Football Speed Training - drills for speed training

On this page I will give an overview of what drills for speed training should be performed. By using the right speed (training exercises, the football athlete or coach will produce a faster and better conditioned individual or team.

Football, in itself, is a game where most of the action takes place in a 10yd. box. Whether it’s 10yds. forward, 10yds right, 10yds left or even backpedaling 10yds. Again that is where most of the sprinting (linear and multi-directional) takes place.

Of course, there are instances where sprinting longer distances takes place (again linear and multi-directional) on both sides of the ball. This is generally over 40yds.

However, it is not as frequent as the former. So, to take advantage of this information, the logical thing to do to increase your speed in this 10yd area.

As I had mentioned before on another page, acceleration drills should be your focus to increase your speed. These drills for speed training should be performed from 5-40yds.

However, most of your emphasis should be on sprinting for 10yds. Of course, before doing any drills for speed training, speed warm-ups and mechanic drills should be performed for at least a minimum of 10-15 minutes. This will prepare your body for sprint work.

After your preparation, I have found that by using resistance around the hips (like a weighted sled or resistance band or cord) to perform your 10yd sprints first and then perform 10yd. unresisted sprints afterward will enhance your acceleration.

This has fact has been backed up by research. (www.nsca-lift.org/perform Vol. 5 No.20)

So, an example for an acceleration drill based upon a weighted sled sprints followed by an unresisted sprints both based on 10yds. would be: ( wt. on sled should be approximately 15% of body wt.) 6-10 resisted sprints for 10yds. with good form and approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute rest in between reps.

I usually do 1 - 2 sets. This is based upon how much work the athlete needs( strength of hip flexors, strength of trunk ,proper sprint mechanics and also conditioning are all factors).

Perform sprints without resistance after sled work also for 10 yds. I find that beginners need to start from a high or low pushup position to improve their first step quickness and then sprint.

I usually have the player perform 5-10 sprints x 1-2 sets. Rest 3 min. in between sets depending on distance. These drills I usually incorporate at least twice a week with 36 hours rest in between.

As for other drills for speed training beyond 10yds., the use of a resisted sled will not enhance your speed (again based upon research). Sprints 20-40yds. from different starting positions(high pushup, low pushup, staggered leg etc) will help with quickness.

The number of sets will vary from 1-2 based upon time and level of experience of player(s). Reps usually fall in the 4-6 range. Remember to rest in between reps to assure optimum speed for next sprint. (usually 2-4min.)

Yes, there are other speed training exercises such as : speed endurance drills, (does not increase speed) conditioning runs for endurance, (not long distance running) various strength training exercises and plyometrics all will help increase speed and acceleration.

If you are a football player and need some assistance with increasing your speed please contact me.

Coaches, please inquire about the appropriate drills for your team as I am also available for consulting.

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