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Cal South E-News | November 2012 PERFORMANCE TRAINING

November 16, 2012


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CB3 Sports Performance

Training for Athleticism: Focus on Speed, Agility and Quickness

by Jay Mathews | CB3 Sports Performance

In all sports, you need components of athleticism to perform. The degree to which you have this, as well as skill, will ultimately determine what sport you play and how well you can perform. Most athletes, their parents and/or coaches, express a desire to get faster. An understandable goal, but usually there is a misconception as to what this means.

For the most part, when we are talking about getting faster, we are talking about speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ), which are hallmarks of performance training and the building blocks of many programs. What is speed? By definition, speed = distance travelled/time. In simple terms, how fast do you cover the desired distance? But that does not give us the whole picture because there are other components of speed to consider, such as: acceleration, starting speed, top end speed, stopping speed, how long can you maintain that speed, stride rate, stride frequency, ground contact time, and then you have to throw in direction and we get even more confused. Then we have to differentiate between linear speed (straight ahead), lateral speed (sideways) and then there is the range a majority of athletes work in - multidirectional speed.

Speed: The author demonstrating speed technique
training with a resistance band.

Most people think of agility as being nimble or having good footwork. This is true, but agility also comprises a directional component in that some definitions state that agility is the ability to change direction at a given speed without losing your balance - think cheetah. So, we have a speed trait, but this is not the limiting factor, is it balance, surface, cleats?

Agility: The author demonstrating an agility exercise,
focusing on change of direction and technique.

Quickness can be directional, but it can also be stationary to a degree, you can have really quick feet and no movement over distance-think jump rope. Some definitions of quickness comprise a speed component, moving rapidly, and yet some others throw a directional component into the answer, producing force while moving in different planes of motion.

Of all the components, quickness is often the one we "see" when we describe a player, "she has really quick feet." There is no way to quantify this, we just know quick feet when we see them.

If an athlete expresses the desire to get faster, we need to figure out if they need more speed, more agility, more quickness, or all three. These components are usually trained together, as there is a lot of crossover.

There are more factors that affect SAQ that we did not speak about: such as the role of strength, mobility, mechanics, cardiovascular efficiency, surface, opponents, and more. So, we do a disservice to our athletes if we do not design a program that has components of speed, power, agility, reaction, quickness, strength, endurance, mobility, recovery and flexibility in it. It is important to incorporate this training, but we need to understand all the components that will help athletes perform better.

Quickness: The author demonstrating a quick
feet exercise through rings..

About CB3 Sports Performance:

CB3 is a multi-sport training center focusing on sports performance programs for every athlete and soccer skills coaching. Carlos Bocanegra, Captain of the 2010 USA World Cup Team, has brought his passion and love sport back to the I.E. Carlos has brought together a team of top level professional coaches and trainers to help train you to improve your skills and athletic ability. The mission of CB3 Sports Performance and Soccer Academy is to provide an elite level environment through coaching, fitness, and performance to empower the athlete to reach their ultimate potential. The building blocks to success at CB3 are built on the principles of Dedication, Determination, and Discipline. For more information, visit http://cb3sportsperformance.com/.