If you work within a field sports setting, you should know that speed is a vital component that helps bring about that all important win. Unfortunately though it is often trained the least and strength or skill work can often take precedence.
Time needs to be devoted to speed training and linear work initially should be the priority…yes, we understand field sports are multi-directional but the mechanics of linear speed are actually involved in change of direction too.
So, where should we start with speed training?
1. What are the key performance indicators of the sport in question and what do your team/athlete need to work on. Throwing in a bunch of 10m sprints with recovery or a max velocity run before your athletes learn acceleration/running mechanics probably won’t yield results on game day.
2. How much time do you have? If an 1/2 hr a week is all you have, make good use of it. Try not to re-invent the wheel in each session…break down movements and assess before re-building and looking at the big picture. Walk before you run!
3. Use coaching cues wisely….time and type are important to convey your message and different people need different cues. Don’t be a fridge…fridges make constant noise.
4.Key positions are paramount to achieve optimal running mechanics. Acceleration requires low heel recovery, big arm split, and a horizontal angle of torso…if we can’t do this rehearsed how can we employ this in the field of play. Top speed requires good trunk strength, cyclical leg action and foot strike under centre of mass…this is where your rehearsed march and skip drills pay dividends.
We currently work with field sports. Speed training is part of their weekly schedule, and although we are not attempting to turn them into out and out sprinters, we still need to apply the required technical models for linear speed.
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