Is It Truly Speed Work Or You Just Conditioning The Athlete

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Is It Truly Speed Work Or You Just Conditioning The Athlete

Every summer we get a bump in attendance as kids want to take advantage of no school, extra free time, and get better.  We also lose a handful of kids because the summer training with their school is ramping up.

The summer training is supposed to handle all the needs of the athlete – speed, strength, agility, and conditioning.

It very well could and don’t think that I’m bitter because I’m losing business to the school coach, but the speed angle might not be as developed as you think.  It could really just be a tag along for the conditioning component.

What do I mean by that?

It is as simple as this.  Some coaches actually do take the time to research speed development.  They want to make sure their kids are doing something positive this summer.  In fact, you go to  your team’s workout and when the speed portion starts, you might be doing some similar drills that you would do with your speed coach.

The problem is you might not be doing those speed drills correctly.  Meaning, technique might not be emphasized thus you are just reinforcing bad habits.  You also might not be getting the proper rest inbetween reps, thus you have turned these speed drills into conditioning exercises.

Let’s explore these two components that could determine whether you have a conditioning drill or a speed drill.

Technique – I could give you the best speed drills in the world.  If you aren’t maintaining proper mechanics, all you are doing is possibly getting a little faster with the same faulty mechanics you have had.  But, think how much faster you could get if you had the right running mechanics and applied them to those drills?  I’ll give you the answer, MUCH FASTER than if you have bad mechanics.  If you don’t have proper mechanics then you are really wasting your time doing a speed drill.

Rest – If you are going to develop speed properly, then you need to have adequate rest inbetween sets.  If you do a 10 yard acceleration and immediately do a second one 15 seconds later.  That is a conditioning drill.  If you allow a 2 minute rest for example, then your body should be properly rested to fire out 10 yards at optimum potential.  Everybody wants to improve their speed, but doing full out sprints each time with little rest is conditioning.  Yes, I know you are trying your hardest each time, but your energy and nervous system aren’t at 100% potential if you limit the rest.  Thus, you’re only going as fast as you can in that moment, not as fast as you can overall.

I understand why you feel you have to go to your summer conditioning.  You have to be part of the team.  But, be wary when they say the drills that they will cover will get you just as fast as the speed doctor you might be going to.

It won’t.  I can guarantee that.

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