Improving speed across football codes
Sprinting is an important action in many sports. In soccer, for example, research has demonstrated that, whilst the total distance covered by a player in an English Premier League match has stayed reasonably consistent over time, the number of high intensity efforts has increased by 50%, with the total distance of high intensity running having increased by 30%. Studies from other sports classed as “football” (AFL, Rugby League and Union, American Football, Gaelic Football, etc.) demonstrate similar trends. As such, we can be confident that possessing high levels of sprint speed, and the ability to maintain this speed under fatigue, is an important aspect of success in these sports. The question for coaches, however, is how do we improve speed in our players?