I am often asked by parents, coaches and athletes what my thoughts are on specific gains in one area of training. Too much over-thinking!
We are trapped in a world of hyped-up gadgets for training and the media makes use of a professional athlete to sell it to the public.
Let me give you an example. A question that I often receive from football players is what can I do to become faster?
Well, I have a simple answer. Run.
There are three things that greatly affect speed development.
- stride length (how far each step is when running)
- stride frequency (how fast you can pick em up and put em down)
- ground force (hard ground contact when running)
All can be improved by running.
If I only had one "thing" to choose for speed work. It would be short 10 yard and 20 yard sprints.
Football is a sport that is based on acceleration and deceleration. Primarily reactive sport. The average football play lasts no longer than 4 to 5 seconds and research has shown that most players never reach full speed during a play. You can actually decrease your 40 yard dash time by simply working on short sprints.
- you can perform the sprints in different stances and different methods
- you can work on mechanics
- develops great leg drive and power
- depending on the volume and sprint to rest ratio they can act as conditioning
- no gadgets or fancy equipment is needed
- you can vary the degree of difficulty by changing the running surface
Don't over-think things. Now don't get me wrong there are supplemental things that can be added to assist in the speed development, but try not to stray away from the primary goal!
If I wanted to become a great INDY 500 car driver, I wouldn't train on a horse? I would drive the car!
Until next time, practice hard and stay focused on your goa
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