A few years ago, I was watching the Cavs game and TV analyst Austin Carr made a statement that has always stuck with me.
He said, “A guys gait is a guys gait.” when they were referencing how inefficiently one of the players was running up and down the court. So what he was basically saying is you can’t change how you run, that’s what you were born with.”
This statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s like saying “a guys shot is a guys shot.” Not true. You can improve the fundamental mechanics of your shot so it’s more efficient just like you can improve your sprinting form.
Very few athletes are taught how to sprint properly which can result in mediocre performance and injuries. Getting from point A to B in sports is vital and “how you sprint” plays an important role in how fast you are. There are about 5 key techniques we teach all athletes to improve their efficiency then we put those techniques into action through 4 key parts of a speed session:
Wall Drills – focuses on teaching proper posture and proper swing leg mechanics
Resisted Sprinting – improves the rate an athlete can apply force into the ground through a specified amount of resistance being applied to a band or sled when sprinting.
Unresisted Sprinting – focuses on improving leg turnover and always proceeds resisted sprinting which activates the central nervous system and makes the Unresisted sprinting more effective…again the order is important
Linear plyometrics-focuses on improving horizontal force production which is a key ingredient to faster sprinting
There is a specific methodology pertaining to the the speed drills you choose, the sequence they are in and the desired outcome it leads to. We don’t just sprint kids as fast as they can in a session, although sprinting at 100% is important to improve but there is a fine line between sprinting fast and not losing form.
I’ve used the analogy of a “car assembly line” in comparison to our speed training methods. Each part of the car needs to be assembled properly so it contributes to the efficiency of how the entire car will operate. Each part of a speed training session contributes to how efficiently and fast an athlete’s body will sprint on the playing field.