Speed, Quickness & Agility Training

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Sample Training Template

 

Monday Wednesday Friday

Work

Agility and Acceleration Drills Speed Agility & Speed Endurance

Distance

8-60 sec drills | 10-20 m sprints 30-100 m sprints 20-50 m sprints and agility drills

Recovery

1 - 4 minutes 4 - 7 minute between sprints 1:1 - 1:3 work/rest ratio

Bouts

8 - 15 repetitions 4 - 10 sprints 10 - 20 sprints

  • First 3 training sessions perform two short sprints followed by two longer sprints.
    • Add one short sprint and one long sprint every 2 training sessions.
  • Speed, quickness, and agility program should be based upon several factors:
    • Specific sport requirements
      • Distances (eg: 5-15 m)
      • Work : rest ratios (eg: 1:2 to 1:4)
      • Event duration (eg: 10 to 45 minutes)
      • Intensities (sprint to jog)
      • Agility factors (eg: specific direction changes, body positioning, surfaces),
      • Cues (eg, visual, auditory, kinesthetic)
    • Athletes strengths and weaknesses
      • Test periodically for agility, acceleration, flying speed, and speed endurance
    • Scheduling and recovery restraints
    • Training goals within the time season
  • If sport requires greater aerobic conditioning, speed and agility work can be reduced to twice per week


Speed Training

Athletic speed can be improve by the following ways:Speed Training and Recovery

  • Starting ability (acceleration)
  • Stride length (increase after initial acceleration)
  • Stride rate (number of steps per time)
  • Speed endurance
  • Sprint form and technique


Recovery Periods

Short recovery period between sprint intervals for the purpose of phosphogen energy system adaptation do not appear to be effective and enhancing motor skill development. Rest period lasting in excess of 6 minutes may improve speed more effectively (Merlau 2005). Also see Short Sprint Interval Training.

Merlau S (2005). Recovery time optimization to facilitate motor learning during sprint intervals. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 27(2), 68-74.


Speed Exercise

Weighted PullExercises to improve stride length and frequency include:

  • high knee kicks
  • glute kickers
  • resisted running
  • high speed sprints

Craig BW (2004) What is the scientific basis of speed and agility. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 26(3), 13-14.


Average Sprint Distances and Rest Intervals

Sport Sprint distance [yards (meters)] Intervals between sprints [seconds]
Baseball, softball 30 (27) 30 - 60
Basketball 20 (18) 10 - 15
Football 10 - 40 (9 - 37) 25 - 30
Soccer, lacrosse, rugby, field hockey 10 - 40 (9 - 37) 5 - 15
Tennis 5 - 10 (5 - 9) 3 - 5 (same point)
20 - 30 (between points)
60 (between games)

Dintiman G, Ward B (2003), Sports Speed, (3), pg 14, 152.


Speed Analysis

Percent of maximum speed
Meters 10 20 30 40 50-60
% 45 84 93 97 100

Speed TrainingSubjects: 22 male 100 m sprint finalists and semifinalists at the 1988 Olympic Games. (mean = 11.49 m/s)

Bruggemann, G.F., Glad, B.: Time analysis of the sprint events. Scientific research project at the games of the XXXIV Olympiad-Seoul 1988-final report. New Studies in Athletics, suppl., 1990.

100 meter men's world record: 9.72 seconds (2008).


Sandblasting

Sandblasting, or running in the sand was advocated by following athletes:

  • Walter Payton, considered by many to be the best blocking backs in NFL history;
  • Ben Tabacknik, Ph.D. head coach of the 1988 U.S.S.R. Olympic Sprinting team;
  • and the late Steve Prefontaine, one of the greatest runners of all time including records in the mile, two mile, three mile, and the 5000 meter race.

Benefits include:

  • Improved hamstring conditioning
  • Exaggerated stride length, height, and rate
  • Improved adaption for ankle stability

Sandblasting. National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal, Vol. 13, Num. 4, 1991


Agility Training

Agility is the ability to rapidly change directions without the loss of speed, balance, or body control. As with other fitness components, agility is specific to a particular movement pattern. One problem with agility training is that an athlete can learn to anticipate the next movement. Therefore, the athlete should be required to respond to a directional order.

Craig BW (2004) What is the scientific basis of speed and agility. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 26(3), 13-14.


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