The need for speed, when talking about speed the name Usain Bolt is going to crop up, being the fastest man in the world at present. But there is another type of speed that needs to be developed for sport that is often neglected and that is reaction speed.
Being the fastest on your team in sprinting may not help you if you don’t react fast enough to the play going on. If you don’t see the ball being passed towards you, your movement speed will not help you. In team sports you need to be able to react to the game of play.
Breaking speed down into different aspects can help understand which aspects may need developing.
Physical Speed dependant on event may include:
Starting speed – Acceleration – Deceleration – Speed endurance – Change of direction speed
Repeatability of speed – Speed efficiency – Sprint with ball
Anticipation – Recognition – Reaction – Situational – martial arts, boxing, squash, reacting to players or ball movement
Developing speed therefore has many aspects. Over the years we have seen many different methods used in speed training including weighted sleds, band sprints and speed chutes and lately some reaction type drills. It certainly looks cool to use equipment and can certainly help with performance but needs to be used at the right time. If your technical movement is not very good then using equipment may only cause more problems rather than speed you up.
Our method of improving speed is getting the mechanics of movement correct first using our dynamic movement skills system TM we can improve the athletes neuromuscular system, dynamic balance, stability, coordination, quickness, posture, and correct faulty movement patterns to give you a good foundation from which strength and power can be added and reaction skill training.
Just completing many drills may not actually help you improve your running, form drills are used extensively for sprinters mostly these work the anterior chain muscles and not the posterior chain muscles, both need to be worked for the sprinter to improve performance.
Assessing the Athlete
Assessing your movement will help show up any areas of weakness that need to be addressed in your training, the earlier in life we can do this the easier it is to correct bad habits.
Are you training what you need to be faster?
Do you want to be fast round a track or fast in a game?
Are you working on your physical speed when you should be working on your reactive speed?
Are you trying to train out your weakness with more drills, when you should be working on your weakness with specific exercises?