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Speed Training Drills To Dominate Your Competition

Elvis Elvis

Speed training will make a difference in your sports performance. In EVERY sport, speed changes the dynamic of each individual encounter. It never takes the day off. It never has a slump.

And, you can get faster with proper speed training. It doesn’t take a lot. You’d be surprised that you can improve to a significant degree with a few basic drills.

Don’t believe those people who say you cannot get faster, quicker, or develop more agility. You can. It takes a little sweat equity, but you can do it. And, it’s worth it. Speed training is a good investment of your training time.

And, don’t confuse speed and quickness. They are not necessarily the same, but they compliment each other.

For example, a football lineman may have a slow 40 yard dash time (typically a measure of breakaway speed), but they may have a fast 10 yard dash (typically a measure of quickness off the mark). Both are important to the athlete.

Baseball is a game of 1-3 step quickness. Exploding with the pitch; breaking for the steal of second base; going deep into the hole; the sprint to first base….and also a game of speed…racing from first to third on a base-hit to right field; going deep into the gap to run down a line drive.

Speed, quickness, and agility. As an athlete, you need to work on all three.

Here are some sample speed training drills you can perform to improve your quickness, speed and agility:

Speed Training Drill #1.

Place a marker (you can use anything, but a plastic cone works best), at a start line. Place another cone at the 5-yard line. Then another at the 10 yard line, and then another at the 15 yard line, and finally at the 20 yard line.

Speed Training Drills To Dominate Your Competition

You begin at the start line. Reach down, touch the cone with your fingers, and accelerate out of the gate. Go as fast as you can to the next cone (at the five-yard line). Reach down and touch the cone. Now, turn and sprint back to the start cone. Touch the start cone, and turn and race back to the 10-yard cone. Touch the 10-yard cone and then race back and touch the start cone. Continue in this manner until you finish the course.

Keys to this drill: Sprint to each cone. Go hard. Make quick transitions (back and forth); focus on quickness and acceleration. Keep track of your time. Always try for a faster speed.

Speed Training drill #2:

Find yourself a hill you can run (not too steep, with a safe surface to run on). You’ll need about 60 yards of running room.

Start at the bottom of the hill. You’re going to “bound” your way to the top. Bounds are like skipping, but with a higher front leg drive. You’re going to drive your lead leg forward in an exaggerated motion and “bound” forward with the next leg. Swing your arms forward (just like running) to help drive and propel your body. Again, think about skipping (like kids do). The movements are similar.

Then, after you get to the top….catch your breath for a second…

…Because you’re going to sprint down the hill. Running downhill forces you to run faster (because of the gravity). Be careful. Don’t fall flat on your face. But, try to run with a good stride length. This is a form of “overspeed” training. Make sure you have a place to slow down at the bottom. This drill can improve your stride length and rate – and that will make you a faster runner.

Again, make sure the hill isn’t too steep or you won’t be able to do these drills correctly.

After about 5-10 reps, you’re going to get pretty tired, so watch your form. When it starts to disintegrate, it’s time to stop.

Keys to this drill: When going up hill, drive hard off your back leg and stretch your stride. And, when going down hill, make sure to run hard, but in control. Don’t go so fast that you lose control and fall.

Speed Training Drill #3:

Most one-on-one encounters in sports key off movement. You see a certain action, and you react to the movement. A basketball player reacts to the first step off the dribble. A soccer player watches the opponent break off the ball; a base stealer in baseball reacts off of the pitcher’s move to the plate.

A great speed training drill to develop quick reactions off movement is this simple little exercise…Have a person stand about five yards away with a tennis ball in their hand, held at head height. The person drops the ball to the ground.

Your goal is to react off the movement (seeing the ball fall to the ground), and catch the ball before it bounces a second time off the ground. You may have to adjust the distance depending on the skill of the athlete, and the type of surface you’re bouncing the ball off of.

Keys to this drill: Focus on the ball, and react instantly on movement. This drill teaches you to be quick on movement. Learn to focus and react.