SPEED & STRENGTH TRAINING
Sprinting fast is predicated upon applying force into the ground at the right direction and at the right time. When sprinting an athlete produces horizontal and vertical forces that are always present. Acceleration has a greater horizontal emphasis whereas maximum velocity sprinting has a great vertical emphasis. When it comes to team sport athletes ACCELERATION is one of the number on determinants of performance success.
As an athlete reaches maximum velocity acceleration is no longer occurring. There is a small window of time that top speed can be held before the athlete begins decelerating. Our goal with our speed training is to spread out acceleration as long as possible to reduce the risk of achieving maximum velocity too early and decelerating too fast.
The fastest and most efficient athletes are able to maintain high ratios of force in the horizontal direction and prolong their acceleration. We train our athletes to do this by prescribing individual and optimal resisted sled loads for them to reach their maximum power during their sprints. This individualized approach to sprinting is the only way to get faster. If the load is incorrect the athlete will never train, there maximum power during the sprint.
A quick note on popular approaches to speed training. Cone drills and ladders unfortunately do not mimic the chaotic demands of team sports to have any real translation to actual in game performance, furthermore they do not train the athlete to create force in the proper direction that correlates with speed. The majority of movement with cone and ladder drills is coming from the foot when it needs to come from the hip to develop speed.
At Genesis we create FAST, EXPLOSIVE athletes. First, we test each athlete to determine their Force Velocity Profile. This unique profile determines whether they are FORCE deficient or VELOCITY deficient. All athletes are imbalanced one way or the other. Almost all youth and high school athletes are FORCE deficient, simply because they have not logged enough strength training time.
The best athletes create the most force in the fastest amount of time and display minimal amounts of imbalance between the two. There are many different types of strength and our approach to minimize the above imbalances and maximize force production is to develop these different types of strength in a specific order.
When these different types of strengths are trained out of order, athletes simply won’t maximize their performance potential. Athletes must be able to produce adequate amounts of force at lower speeds before they can maximize force at faster speeds. Therefore, speed and agility training for young athletes without training strength first is not best practice.