Speed Training/Technical Assessments

I think that the inability to get triple extension is more due to insufficient hip extensibility/mobility, rather than strength levels.

This is easy in the private sector, what about the college/professional level?

In the programs that I’ve been a part of, the strength programs promote bad habits. Workouts are all about killing yourself or throwing impossible weights on the bar. The only joints angles that move on most hang cleans are in the vertebral column and shoulders. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen any coaching on lifting technique, or that the coaches even know what to look for. I watched a spring session dedicated to speed technique and it wasn’t pretty. Quick burst/change of direction speed, however, seems to be great, but I’m not sure how much of that is natural ability and how much comes from the program. Granted these were a d2 and a d3 program without a dedicated s/c coach, but the results would lead you to believe that the strength programs are top notch.

What is easy in the private sector? That is where I have been for the past 15 years. Really not sure what your asking? There are inherent issues in both sides, private and team. I like my freedom, but I have to create compliance. You have compliance from players, you have little freedom in team environment. I like my side better. Plus I din’t want to take less money starting off at D2 schools trying to work my way into a possible D1 job. From a philosophical stand point, acceleration is 90% of waht football is so we work that quality the most

How large is your business?? How many coaches do you have on staff?

Coach is me. I have had associates in the past and it never works out the way you want. I have been able to carve a nice living out training 40-50 athletes per year. I do group session of 4-6 players. It makes it more affordable to the athletes and less drain on my time. I do 5 months of speed development camps for 60-80 kids form ages 8-16. Older high school and college kids I train seperate. My wife and I owned a 14.000 sq ft Powerhouse and another 7500 sq ft facility. We sold one and closed the other. I don’t like day to day operations of a gym. I just like training. I would consider my business succesful because every year we have 5 + scholarships. I also have a bunch of hockey guys who are in USHL and one of my kids(95) birth year just got tated number 1 forward in the country. I like to think we do a good job.

Regarding relaxation, I’ve found the following methods to be valuable:

  • longer sprints out to 60yds
  • flying sprints out to 80yds (20yd pre run)
  • set intensity limits at 20-30yd and continue out to 50-70
  • also using a sled with intensity limits
  • intensive tempo
  • longer extensive tempo (+160yds)
  • and the equivalent, believe it or not, of special endurance (although this is by no means a regular event)

Regarding the special endurance run (ergo +200yd) I’ve found that the players will naturally ease into a relaxed upright position. Again, this is nowhere near a regular event; however, when I’ve thrown it in it has proven to yield a pleasant surprise- technically.

James, great advice per usual. I may try to add some longer runs in next spring/summer. Haven’t really ever gone over 60 yds with the football guys. I see how it could be beneficial. I do 60 yd fast-easy-fast and easy-fast-easy for athletes, but many decel too much or try to accel past where they are supposed to. I will have to plot that into next years model to see what results it yields. May be my last year to do it as I may be full time in Physicians Assistant school, so my training will be limited if at all.

The biggest issue I deal with all the time is the players have no idea how to gage intensity. If you tell them 90%, they will still try to run at 100% effort. They think that more effort means more speed.

With my athletes, I performed a simple 20 yard test with electronic timers (Brower). I had them run two trials over 20 yards with 4 minute breaks (this is after an extensive warm-up). I did not provide any intensity parameters. After they ran their two trials, I told them to run at 90% intensity. At least 90% of the players ran faster at 90%. I then told them to run at 85%. A further 60% ran faster times at this intensity.

Another test we did was have them run 10 x 20 yards through electronic timers. I gave them 3 minute breaks between runs and instructed them to run them all as consistently as possible. I did not give them any intensity guidelines except to tell them to run them all in the same time. I did tell them that running slower, sub-maximal runs would yield less consistent times.

The results were interesting. Our fastest guys did not have the most consistent times - mostly because they were trying to “pick” an intensity to run the 20’s easily (i.e. they got cute). Our more experienced guys - who are better all around athletes - had the most consistent times (all runs within 0.05 seconds) running each rep strong, but not recklessly. Our slower, less athletic guys had the worst times as far as consistency was concerned.

Both of the above scenarios are a good way to illustrate to players how intensity can be regulated properly to yield good, consistent results.

You cannot assume if you tell an athlete to run at a given percentage of their best time they will know how to gage their speed. You must conduct an exercise so that they fully understand the art of running at 100% of best time is best accomplished by running at 90-95% of full exertion. Once players understand how to manage intensity, workouts can be undertaken much more strategically - as outlined in James’ post.

This is something my bro and I have been preaching for the past 4 years. People on this site thought we were crazy.

I don’t know many SC who start at D2 and end up at D1, you either know people at D1 who can get you in or you don’t - simple as that.

QUOTE=speedcoach;239295]What is easy in the private sector? That is where I have been for the past 15 years. Really not sure what your asking? There are inherent issues in both sides, private and team. I like my freedom, but I have to create compliance. You have compliance from players, you have little freedom in team environment. I like my side better. Plus I din’t want to take less money starting off at D2 schools trying to work my way into a possible D1 job. From a philosophical stand point, acceleration is 90% of waht football is so we work that quality the most[/QUOTE]

How do you conduct these tests with 100+ football players, how many coaches do you have on staff etc?

It seems as if the 90% cue for people without much sprint training background has them running faster due to being completely (or at least relatively so!) relaxed. You can tell the same guy 100% and now he really pushes/strains resulting in a slower time.

I am the only one on staff, with a few student interns. Training groups are broken down into sub-groups of 15-20 athletes per session. I am doing as many as 15 technical running session per week to accommodate everyone. It sucks, but it is the reality of my situation - and I do the best that I can with limited resources.

I spend an immense amount of time educating the athletes on proper training and learning how to get the best out of each training session. Nothing I do is done through blindly following my workouts. We build in an immense amount of discretion on the part of the athletes choosing their weight, cutting the workout short, no missed or forced reps, etc. I rely on the athletes to be self-sufficient in many ways. I do not have the staffing resources to monitor everything they do. But, I do believe it makes it a better program in the long run.

Last semester, one of my student interns worked a semester at a NCAA Division I program and told me they had strength coaches on the floor counting reps for the weight workouts – with athletes doing all their sets and reps at exactly the same time (i.e. in unison). Of course, I was laughing so hard when he told me this, I almost wet myself. Everyone has their own rhythm and swagger in our weight room. I do not tell them when to do their reps and sets. Just get it done, technically correct and constantly improving.

I know coaches (not s&c) who started off lower levels and ended up big time. Kelly, Martin, etc. I played ball with Butch Jones and he had to run the gamut to get where he is. I am not that in love with that college or pro side of sports. I like watching kid’s be kids. I don’t even like pro football to be honest. I kepp up with Lance Long, thats about it. I learned from Ian, Charlie and others so I could better myself in the private sector. I honestly never cared to even try that route. I have made a lot of money just training everyday people, CEO’s, and house wives. They pay the bills. Athletic prep is my passion, but athletes are in season way too much to make a steady living off just them. I train who I can in what time I do have. We are on opposite ends of a career path. You are getting in while I am kind of getting out. I want a more normal schedule so I can see my 7 month old daughter. Doing this job gives little of that. That is why I went back to school after 19 years. God knows I don’t need a 3rd degree, I aspire to other things.

I know several major D1 programs like this. Sad to say but I don’t trust none of my athletes, I want to see every single rep and verify every single pound on the bar.

Some D1 programs assign each SC 6-12 athletes each session and they are responsible for there training and progress through the offseason.

I been in the private sector for years but I always wanted to get back into the team setting because I love to grind and love the day 2 day operations. I just don’t have much patience for fat general population clients.

When are you performing your longer speed work - winter or summer?

Both, depending on what I decide to do and what I have to work around.

Meaning, I have historically tested sprints, jumps, throws, and so on- once in the spring and once in the summer. I’ve always seen a benefit of the longer speed work regarding testing the 40.

I didn’t do that this past spring and summer because I wanted to focus on training throughout. The taper period that I have historically used ends up costing a week of developmental training.

So I chose to forgo the testing this time around and, instead, spot check where the guys are by randomly monitoring how they were performing (which is what I do anyway)

I did, however, integrate intensive tempo in the spring and longer extensive tempo this summer so both of those played a role in improving the running position of some of the players.

I also ended up having them perform more alactic capacity work this summer, in comparison to years past; however, I can’t get into the reason on a public forum.

All in all it’s been a fantastic summer of training. I only had one player (scout team) sustain a pull (hamstring) and it was minor as he was back running tempo in a few days.

I hear you on that. I used to work 60 + hours per week. I had 2 partners and 5 corporate wellness programs going. We were probably each making $8000+ per mont just macro managing trainers. I had a lot of private clients as well. Wasn’t a problem to make $2000-$2500 per week. It burned me out though. I like a more chill pace where I can take my time with the athletes. I know you will do well back in the team game. Be looking forward to hearing about it in the near future.