Speed is one of the most sought after attributes in sport today. Not only does it hugely benefit your own performance, it’s often associated with the moments in a game that define the overall outcome.
I’m sure you’ve experienced a moment where just a little extra speed would have made all the difference and want to know how to get faster. The good news is you can.
Just like any other aspect of your development, it takes understanding, persistence and hard work.
Here are 8 tips to help you get faster:
1. Master the foundation movements
There are 7 foundation movements at the core of athleticism.
Your speed performance is dependent on the competency of these movement skills.
Start by getting them right.
2. Get stronger legs
Forget all the fancy cone drills and ladder work. If you’re not strength training then you’re missing out on making big gains in your speed.
Why? Because strong legs allow you to produce the muscle-force essential to get off the mark quickly.
3. Get flexible
Tight leg muscles, especially the hamstrings and hip flexors, restricts your ability to run fast by limiting your range of motion.
What’s more, poor flexibility significantly increases your chances of injury .
4. Improve your balance
One of the key requirements of running fast is balance, particularly on one leg.
Try this: at your next training ask your teammate to video yourself sprinting then watch it back in slow-motion.
Look for the moments when each foot touches the ground and focus on what happens to your ankle, knee and hip joints – you’ll soon see why balance is so important.
5. Develop a strong core
‘The core is for the athlete what the chassis is for the Ferrari’
A Ferrari’s engine would be useless without a strong chassis to handle all that power. The same goes for you. It’s impossible to go fast when your core can’t provide a strong ‘platform’ for the legs and arms to work from.
6. Train less
One thing youth athletes almost always get wrong is rest and recovery. They don’t get enough.
When it comes to speed development, it’s essential to rest.
Not only do you need adequate time after a speed workout for you muscles to adapt, but you also need to be 100% fresh going into it.
Even feeling a little tired or fatigued at the start of a session will affect your results.
7. Sleep more
Outside of training, sleep is the single biggest contributor to your physical development.
That’s why you must prioritize it.
So, plan sleep into your schedule and think ahead to make sure you’re getting at least 8 ½ hours every night.
To get the most benefit out of your sleep, make sure you complement those hours with a consistent schedule.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
8. Refine your Technique
When it comes to running fast, technique is critical. Your ability to transfer strength and power gained in training into sport-specific speed, without getting injured, all comes down to your technique.
Speed wins. So go ahead, get out there and spend time getting faster.
Do you have any other speed training tips to share? Or perhaps some of your favorite speed training exercises? We want to hear them! Share your thoughts in the comments below.