training young kids once a week

i train a group of young kids once a week, would it be better to do a proper speed session with them, or just to do tempo? or any other suggestions.


do the tempo for a couple of weeks to get them in shape then the speed work after fitness is in place. Also add med ball routines after tempo. You will be amazed at how much better the speed sessions will be if you do tempo for a few weeks before introducing speed.

Good luck!

I would introduce speed right away. Kids can’t go fast enough to really tax their systems, so introducing speed right away isn’t a risk. Just make sure you watch them on an individual basis. Introduce the speed as accelerations for the first couple weeks so that they get used to it. Get them to increase their speed over 50-60m, and then once they reach their top speed to just cut the engines and slow down for 20m or so. Or, get them to increase their speed to 20m and hold that speed for another 20m. Another reason is that running fast is far more fun than tempo.

I agree with the medballs. Make sure they are manageable. 2-3kg at most.

Um, what age exactly are we dealing with here?

I’d just do Run, Jump, Throw, Relays. Just do the explosive medball and some jumping (up onto box, double footed jumps, into sand pit). Then some fun short speed stuff (push up starts and the like). Finish off with some games or relays. You could also do things like overs and unders with hurdles and extensive med ball stuff incorporating games like everyone in a line and pass the ball over head and between legs until you get to the other end then last person runs to the front and repeat again. First team to all run to the front wins.

thanks guys, the kids im concerned about are 15, as all they are doing is 1 speed session a week with me, and now they are competing and are with the field at 50m and then get run down, and their parents are saying they arent fit and they need to do long work, and im trying to explain to them that its their top speed and technique that’s an issue and nothing else. ive asked them to try to another tempo session during the week, but they have other sporting comitments after school on teh other days, soccer, vollyball, tennis.

At 15 kids are still developing. Look at the Long Term Athlete Development model Istvan Balyi (not that i totally agree but it does provide you with amunition). At 15 and training once a week what do you expect? You can’t train everything in one session! If they need to get fitter ask their parents to take them swimming once a week and then do another activity like walking or cycling or even a team sport. These guys arn’t training to be olympic champs just yet! This is year 1 of 10 and hence they need to work on the basic stuff.

thats what im trying to explain to them!!! believe me. im doing the things that i think will set them up for when there bodies develop.

thanks for the input:)

I’ve found that trying to explain stuff to parents and coaches is just a waste of time, you’ll only drive them away. Just nod and say ok, then do what you want to do. It usually works better that way in my experience.

Here is a diliemna. Sometimes I have a kid come out that has been lifting and doing light plyos with some running. They run a early time trial to see where they are at with speed. After a few weeks of training, thhey will sometimes get slower. What the heck is that about?