Speed Training Exercises -
Develop Multidirectional Speed

Multidirectional speed is all important in tennis and other power sports

In our review of speed training exercises, let’s explain and discuss multidirectional speed.

When we watch any power sport - either team-related or individual like tennis - we notice that the athletes do not just sprint straight ahead. They make angled sprints left or right. We also see them sprint forward and then sprint backwards. During that backward sprint, they may rotate their hips, turn, and either sprint forward, sprint left or sprint right.

Other smaller movements, like 2-3 quick sidesteps or crossover steps may lead to an angled or linear sprint.

These movements and the aforementioned movements occur all the time in a game or practice. They must be trained just like you would for straight speed. Proper speed training exercises will help to develop this multidirectional speed.

I have noticed that athletes that haven’t been taught these drills have a weakness in this part of their game.

There may be a couple of athletes that are naturally strong at multidirectional speed. However, your athletic training program should include these drills, especially in the off-season will enhance their performance.

As with linear speed training, exercises for this speed rely on: cuing the athlete to drive the foot hard into the ground, push off their toes, minimize their steps but don’t overstride and relax their movements are constant.

You may need other cues to maximize effectiveness, depending on the individual.

Read here about speed training exercises for linear speed.