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Every Program Needs a Speed System Like the One at Southeastern Louisiana

by: Ron Roberts Head Coach
Southeastern Louisiana University
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For the past 20 years it has become understood that football speed training is beneficial. However, whatís often missing in speed programs is the lack of a technically sound system. According to the definition of the word Ďsystemí itís ďa group of related parts that move or work together.Ē This is the very essence of what makes a speed program viable. Many organizations throughout the country address the issue of speed training but may not be aware they could be missing the most important aspect for gaining sufficient results Ė a system.

Every coach desires to produce the greatest return for the amount of time spent - a common thread for football programs. Unfortunately, if the methods used arenít formulated into a processing system of application, the possible  potential for maximizing effective results will be minimized with your time unfulfilled.

We try to be on the cutting edge in every area of our program. Thanks to Dale Baskett, over my last 12 years, we have been able to be on the cutting edge as far as our speed development is concerned.  I was fortunate enough to be exposed to Coach Baskettís speed philosophies and training programs in 2003. Over the years I have gone to hear him speak, as well as hired him to come in and work with our strength and conditioning staff and players directly. I give his unique knowledge of football speed credit for the development of our team speed and if anyone has watched our teams play, thatís always been our strength.

A year ago I brought him into our program to lay in his new speed training concepts that are the most technically advanced systems for speed and movement development. His new concepts are principles that re-define mechanical function of human movement put into a systematic  format. In my opinion itís the wave of the future for technical speed training. Itís made our application to the players much more effective and our movement results are remarkable. Even though what we had been doing with coach Baskettís product was already better than any material available in the industry, his new systems are biometrically revolutionary.  I would like to explain how we have implemented his programs throughout the years.

Off - Season

Our Basic Phase program begins with a four day program. Two days are designated as Linear Speed days and two days for Lateral and Athletic Body Control movement development.  This is where the unique methods of his foundation for a speed program are refined.

Our basic daily warm up routine is designed around the speed program as well. We spend 30 minutes each day working on the speed system Coach Baskett has designed for us. This is done before we ever go into the weight room. Itís important to understand that true speed quality will never be realized unless your players are fresh for speed work. Fast twitch muscle reaction can only be enhanced by firing at a maximal contraction rate. Itís important to understand this point as it would be counter-productive to train otherwise, leaving you with impaired quality results. Heading into the weight room directly after a speed session prepares the body adequately to be ready for our weight room series because all of our speed work is guided by quality not quantity. 

Pre - Season

This is where our intense speed sessions become a more advanced application focus. Our Phase II of the Program is a 3-Day Lifting Regime and 2-days solely designated for our advanced speed sessions. On the Lifting Days we are still using our Speed Warm Up, which emphasizes active firing through a specific structure of body movements It should always be a stable factor year around. On the Speed Days we spend approximately 45 minutes working speed, body control, redirection and linear and lateral speed applications.

The emphasized focus is always quality first with all of our efforts. This particular phase requires a focused mindset for quality control of the techniques. Weíre constantly stressing technical control of the applications. Our objective is for our players to be confident with high intensity body control action. Electric movements consistently performed well forms the correct habits for playing fast.

In Season
For our in season program we begin every practice with our Speed Warm Up. We then pick one or two of the drills in coach Baskettís program. This selection must coordinate with our lifting program.

We lift in season three days a week. On those designated times for the workout they will again do the Speed Warm Up and a progressive set of drills from our speed system. By NCAA rules you only have 20 hours a week with your players so we have to blend the speed and lifting carefully each week. Therefore, we canít do our complete speed package  consistently or we wouldnít have time left for lifting

We have discontinued many of the traditional conditioning drills that are associated with football.  If weíre training speed correctly weíre getting our anaerobic conditioning from them. Football is an anaerobic sport yet many times coaches train their players aerobically. You canít use parts of the two energy mechanisms and expect to gain superior results. Weíve found it doesnít work that way.

Thereís an abundance of speed training material  in todayís market place. Iíve discovered upon researching over time that most programs use the same outdated mechanical applications from 30 years ago. Coach Baskett has technically created a completely new and innovative scientific concept for running that will change the commonplace methods in the future. If you are serious about revolutionizing your players speed of movement skills from the old to an evolutionary new technical application system that will change the way youíre players perform, contact him at If you have any questions for me, feel free to reach me @ as a resource.

About the Author: Ron Roberts began his coaching career in 1990 as a defensive coordinator on the high school level. He then served as an assistant coach on the college level at Greensboro, Tusculum, Texas State, and Delta State. Roberts was promoted to head coach at Delta State in 2007 and led the Statesmen to four Gulf Coast titles between 2007 and 2011. He just completed his fourth season as head coach at Southeastern Louisiana, having won two Southland Conference titles.


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