“Speed Kills”. “Speed Is Difference Maker”. “Speed Is The Great Equalizer”.
Coaches, evaluators and scouts use these phrases as it relates to speed and its importance to their teams on field success. The more speed each individual athlete has, the more speed the team has.
We believe that speed can be developed in athletes with consistent, frequent and targeted training programming. The four attributes that we believe contribute to speed development are as follows:
Core Strength & Stability
The core is the area of the body between the armpit and the hips in the anterior(front) of the body and the upper back to the glutes on the posterior(back) of the body. There are a lot of muscles in this region and they all need to be strengthened and stabilized in order to improve speed as the core connects the upper body and the lower body. The performance of the biomechanics of the upper and lower body are enhanced as the core is strengthened and stabilized. Examples of exercises that improve core strength and stability include planks, hanging knee raises, glute bridges, leg lowerings, windshield wipers and a host of others. Core exercises should be completed every day in order to improve speed.
Most field and court sport athletes start facing forward in a two(2) point or a three(3) point stance. Regardless of which stance you use, it is most important to ensure that our feet are in the correct position to leverage the strength and power of both legs. Often, athletes will have their feet outside of their power circle which places the responsibility of the explosive start movement on one leg and not both legs. Athletes must have their feet in the proper relationship to explode forward using the ground as their platform.
Biomechanics Of Linear Movement
The synchronous movement of the arms and legs together in running in a straight line is defined as the biomechanics of linear movement. Often athletes don’t know how to or are physically unable to maximize biomechanics. We spend a lot of time on communicating and executing proper arm drive and leg drive drills as these drills reprogram the body's Central Nervous System. As the arms and legs move in tandem with more power and efficiency, the athlete will see an increase in linear speed.
Force Application To The Ground
The last and most important piece of the puzzle is force application to the ground. Force, or power, application to the ground is defined as how an athlete’s body strikes the ground with the foot and how the strike moves the body forward. This factor is directly in line with Newton’s second and third laws of motion. In summary, the stronger an athlete is, combined with how fast the athlete can move their arms and their legs, combined with where exactly the force is applied to the ground by the legs leads to how fast an athlete can run in a straight line.
Please feel free to contact us at 313-509-8560 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or how we can help your athlete run faster.
Prepare To Perform,
Leonard C Stephens, Jr
Interim Director of Sports Performance