Best drills for speed in team sports

If you had limited time, what speed drills would you be sure you implemented for sports like football. I am particularly interested in change of direction drills / cues. I think most people on this forum would agree accelerations from various starting positions, hills, and maybe some bounding or simple plyos are good. What else? What are some good deceleration drills besides the W, pro agility, and L drills? I really like playing the game or things close to it like simple games tag. Also, I know Parisi has a deceleration DVD, but I was a little disappointed in my warmup DVD. What are some particular things that they believe in to teach deceleration? Is it worth the money?

Sprinting is definitely required, may be a few hills, med ball throws - that’s all you need.

Agree, with some plyos to handle improvements in deceleration capacity. General improvements in elasticity will improve direction change capacity as well.

Thanks for the replies. I am trying to pick a set of simple plyos to reach the masses of high school kids I will see - athletic and non-athletic. I like line hops for sure. Are rapid fire plyos (consecutive reps trying to get off the ground as fast as possible and as high / far as possible) or are “one at a time with a full gather” type of plyos (sets of 3 standing long jump for instance) better in terms of effectiveness and injury prevention. I am guessing the latter is best for deceleration since you are teaching to absorb the impact of the landing.

The plyos must remain within the capacity of the group so don’t get carried away. Remember the straw that broke the Camel’s back.

The only points I’d make with regards to coming up with a plyo menu of sorts, is to make sure that your landing surface is appropriate to the type of jumps you are doing. I’ve actually seen coaches, thinking they are doing their kids a favor, doing high intensity jumps onto either a concrete surface or a hard tile floor.

The other point is to keep your contacts on the conservative side as their is no need to do an extreme high volume of jumps that is recommended in some books, imho.

I agree. And no drop jumps!!

I’ve used a standard exercise with progressions. This makes group training easy.

i.e. Hurdle jumps
Level 1: squat jump and land, hold for 2 sec, repeat (non-continuous)
level 2: hurdle jump and land
Level 3: hurdle jump and small hop
Level 4: hurdle jump continuous

i.e. Long jumps
Level 1: sub max effort single jumps focusing on landing technique
level 2: 100% singles with 3-5 second rest between to re-set
level 3: 2 jumps and reset
level 4: 3 jumps and reset

With all of the “low intensity, moderate blah blah” it would be very hard to have 10 kids doing low intensity ankle bounce with another group doing lunge jumps. Ths keeps the movement the same but changes the emphasis as they get better. The landings also help with absorption.

For me, this works well. I do other types of jumps in the same manner.

Isn’t jump and land a drop jump? Just lower the hurdle and go over and hop out of the landing.

Thats level 4 for me. With the kids I work with, very few can land in good position.

I agree completely. Aside from using excessively intense exercises (e.g., depth jumps for beginners), I think the biggest mistake people make when doing plyos is they keep going until they feel tired. Too many people judge the effectiveness of their workouts according to how tired they get.

An effective plyo workout will feel like nothing when you’re actually doing it. It will be hours before the fatigue hits you. If you feel tired during the workout itself, you’re really screwed.

They can’t land cause it’s too intense.

Is the landing more intensity or motor/landing mechanics related?

I see the majority of kids land upright and knees moving forward. It’s hard to describe…think of an athlete squatiing without the butt going back…that’s how they land…in a week or so I can correct their position.

I feel with the kids landing like this after one jump, performing multiple jumps is going to make it even worse which is why I wait a while before letting them go all out. Again, this has worked for me.

Good discussion.

If they can’t jump out of it, it’s too much for them to handle. There’s no reason hurdle jumps can’t be put as low as necessary to get the response you want. I really wouldn’t care if I had to use stick hurdles at one foot to get what I want. Why not?

Here’s a drill to try for elasticity. Ten straight leg hops with double arms with no load, followed by 10hops with a 3kg med ball held to the chest, followed by 10 hops without load. They’ll get plenty of recovery if you do the sets one at a time (10 kids or so in the group). See how much additional spring they have in the third set. Be sure they are doing this early enough after the warm-up that they are still reactive. You can do this two or three times a week.

This was missing from my disucssions. The jump height is very low.

Charlie, I would be interested in what you come up with in terms of exercises/programming for youth athletes. Any ideas of this type of video/ebook in the future?

We’re working on getting some new product ready and we’ll have that on the list!

While on the topic, after reading in CFTS in Chapter 1, I began using 10 second line hops. After several hundred kids doing them, I see to have a standard.

What is a good score and in what way do you have them execute the hops, as height and distance over line will influence score. I have found a 30 hops forward (30 back) is upper percentile for HS age kids. The most I’ve had is 38 (forward) but the distance was short.

You have a baseline t determine progress from (or at least to know that you aren’t going overboard)

Yep, it’s similar to the old dehydration barometer of if you reach the point where you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.