Athletes and speed training what works?

There is rising popularity in speed camps and facilities that claim speed training with the use of agility drills for young athletes. Does this work? Not really, it may give the young athlete some sense of accomplishment after all it will make you breath hard and sweat and of course give you “quick feet”. Does this increase your speed…no. Young athletes typically need to increase their strength to increase speed. If there is lack of base strength/power then they lack the ability to produce force. Sprinting and changes of direction require the absorption and production of force. The lack of strength limits your ability to produce force especially quickly which is required for an increase in speed.¬† There are three components to increasing¬† speed 1) stride length, 2) stride frequency, 3) power transferred to the ground. The first component can be worked on with stretching, mobility and drills, however most young athletes run in a manner that is most efficient for their current structure. The drills would need to be very repetitive also depending on the sport may not be as effective due to the nature of the sporting event itself. The 3rd and simplest way to increase speed is to improve relative strength. Increasing strength and power is a relatively quick way to increase stride frequency and power transfer to the ground as well as absorbing the forces that are needed to maintain proper joint angles throughout the body when running. Most young athletes need to think about getting stronger to improve their speed.

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