The Layers of Speed Training

You’re familiar with the pyramid of training, right? What qualities are at the bottom, the foundation, of that pyramid? What are at the top?

Performance Pyramid

Do you notice what’s at the top?

Speed. That’s the last thing in the hierarchy.

That means your athletes need a ton of pre-requisite gains if they’re going to be able to demonstrate their speed.

I think it’s disheartening to say that. I think it demotivates coaches. It’s overwhelming.

Let me give you some rules instead. Some principles you can use to make fast athletes.

Part 1 – Preparing the Athlete to Succeed at Speed

We’ll start with an overview. What are the layers of speed training? Let’s talk about the roadmap — or at least my roadmap — to an athlete’s success.

This section touches on preparing the body for future training by developing stiffness necessary for explosive, elastic movements. You will run through a progression of exercises geared to set the athlete up for success.

Did you catch the three levels?

What about the rules? Did you catch those?


Part 2 – Loading a Cut

Let’s talk all about deceleration and how I use exercises in the gym to teach this position.

We’re chasing speed, movement, and change. But these occur LAST. What do we need to get BEFORE this happens?

To be more specific, going into the cut determines what happens when we come out of the cut.

How can we recreate the positions and forces required for fast movement? How can we build stiffness in our athletes?

It’s all about progression. This video runs through a bunch of exercises I like to use to develop my athletes to maintain stiffness during fast movements.

Know the positions. Understand plant angles are determined by momentum going into the cut. Understand how to use squatting and other exercises to teach these positions.

Part 3 – Unloading a Cut

Welcome to the show.

This whole time, you’re really looking for this step: unloading the cut. That’s what matters for performance. That’s what we’re measuring.

Everything we’ve talked about up until feeds into this. Remember Newton’s laws, loading mechanics, and understand how forces act on the body.

How wide should the plant angle be? Can your athletes achieve straight lines out of a cut?

Can you achieve the necessary positions?


For more on using exercise to teach in sport, check out Translating Exercise Into Athletics.

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Published by Ty Terrell

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