Question: My boys play high school sports. One plays football and the other lacrosse. Both need to get faster and we’ve trained with a trainer recommended by the football coach but with no real difference in a couple of months. Can you explain what we need to do or can you recommend a course of action?
Answer: Some would like to rationalize that there is a difference between football speed, track speed or lacrosse speed. Obviously, with football you’re wearing protective pads which add weight. Likewise, lacrosse adds bulkiness and weight. Track is pure speed and some say that running track isn’t the same as playing a sport like football. Football, lacrosse, basketball, soccer all require bursts of speed and directional changes while track is a straight line. However, the basis for speed is the same. Strength or explosiveness, flexibility or stride and turnover or neuromuscular responsiveness compose the essentials for speed. Training improves each of these. Flexibility is simply stretching when the muscles and connective tissues are warm, filled with blood and pliable. Pushing the limits of flexibility after running or weight training is the best time to do this and increase your range of motion and stride. It doesn’t have to be a long period but it needs to happen every couple of days. Strength training will make your movement more explosive and generate power with each stride. Core strength and hamstring power is essential.
Training is specific and needs to be done three days each week. Again, you will reach a point of limited return with strength training. That’s where neuromuscular training comes in. The best in the business for this is Kenta Bell, Olympian in 2004 and 2008 and speed researcher and Randy Hadley, Olympic trainer for David Oliver, 2013 110m Hurdles World Champion. They have developed a system and will be here in Burlington January 5, 2014 for a special seminar. They can explain how to train and improve neuromuscular firing far better. For more information on this call 336-538-0012. Their process is speed off the track and strength on the field. It’s a must for taking the next step in performance excellence.
God bless and keep training,