3 Drills to Instantly Improve Athletic Speed
There is one skill, regardless of sport, that sets certain athletes above the rest.
That skill is SPEED!
Think of speed simply as how fast an athlete can get from point A to point B.
It determines how quickly a soccer or basketball player can get to the ball.
It determines whether or not a lacrosse or football player can accelerate by past a defender.
It separates which hockey player will get to the puck first or if the baseball player will be safe at first on a close play.
Possessing great speed gives an athlete such an advantage on the field, court, or ice and coaches of all levels are in search of it.
Some athletes are naturally gifted in this area, where some need more work at it.The good news is, speed can be DRASTICALLY improved with the right training.
You see, speed really comes down to a couple key components that we focus on at DSC.
Applying that strength and explosiveness in the right direction (proper running mechanics)
Simply put: to be fast you need to be both strong and explosive and with the right mechanics so you are efficient with your movement. Speed is ultimately about how much force you can produce into the ground, in the shortest amount of time possible, in the correct direction.
If you aren't strong, you aren't going to be able to push hard enough in the ground to get moving. If you aren't explosive, you're going to take too long to get going. If you have the wrong mechanics, you're going to slow yourself down.
This is why our Youth Performance Camps focus on getting our athletes strong (strength exercises), explosive (jumping and sprinting exercises), and armed with the best possible sprinting mechanics to maximize their athletic abilities.
It is NOT just about moving your feet quickly, you need to be STRONG to push into the ground, overcome inertia, and get yourself moving in the right direction.
And the research agrees.
The Journal of Applied Physiology found that “faster top running speeds are achieved with greater ground forces, not more rapid leg movements.”
When it comes to sprinting, think Sir Isaac Newton and his Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
It is our push into the ground with our feet that determines how fast we are going to move. The stronger we are, the harder we can push. The harder we push, the faster we go!
World class sprinters and some of the fastest athletes in the world have incredibly strong lower-bodies. This strength allows them to drive into the ground with extreme amounts of force to drive themselves forward when they sprint. This is why most young athletes do not possess high-levels of speed. They just aren't quite mature or strong enough yet.
They also struggle to understand the concept of staying low and pushing themselves to where the want to go, not just standing up and moving fast. This is why getting stronger and working hard on your sprinting mechanics pays huge dividends in improving your speed.
To improve your speed you need to:
1) Improve your sprinting mechanics
2) Get stronger
3) Get more explosive
Let's get into our 3 drills to instantly improve your SPEED!