If the question is; “Coach, what do you do for speed?” The honest answer is, almost everything we do affects our athlete’s speed.
I recently heard a Head Div. 1 Head Football Coach that I respect say you guys can get them bigger and stronger but I’ve got to recruit speed. I considered it a half-truth and didn’t challenge someone that I so respected as a man and as a coach. While the importance of superior genetics can’t be denied; neither can the improvement in everyone’s speed through a well-planned, comprehensive training approach.
Here are the areas of strength and conditioning that I believe will help your athletes best realize their speed potential. This week let’s focus on the Dynamic Warm Up
1. Mobility and flexibility – Dynamic Warm-up
2. Foot speed and coordination drills
3. Strength – The ability to put force into the ground
4. Power – The ability to put force into the ground quickly
5. Acceleration training – Resisted running
6. Proper start and sprint mechanics
7. Sprint conditioning
Mobility and Flexibility – Dynamic Warm-Up
I believe that the use of dynamic warmups that incorporate active movement with flexibility exercises give us our best opportunity to increase functional flexibility. Appropriate execution of a planned sequence of exercises under the umbrella of dynamic warm-up accomplishes several goals.
1. Performing the exercises, raises the athlete’s body temperature, increasing muscle elasticity preparing them for more aggressive exercise.
2. Your selection of exercises will allow you to increase the range of motion of muscles that are dominant in the athlete’s movement
3. The athlete is much more likely to give consistent effort performing a dynamic warm-up routine that is supervised and includes a variety of exercises than other methods that don’t include movement or variety of movement such as the static stretches, partner-assisted stretches, and calisthenics often used in the past.
We used Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises before virtually every athletic physical activity that our athletes engaged in at Virginia Tech. These activities include strength and conditioning sessions, practices and games. The typical time for most sports is five to ten minutes.
The typical space needed for a team to perform a dynamic warm-up is approximately twenty yards of room to move forward and backward. Most exercises are done for ten to twenty yards.
The dynamic warm-up routines are performed so frequently with athletes that there is a great opportunity for real improvement. Build your routine from slower, less ballistic exercises at the beginning of the individual routine and gradually progress to exercises that are more rapid.
Your number of exercises can be altered to fit your needs. Typically, I would choose five to eight exercises per session.
Here are two examples of routines that I used before strength and conditioning sessions.
1. Inchworm – 10 yards, 10 – yard jog – ( 2 sets)
2. Spiderman lunges – 10 yards, 10-yard jog – ( 2sets)
3. Low Slow Shuffle – 10 yards athletes facing their right, 10 yards athletes facing their left. (one set each)
4. High Knee Crossovers – 20 yards (one set)
5. Backward Skips – 20 yards (one set)
1. Slow Bear Crawl – 10 yards, 10-yard jog – ( 2 sets)
2. Lunge – Elbow to Ankle – 10 yards, 10 –yard jog ( 2 sets)
3. Walking Toe Touch – 10 yards, 10-yard jog ( one set)
4. Skipping Toe Touch – 10 yards, 10 – yard jog (one set)
5. High Knee Carioca – 20 yards athletes facing their right, 20 yards athletes facing their left (one set each)
Please check out the video of each of these exercises posted on our website.
Coach, if you are busy considering and developing your “Summer Strength Conditioning Attack Plan,” I hope you’ll consider purchasing the highschoolstrength.com summer program. It’s comprehensive, proven and affordable.