How to Improve Speed

When training to improve speed on the field, court or track, there are four important factors that should be included. This brief article will give you some important tips and help you focus your energy in the right areas.

Improve Speed
Improve speed with proper mechanics.
The first thing that needs to be addressed to improve speed is proper sprinting, acceleration, deceleration, cutting and agility mechanics. The reason I wrote my book Speed & Agility Revolution and produced DVDs about sprinting and agility mechanics was because detailed instruction of these movements was almost impossible to find anywhere. This instruction is the critical first step to improve speed because without efficient mechanics, the rest of the training will always be compromised. I don’t mean you should do general form drills like high knees and skips – those are warm-up drills. Instead, you need in-depth instruction in these areas to maximize the benefits of your speed training program. All of this is included in Ultimate Speed Development.

Improve speed through strength training.
Good mechanics help you properly deliver force into the ground. That force propels you forward. It seems logical (and it’s true) that the more force you can quickly deliver into the ground, the faster you’ll run. So, it makes sense that a good speed program will include a well designed strength program that will help you improve speed.

Increase muscle stiffness to improve speed.
Strength is important, but using that strength to increase “muscle stiffness” may be even more important. This stiffness allows you to apply force in the shortest amount of time possible. The process of increasing muscle stiffness includes plyometrics, sprint training and special strength training exercises. If you’re going to spend time trying to improve speed and power, this component must be addressed for maximum results.

Improve speed through conditioning.
This doesn’t mean that general conditioning is going to make you faster, but being in great shape is an important part of displaying your speed in competition. Many programs to improve speed are done 2-4 months before a competitive season. Because this timeframe is also important for sport-specific conditioning, a good speed development program should include a fitness component. There’s no point being fast for just one play – you need to show your speed throughout an entire game for it to matter, so you need to be in great shape.

Incorporating conditioning into your speed work can be tricky and needs to be done correctly. Program design, rest periods and recovery between workouts need to be properly planned or results will be severely compromised. The Intensity Manipulation Method I use in Ultimate Speed Development addresses all of this to optimize your results.

When training for speed, all four of these components must be addressed. Missing one of them will certainly compromise your results, so be sure to include them all in order to maximize your results.

Improve Speed

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