It’s important to note that experiencing pain in the lower leg next to the shin bone (tibia) can have far-reaching effects on foot dynamics, potentially leading to ligament injuries in the ankle, knee, or the IT band. Athletes who experience this pain early on in their career may be more susceptible to ankle injuries and anterior leg pain or have ongoing issues with their IT band.

In my experience, studies, and observations, this issue can be a primary reason why a slow mover remains slow even after playing for a decade, and why injured athletes continue to experience injuries.

So why do slow or average fielders remain average throughout their career? The answer, in my opinion, is that anyone can improve their speed if they understand the factors that may be slowing them down. Often, these factors are hidden and not immediately obvious

One such factor to consider is foot biomechanics during activities such as running or bowling. This process typically involves four steps: landing on the heel, lateral longitudinal arch support, transverse arch support to assist in plantar flexion and energy flow, and medial arch support combined with the transverse arch to withdraw energy from the ground and return it to the body, much like a spring. Understanding these biomechanics and addressing any issues can be a crucial step towards improving speed and performance.

In most cases, when we wear spiked shoes and land on our heels, we typically follow up with the lateral longitudinal arch. However, during take-off, we tend to keep our foot inverted and may not accurately follow steps 3 and 4. This deviation from proper technique can result in reduced speed and power.

Aside from muscular tension, the structure of tarsal bones also allows for inversion. Therefore, my hypothesis suggests that the pressure exerted on the tarsal bones during heel strike may force our foot into a position that leaves insufficient time to execute steps 3 and 4. As a result, take-off cannot be postponed.

The function of Tibialis Anterior is dorsiflexion and inversion of the foot, and the function of Tibialis Posterior is inversion of the foot (as well as assisting in plantar flexion and supporting the medial arch of the foot).

From a movement science perspective, the result of the above is overworked Tibialis Anterior & Posterior because of inversion, which causes us to lose our grip on dorsiflexion, stabilization, and support of the medial arch.

The irony is that these muscles are overworked without being worked on their key functions – dorsi/plantar flexion & support. Too much inversion can also change the orientation (structure) of the foot, which can even reflect in the shape of shoes at times.

As an analogy, baseball pitchers can get an injury in their elbow due to pitching. It may not be because of weak shoulders or biceps but because the pronation of the arm negates the pull of the biceps and therefore puts a lot of work on the radialis muscle/s (agonist), assisted by ulnar & the rest of the forearm. Yes, the arm is flexing every time we swing or pitch, but which muscles are getting overworked? If forearm muscles are overworked, then that may put stress on elbow ligaments because of the massive amount of force coming from the shoulder down.

Therefore, we must work on the biomechanics of movement in training. It is not about correcting everything 100% in an action, but instead, it is about easing the tension in our musculoskeletal structure and saving ourselves from injuries and fatigue conditions to be efficient. As humans, we have enormous capacity to improve, and we should strive to improve.