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Cal South E-News | June 2010 PERFORMANCE TRAINING

June 18, 2010


Performance Training and Injury Prevention content provided exclusively by Velocity Sports Performance

Are You Really Training for Speed?

by Adam Johnson
Sports Performance Director/General Manager
Velocity Sports Performance - Santa Clarita

Are you really training for speed? Unfortunately, there are a lot of coaches, parents, and athletes that are missing the mark, even if they have the best intentions of training for speed. What follows below are a couple of key points to let you know if you are really training for speed or just running to run:

Technique Work
This is a topic that will probably be debated until the end of time. Is running technique important for athletes other than track and field athletes? You are not going to have perfect arm action while pushing the defender off you as you try to score, so why bother, right?

An understanding of what good technique is will allow an individual to understand how they are supposed to move in the most efficient manner. This will help to maximize performance while preventing wasted movements and energy expenditure. It is possible for athletes to become so focused on how they are running that they actually forget to just run. We work on technique, but I am only going to fix one thing at a time, and not fix something if I think it is working for that athlete.

Resisted Sprints
Depending on your strength and skill level, at some point in time you should be adding in some resisted sprints. This can be done with harnesses, sleds, hills, etc. The amount of resistance needed will vary on experience and what you are trying to accomplish. Some coaches feel that more than 10% body weight on a sled is too much, while others have been known to go upwards of 50% body weight.

Other guidelines have stated that the resistance should not drop sprint performance by more than 10% or that hills should not go above a 3-5% grade. It can be very easy to get caught up in percents and grades and not get the work done that is needed. The easiest guideline to follow would be this: if you have decent technique without resistance, and when you add the resistance you look like you never ran before then, it is probably too heavy and you should take some resistance away.

These are two simple things to help you determine if you are actually training for speed, and not just conditioning every time you run.

Adam Johnson is the Sports Performance Director/General Manager of Velocity Sports Performance in Santa Clarita. He has worked with thousands of athletes, including players from the US National Soccer Team, Olympic medalists, USL W-League, NFL, CFL, MLB, UFC, and college and youth athletes.

About Velocity Sports Performance:
Velocity Sports Performance is a national network of training centers where athletes of all sports, ages and skill levels go to improve their core athletic skills - speed, power and agility. Athletes train in small groups with degreed and certified performance coaches. Velocity Sports Performance is the Official Performance Training Partner of Cal South Soccer. Players who train with Velocity Sports Performance can expect to get to the ball quicker, cover more of the field faster, increase their shot power and reduce their chances of injury. Velocity Sports Performance has training centers throughout Southern California including Irvine, Redondo Beach, Anaheim, Carlsbad, San Diego, West LA and Santa Clarita.