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Speed Report: Running Ahead of Speed - Stimulus for Training Incentives (Part II)

by: Dale Baskett
Football Speed Specialist
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In our last article on running ahead of speed, we focused on in season concepts that aide the transition of off season development. In part two, here are suggestions and methods that can help stimulate your athlete to strive for higher production.

Working year-around can sometimes be mundane, which will disrupt the concentrated and continuous focus needed. Their sense of purpose is significant for sustaining collective desire for reaching objective goals and benchmarks. Speed training is much like lifting in certain ways. However, sensing a gain in development can sometimes become a bit elusive.

Weightlifting is very measurable. Without the measurements being continuously used in the weight room, the incentive for doing the work load demand could be impaired. Players know what the number index is every week, which provides feedback. It would be difficult to keep the incentive level high week to week without this measureable stimulus. The question is speed training incentives Ė do they create a positive incentive?

Training Stimulation that Provides Incentives

The weight room has digital monitoring for consistent feedback. The same cannot be said of training for football speed. Often, the weeks run together while training moves forward, often limiting necessary feedback. When lifting, each workout usually indicates where you stand daily with your progressive levels.

Football speed could and should have a testing program in place that provides† feedback to lend meaning to the training youíre providing. However, the testing must be football movement oriented and not just lineal based times. Testing for the 10, 20 or 40-yard sprints are pure lineal velocity data. Football speed is about multi-movement speed changes.†

The objective is to limit the loss of velocity during those movement transitions. The majority of time running fast on the field should not be lineal work. The majority of time should be on multi-movement transition speed work. Lineal training is good for honing consistent mechanical functions and the rhythm component that is important to speed. But lineal work is of minor importance to football speed effectiveness. When momentum is displaced from a lineal plane, mechanical control is immediately disrupted. This is why you should spend the majority of your time on movement speed development.

The training should be followed up with movement testing. Itís essential that you donít practice the tests youíre administering. The tests that you use must be a raw indicator of change, not rehearsed. Athletes want to see improvement as they move forward with their weekly workload. Adding the testing series will definitely create greater incentives and direct the path for continuous interest. Most athletes can feel the efficiency and speed differences as they continue to train weekly and monthly.

I have a series of specific tests that can be established as a baseline for different speed movements that will reflect on each playerís individual growth. In the end, it will show growth and will maintain incentives for consistently furthering the skills being taught

The following tests should be established for everyone and every few weeks they should be tested again to mark each athleteís progress. Make them a part of your system just like you monitor in the weight room. The lineal tests are going to reflect lineal work done and movement tests will reflect transition speed improvement. Donít look at the testing as a pain in the neck. Itís a part of the feedback that will have kids looking forward to them and will keep them on a focused driven track. Kids like to know where they are. Youíll see heightened enthusiasm and progress as a direct result.

Coach Baskett began his career as a football speed coach in 1979. During the last 35 years heís consulted and trained hundreds of coaches and thousands of athletes nationwide. In the last year he has worked directly with high schools in California, Texas, Minnesota, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. Over the last few years he has also consulted with Texas Tech, Ohio State, USC, University of Washington, and the University of Mount Union. You can reach him directly for more information or if you have specific questions on your training program. Coach Baskett is at and 858-568-3751. Website:†


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