In most sports, and especially in football, speed makes a huge difference in setting an athlete apart from the rest. Like the old Nike slogan says, “Speed Kills,” and in football this is certainly true.
As athletes prepare during the offseason, strength and conditioning training is needed to help athletes gain muscle, get stronger and grow. However, incorporating speed and agility drills as a way to increase their speed and acceleration is vital.
At Warren Academy, we offer many sports performance programs designed to help athletes of all and ages compete at their highest level and reach their full potential. From strength training to speed and agility drills, our coaches are dedicated in helping our athletes improve each and every day.
In football, every position is running and moving their feet each play. The average player will run at least 15 to 20 yards on almost every football play. It’s almost inevitable that the quickest and fastest player will be the one to make the big plays throughout the game.
Also, football does not just require players to run straight. In fact, most players require some sort of change of direction and lateral movement. When we discuss speed in football, we are not solely talking about sprints, but rather how quickly players can run and change direction on a dime.
Here are some ways all football players can improve their speed this offseason.
One of the best ways any player can get faster and improve their acceleration is by ultimately becoming stronger. This is a reason why we offer the programs we do here at Warren Academy, to develop overall functional strength in all of our athletes. Becoming stronger results in more power, which in turn helps athletes accelerate quicker and overall become faster.
Improve your speed of contractions
When it comes to running, the human body uses fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscles depending on the intensity of the athlete. In sports like football, fast-twitch muscles are used for explosive movements like sprinting and jumping. Slow-twitch muscles on the other hand are used primarily for long-distance, endurance exercises such as jogging, cycling and swimming. Every football player should be focusing on improving their fast-twitch muscle fibers. Speed and agility drills such as short sprints and some plyometric drills will require athletes to contract their muscles quicker, which ultimately improves their overall speed.
Focus on form
Lastly, it is very difficult to become faster if you are not using correct running techniques. Form is everything when it comes to running; the more efficiently you run, the faster you will be. Here are some tips on how to perfect your sprinting form:
- Drive off the balls of your feet, never the toes or heels.
- The whole body should be leaning forward, not just from the waist.
- Strides are short and powerful, pushing off the ground.
- Pump the arms vigorously throwing the elbow back hard rather than forward
- Keep the head still and square to the shoulders.
After the first 10-15 yards
- Foot strikes should still be from the balls of the feet.
- There is still a slight forward lean from the ground but much less.
- Strides are longer and more relaxed. Don’t try to push away from the ground.
- Arm action is still exaggerated but more relaxed.
- Head remains still.
- In every sport, speed kills. During this offseason, all athletes should be making speed and agility a main focus in their training regimine.
At Warren Academy, we offer a variety of sports performance programs that focus on helping athletes reach their goals. To learn more about our programs or to sign up for a training session, visit our website today!