Much of what is called speed training has the opposite effect of what we want. Rather than training speed in, things like wind sprints simply train speed out. You have to express speed in a climate of fatigue, but you don’t develop it in a climate of fatigue. On this episode of the GAINcast, Vern discusses his approach to training speed for team sports, balancing different types of speed training, and examples of how micro doses of speed work can work wonders.
Notes and quotes
Having a background in track and field, Vern knows how to coach speed. But he’s also worked on develop speed for the dozens of other sports he’s coached. Throughout the episode he looks at the topic of speed with some examples from his experience.
- 1:45 – What does it mean to train speed in? “Speed is precious in any sport. But when you look at what happens in most training sessions we aren’t training speed. “
- 3:45 – The fixation on volume and quantity over quality: “Leave something in the tank and know when to stop. When you’re working on speed you don’t want to leave the track feeling like an elephant. “
- 5:45 – Better understanding speed training in field and court sports. “You have to express speed in a climate of fatigue, but you don’t develop it in a climate of fatigue. “
- 7:30 – Sport specificity in training and testing speed.
- 10:30 – Training maximum speed in season. “Less is more. Just a few repetitions of top speed once a week can be enough to stabilize and improve speed. “
- 13:30 – Maximum speed training for injury prevention and making it more sport-specific. “You can’t expect to train at slow speeds then play at maximum speed and not exposure yourself to injury. High speed running can be an innoculation against injury. “
- 15:15 – Getting coach buy in to in season max speed training. “The law of reversability applies to speed: you use it or lose it. ” “Help coaches understand it is not about volume, it is about picking the best spots to distribute speed work throughout practice.”
- 18:00 – Balancing different types of speed work: “It’s not all about top speed, but top speed is most often neglected. “
- 20:00 – Integrating speed work into the sport training session. “Running wind sprints at the end of practice is not training speed. If you cannot integrate speed into practice, you have a problem. “
- 22:00 – Understanding the sport and the individual needs.
- 26:00 – The tactical benefits of training at higher speeds. “Are we able to achieve the quality of movement that we wanted to see repeated in the game under pressure? “
To hear more about these topics you can listen to the full episode above. If you like what you hear on the GAINcast, don’t forget to give us a review and subscribe on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- The GAINcast is brought to you by GAIN. Applications for GAIN are now open. More details can be found on GAINcast 103 or at www.thegainnetwork.com.
- The site theme in May is speed. Stay tuned for more on the topic in the coming weeks and don’t forget to join HMMR Plus so you don’t miss more on this topic. Sign up and get access to numerous webinars, online meetups, articles, our sports science newsletter, and more.
- Vern wrote a blog post about this topic last month. He also discussed his approach to speed on GAINcast 16 and how to teach sprint mechanics on GAINcast 39.
- The biomechanics of speed has also been discussed on a few episodes: GAINcast 21 with Ken Clark and GAINcast 89 with Peter Weyand.