Published on Mar 31, 2012
SPEED TRAINING SECRET #1
YOU SHOULD SPEED TRAIN YOUR TEAM FOR SPEED EVERYDAY AND YOU REALLY SHOULD STOP "WARMING UP" AND "CONDITIONING"
This is the #1 mistake that I see coaches making today. Way too many coaches are still wasting two crucial opportunities to develop their team speed everyday: warm-up and conditioning. 20 minutes per practice down the drain...
Warm-up should not be a free-for-all "time to get loose." Every warm-up should be your "dynamic speed development period," a focused and purposeful effort to activate fast-twitch muscle fibers and develop proper speed mechanics.
In addition to dumping your "warm-up," you should also condition with a purpose. "Run them until they look tired" is a waste of time. I put that right up there with "you can't teach speed."If your sport does not require your athletes to run long and slow, neither should your conditioning. So stop "conditioning" your athletes and use this time to develop "reaction time under fatigue" and "speed endurance."
SPEED TRAINING SECRET #2
SPEED DEMANDS COORDINATION.
Speed is a highly complex motor skill that requires total body coordination. The arm action must coordinate with the leg cycle and the core must remain stable to maximize the force applied into the ground at the optimal angle with every foot strike. The coaches who think speed is all genetic and say "speed can't be taught" are the same coaches who don't understand the concept of speed as a coordinated skill.
You practice the skills of your sport everyday in practice, so you should be practicing the coordination and mechanics of speed everyday as well because in most sports you are running and changing direction much more often than you are actually in contact with the ball.
SPEED TRAINING SECRET #3
QUICKNESS ≠ SPEED
This is a very counterintuitive concept for most coaches. Quicker movement of the limbs (often poorly coordinated) does not translate to more running speed. Running speed is determined by the amount of force applied into the ground.
Have you ever seen that athlete that looks like they are running really fast because his arms and legs are moving very quickly, but then you look up and everyone is running past him? This "spinning his wheels" is a classic example of an athlete with high leg speed, but poor force application.
Speed is a powerful and violent coordinated skill. Quickness is like a jab. Speed is full-body force of a hook.
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