Speed Training for youth athletes in Bend, Oregon.
Speed training for middle school and high school athletes. We get asked this question more by parents than any other question. Can you increase my athletes speed? The answer is yes! This is what REAL speed training looks like for youth athletes.
Middle school and high school athletes that come to us lacking speed, also lack strength. For beginning athletes this is the first and biggest problem. The necessary strength level to propel themselves down the field, pitch or court.
When discussing speed, one has to remember that running produces 3-4x as much force as the athlete’s body weight. A 135 pound female then would be creating 405 pounds to 540 pounds of force while running. A male 175 pound athlete would be creating 525 pounds to 700 pounds of force while sprinting.
How to build strength
At OC Sports Performance we create strength by developing the box squat, the sumo deadlift and building strong lower backs by utilizing 45 degree back extensions, and regular hip extensions on a GHD. Also we utilize the Westside Barbell ATP(athletic training platform) for marching and walking. To name a few of the variations we utilize.
When developing this strength we are also utilizing resistance such as bands and chains as those implements reinforce a faster rate of force development. (The athletes squat and deadlift faster or more explosively vs these training tools.)
Another tool we utilize here is sled dragging. We do timed sled drags (walking) that are easy to recover from in comparison to running but yield great results.
When we develop the strength necessary to sprint we also work to develop the vertical jump. We have seen a direct correlation between the athletes that run the fastest in the 40 yard dash and those who have the highest vertical jump.
Is there other ways to build strength – yes, 100%.
We realize that there are multiple ways to get stronger and to run faster. And we aren’t saying this is the only way. However, this is the way that we have found that works for all sports and yields big results quicker than any other method we have seen or tested.
Probably the 2nd most asked question from parents is where are the “speed ladders”? We have one speed ladder in the gym and we don’t use it for speed. We use it for rehab drills and warm up.
For an exercise to be useful in developing speed there has to be hip extension. Without hip extension the exercise or drill is not developing speed. The exercise is simply something that “looks like it would develop speed”. These “looks like” drills are meant to impress parents but they don’t yield results.
Without testing the athletes,parents and coaches don’t know if what is being taught is providing positive results.
We test at OC Sports Performance each month – vertical jump, standing broad jump, and sprints either 20 yard or 40 yard. These tests cover the basis of most athletics.
If the athlete isn’t being tested then the athlete and or the parent better ask why? Is it because what they are doing isn’t going to render positive results? Is it possible that they don’t want the parents and athlete to know that there isn’t improvement?
The snatch and clean and jerk are combined in Olympic weightlifting and are their own sport. Using one sport to train for another sport isn’t necessarily the best approach. We have a short period of time to work with athletes. Time is of the essence to ensure we are getting stronger and faster as quickly as possible.
The olympic lifts in our opinion aren’t necessary to make these speed changes and they don’t really yield more “explosive athletes”.
We want to focus our time and attention in the gym to the process that yields the best results in the fastest time frame.
In conclusion, speed training for youth athletes needs to involve strength first. When athletes gain the prerequisite level of strength they will be faster, more explosive and less injury prone. Parents and athletes don’t fall for the gimmicks – get stronger, test your numbers monthly and ensure you are getting the results that you are paying for.
Interested in running faster and jumping higher? Book a Free Consult today!