Summer for the serious football athlete is an opportunity to get ready for the approaching season. Speed training is possibly the trickiest area to work on, not because it’s hard to comprehend, but rather the difficulty lies in finding a knowledgeable trainer who can help you advance your speed skill. A lot of athletes and trainers think they are working on speed when in reality they are only dealing with fitness.
Speed and strength training will develop your body to be the very definition of a relentless athlete. This type of training will give you:
- Greater speed – better foot quickness and first step burst.
- Enhanced agility through better change of direction skills and acceleration burst.
- Better running and sprinting mechanics through emphasis and training from sprint and form drills.
Athletes nowadays are considered by height, weight, strength and speed. Speed plays a significant part in sports, as fairly often the fastest athlete is the one that comes out ahead. In football, every trainer or scout judges ability based on the prospect’s 40-yard time.
An efficient start lets you accelerate out of your position and arrive at top end speed as soon as possible. If you can decrease the time it takes to make one step by as little as one-hundredth of a second, it will lessen times in the following: 40-yard dash (approximately 20 steps) – by two-tenths of a second; 100 meters (approximately 50 steps) – by five-tenths of a second; one mile – by ten seconds; a marathon – by three to five minutes. Speed work is not just about running faster, however.
To be able to perform you’ll need to have an optimum range of motion, which is determined in large part by your flexibility. Dynamic flexibility is the capacity to move a joint through a full range of motion using muscular assistance or with movement. The following dynamic flexibility exercises will help you attain and increase the range of motion needed to have breathtaking football speed.
- Overspeed quick toe touches – 20 reps
- Dynamic bodyweight lunges forward – 10 reps per leg
- Dynamic bodyweight lunges side to side – 10 reps per leg
- Wide stance bodyweight speed squat – 20 reps
- Walking forward heel to toe bend over and touch the ground with each step – 20 reps
- Crescent kicks outside to inside – 10 reps per leg
- Crescent kicks inside to outside – 10 reps per leg
- Back leg roundhouse kicks – 10 per leg
- Duck under hurdles – imagine a row of 10 hurdles. Moving horizontally duck low under each hurdle and rise up between them.
- Duck under hurdles with twist – same as above but twist 180 degrees in between each hurdle.
- Run forward 5 yards/backward 5 yards/forward 10 yards/backward 10 yards/forward 5 yards/backward 5 yards
- Stand in the middle of two cones or marks set 10 yards apart. Run in one direction 5 yards to one cone and then reverse direction and run 10 yards to the opposite cone. Reverse direction again and run back to the middle, where you started.
There are a few key ingredients that will help you run faster. Developing leg strength and power is by far the most important ingredient in developing speed. Enhanced conditioning using aerobic training, such as distance running, has little consequence on 40-yard dash times. Plyometrics, on the other hand, will improve your explosive strength and power.
Speed training can be broken up into different components. Resisted speed training can include the use of a speed-training device such as a parachute, super sprint cords, or speed trainers to overload your running stride. Different aspects of speed development can be targeted, depending on the device selected. Overspeed training includes any type of exercise that forces the body to move itself faster than normal. Form running includes basic movements that imitate the running stride.
Complex Training For Greater Performance
Complex – consisting of interrelated or interwoven parts. We all know that there are a lot of areas that require training in order for a football player to be a sensation, such as strength, plyometrics, conditioning, sport or position skills, mental capacity, nutrition, etc. How can we combine these components so that the muscle response and motor skills are integrated for better understanding?
To build your speed, your conditioning program must be developed based on how you compete. Exercise techniques:
- Lunges – these are superb for stride lengthening and growth of the muscles used for running.
- Sprinter step-ups – apart from the fact that you use a box or bench about 12 to 16 inches high, this movement is comparable to a press and a lunge.
- Squats – this is an excellent strengthening workout for the lower body, but it is regularly performed using incorrect technique.
- Leg presses – this is an acceptable replacement for the squat, depending on the machine you use.
- Dumbbell push press – this is a shoulder press with a jump.
- Stiff leg deadlifts – this is an easy movement that strengthens the hamstrings and lower back while stretching them at the same time.
- Calf raises – this movement can be done with a leg press machine or as a standing calf raise.
Weight training is no longer an extra that coaches can live without. While the majority of coaches concur that speed is the most important element for a successful athlete, they are quick to add that strength can often make the difference between good and great. Weight training is just as beneficial for the psyche, outside of physical development. While summer is possibly the most concentrated time, weight training has become a year-round venture.