Revisiting Do's and Don't's of Speed Training

Hi all,

I would like to re-visit a topic that I covered in a past newsletter (and please go through my website and find the newsletter link and check out some of my past newsletters, you may find what you'e looking for) and that is the DO's and DON'Ts of training for speed .

I don't know how times I am either:

A. asked how to get faster;

B. told by a parent that their child is slow and runs funny even if the child is 10 or younger;

C. told again by a parent that conditioning in the form of jogging long distance, UGH! is the magic elixir and should be performed on a frequent basis

D. the child needs strength training only without regard of knowing that if they can not handle their own body weight with various exercises and stabilizing, the child is not ready for externally loading them with weights.

Yes, this is a fairly regular occurance and I know most parents are well meaning and I do appreciate feedback of what they are looking for but yes many are just not informed. They are getting their info. from when they trained which was about 20-25 years ago or most likely watching how their kids are being trained by their coaches right now.

Coaches, again not all, are just not up on the times on how to train their athletes for speed and strength. It's all about conditioning, conditioning, conditioning with the emphasis on distance running, repeated sprints and volumes of it til shin splints,poor sprint mechanics and yes, slow athletes are the eventual outcome.

So, to train for speed:

DO NOT put most of your emphasis on conditioning work.

DO NOT do long distance jogs for your sport

DO NOT worry about speed work if your child is 10 or younger maybe even 11.

DO NOT rely on repeated sprints, suicides or wind sprints as a focus of your speed routine. It is a speed endurance drill... you will not get faster.

DO strength training for speed only when you can handle your body weight with a variety of exercises.

DO strength training for sports speed at least 3 to 4 times a week. Remember you are looking to get strong in your hips and lower legs and core first. So, weights have to be fairly heavy but performed with great form. Not machines.

DO speed/acceleration twice a week but not on back to back days.

DO short sprints (10 Yds.) first and most frequently (10 -12)because that is what you will be doing the most in your games not jogging.

DO mid range distance sprints second (20-25yds) as your second focus. 6-8 sprints

DO a lot of mobility work before speed work and some before strength training as well. You'll be very glad you did.

DO rest after each sprint. 30-45 seconds after each 10yd sprint and 1- 1 1/2 min after each 20 -25 yd sprint.

Lastly, once you get stronger in the areas I mentioned, your speed and agility will increase.

Coach Ford CSCS

IYCA Speed and Agility Specialist

PS for those Football players out there, check out Coach Carlisle's Total Football Training DVD. A very good DVD.

Check out link below

Total Football Training DVD

Complete Speed Training DVD

North/South Football DVD

Developing Young Athletes

Resisted Sled with Olympic Weights

Resistor Bands

Sports Speed Products