Strength and Speed
When people think of speed and speed training they think that either you have speed or not. Yes, some people are naturally faster at a younger age than others but that doesn’t mean that they will always be fast. Usually the younger athletes who are quicker are the ones who are smaller in size and are able to move their bodies quickly and more efficiently. What most people don’t realize is that you can train an athlete in the weight room to help get them stronger which in return will help make them get faster.
Strength and speed go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the other. Strength is the foundation of all movement so, the more strength you have, the more force you can apply in the ground, the faster you can become. When an athlete first comes in and says I want to get faster the first thing we do is put them through a foundation of strength lifting phase. They have to have that foundation of strength first in order to become a faster athlete. Strength will help them be able to get into positions of acceleration, deceleration, and change of direction quickly and efficiently and able to maintain these positions for a period of time.
Once the athlete has a foundation of strength they will continue to progress in the lifting phases as well as begin to understand the mechanics of speed training. Acceleration, top end speed and declaration all have different mechanics and they need to know how each is different from the other. We will get into the different mechanics of each in a later post. Once the athlete builds their strength they are now able to learn how to apply this in speed training. The force application is just as important as the basis of strength to begin with. If you are not able to apply the force in the correct direction then you won’t be going in the right direction, literally.
After learning the correct mechanics of speed will now help allow the athlete to apply the force in the correct direction to maximize the speed potential. Not having enough relative strength, strength in relation to the athletes weight, will decrease acceleration by not able to maintain the correct acceleration position of the body and will therefore decrease the athletes speed. So before you get into the specifics of speed training it is important for the athlete to build that foundation of strength first then teach them how to apply the strength they gained to help improve their speed.