Thursday, February 18, 2016

Your Speed and Agility Needs Some TLC

Hello Everyone!

Here's how you can set up your speed and agility training to maximize results and actually see your training efforts improve your game!

Give your speed and agility training some TLC!


I've spoken often about how speed and agility are skills and therefore can be improved. Yet, most athletes and coaches don't know how to design an effective speed and agility training session.

Like any skill, to improve your mastery you must first TEACH the skill. If our speed skill is acceleration (your initial sprinting mechanics) you need to teach yourself the proper form to accelerate for maximum impact. One part of this proper form is high knees. Achieving full range of high knees stretches the glutes and hamstrings ensuring full power output of each strike into the ground. To teach yourself high knees, practice standing with one knee all the way up so the thigh is parallel with the ground.

Now that you've taught yourself what a high knee looks and feels like, you have to LEARN how to apply this form. A way to learn high knees is to practice high knee speed skips focusing on consistently reaching full range on each skip. After skip work it's best to LEARN how high knees feel when sprinting. From a controlled start, when ready, sprint 10 yards as fast as possible while focusing on high knees.

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Once you've learned how to sprint with high knees, it's time to COMPETE. Most team sports have athletes competing not only against themselves, but against opponents and uncontrolled stimuli (like a bouncing loose ball). So for your speed and agility training to actually impact your game performance, you have to practice competing with your skill. In this example, a simple, yet powerful way to compete would be to race another athlete for 10 yards. But don't limit your races to static, controlled "ready, set, go" kind of races, make them more game like.
   Here's a couple of ways:
   1) Toss a ball in front of you. Wait until it bounces twice before sprinting after it.
   2) Have a partner hold two balls, one in each hand, about 5 yards away from you, as soon as he/she drops the one ball, sprint as fast as you can towards it, trying to catch it before it bounces a second time.
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Whatever speed and agility skill you are trying to improve, remember to approach it with some TLC!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart

Interested in getting some TCL with me? Visit my CONTACT INFO page!

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