Making a Difference

Anthony Schlegel Dec 6th 2017

Making a Difference

The Difference Striking Machine concept was born in the weight room of Ohio State Football in 2015. Coach Meyer wanted to continue upon the success of a fundamental drill implemented by Chris Ash during practice called, The Difference. It was a hand striking drill that focused on quick hand strikes and precise placement. In a game where every inch and every second matters being elite at the fundamentals is critical. It truly made the difference in our 2014 National Championship Run. While in the weight room I wanted to work on this while training our athletes. For years I have been using upper body plyometrics, wall chest passes, med ball drops etc. to improve our upper body explosiveness and replicate the hand speed needed for the sport of football.

Another problem I noticed is that prior to practice a majority of coaches warm up the athlete’s lower body. They do so by doing a dynamic warmup, hurdles, band stretches, glute and hip activation. This makes sense as football athletes are required to run short distances with maximum effort. Besides the ability to run and bend in space all athletes must use their hands (upper body) on every play. Question? Why don’t we warm up the athlete’s upper body prior to practice? We warm up our upper body on days we bench, incline etc. in the weight room. The Difference has become a great tool for warming up athlete’s upper body and activating the Central Nervous System prior to practice.

There were other implications for creating a product with such a high utility.

Post Activation Potentiation: A heavy resistance exercise followed by an explosive movement involving the same muscle groups has been proven to provide an additional boost to power development. The Difference can facilitate this power development by pairing a heavy pressing exercise with resistance specific power training. Using plyometrics or other explosive movements to ignite your central nervous system (CNS) could be the key to maximizing your performance in the weight room. The faster you can push the bar, the more muscle fibers you will recruit and the more weight you will lift. Using explosive movements prior to your heavy training will prepare and teach your body to move with maximal velocity and force.

Upper Body Anaerobic Conditioning: Many sports involve the upper body in a fashion, which requires adequate development of the alactic and glycolytic systems. The Difference allows for interval training with various levels of resistance, which will allow for the physiological development of these important anaerobic systems.

Upper Body Protraction and Retraction: After years of evaluating young athletes it is evident they do not know or have not been taught to retract their shoulders. Proper scapular development and activation are crucial for cervical spine and shoulder function. Specific exercises allow for scapular protraction and retraction to be developed in a progressive fashion, which will aid in cervical spine and shoulder function.

Total Body Stabilization Training: Certain sports require the ability to stabilize the body from a ground base position (i.e. a basketball player trying to establish position in the post). The Difference allows for targeted stability training without having a teammate or coach provide the resistance. This stability training is of particular importance when a player is coming back from a lower limb injury.

In less than 2 years The Difference Striking Machine has been struck over 35 million times and continues to assist athletes and coaches achieve their goals both on and off the field.

See the Difference in Your Game!!!

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