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I am coaching a U14 open girlâ€™s team. Last week I was working with my hitters on their 4 step approach when the club director stepped in and corrected what I was teaching them. Which is; forward leaning, arms down and accelerate on the balls of their feet. He wants the girls to start standing straight up, arms to their side and step out onto their heels for steps one and two.
He told me this is how Gold Medal Squared wants hitters to approach. I later found this video and sure enough the hitters are approaching standing straight up, accerlerating heel to toe. The presenter states the method is endorsed by Dr Carl McGown, one of the founders of GMS.
So now I am a bit confused. I know from an athletic point of view trying to accelerate heel toe is complete nonsense, mechanically it canâ€™t be done. I also know from watching hundreds of collegiate and top club hitters none use this "standing up straight heel toeâ€ť acceleration method. When they transition off the net, they land behind the ten foot line with the right foot far forward, aggressive lean and accelerate on the balls of the feet. On serve receive, after they shuffle out, they lean forward on their first step to the balls of their feet and continue to accelerate in this pattern from there.
This video depicts what I believe to be the correct way and what I was teaching my players
If GMS is advocating the stand up straight heel toe approach can someone please make it make sense? I am not opposed to training this, I just donâ€™t understand it.
One other point that I am a bit confused on is the second step coming down at or near the ten foot line. This also is something he is suggesting I direct my players to do. I agree with this for all but one of my hitters. I have one who is really physically advance for her years, she is already 6â€™ and very athletic. For her to place her second step at the ten foot line is wasting at least 20% of her acceleration.
I want her second step to land about 2 feet behind the ten foot line so she can explode off of her second step. This still puts her in the jump zone but with far more speed than if I demand she place her second step at the ten foot line. If she did, she would have to back off her speed, which again makes no sense (at least to me).
I look forward to your input.