, their speed is NOT being maximized.
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