We derive energy from the food we eat which is stored in the muscle cells in the form ATP. The ATP is composed of 1 molecule of adenosine and 3 molecules of phosphate. That is as far as I am going to explain in this softball energy system section as the whole idea of this site is to make the concept of periodization easy to follow and without all of the confusion.
Within the Softball Energy System
What is Lactic Acid?
After approximately 8-10 seconds of intense activity, the glycogen (created by food intake) that is stored in the muscle cells and liver begins to break down releasing energy to create more energy (ATP). As this process occurs at high intensity, oxygen is not available and the lack of oxygen during the breakdown of glycogen creates the lactic acid. As the exercise continues fatigue occurs preventing the athlete from continuing. For the muscles to attain full restoration of glycogen can take up to 24 hours. Active recovery (light activity) such as an exercise bike for 15 – 20 minutes can enhance the body’s return to homeostasis, removing lactic acid from the muscles. A good aerobic training base can facilitate the recovery from training and competing. It is not likely in a softball game that an athlete would experience this lactic acid. A trip around the bases on an inside the park home run would not even build up any lactic acid. All activities in softball take less than a minute. An inside the park home run might take just over a minute but most times with a decrease in all out effort at some point during the run.
Anaerobic Alactic System (0-10 seconds)
- the shortest energy exertion time period
- explosive power is used used
- 3-5 minutes for full recovery from activity – 70% recovery in the first 30 seconds
- known as the ATP – CP system because the energy is depleted quickly
- lactic acid is not produced
This is the softball system. Most activities in softball take even less than 8 seconds even which makes it a power sport. This is where most of the physical training should occur after the anatomical adaptation phase during preparation and the maximum strength phase during the late preparation phase.
Anaerobic Lactic system (10 seconds – 2 minutes)
- anaerobic endurance and power is used
- full recovery can take up to 24 hours
- lactic acid is produced
- known as the Anaerobic Lactic Acid system
This system is not used in softball generally.
Aerobic System (over 2 minutes)
- long distance activities
- uses oxygen
- glycogen is broke down with oxygen which prevents the lactic acid build up
- fats and proteins can be used for energy as the glycogen in the muscles is exhausted
- aerobic capacity increased through training will determine the efficiency of this system
A good aerobic training base is important in softball to enhance recovery and regeneration. It is generally trained in the early preparation phase but only maintained in the competitive phase
How does this relate to softball skills?
As you can see softball is predominantly an anaerobic alactic sport. When planning your training sessions on the field, you can use this as a guideline with regard to your intensity levels for your microcycle planning.