Speed Training for Teens
Speed training for teens is important to teach them proper mechanics, improve sprint speed, increase agility and enhance athletic ability. Effective speed training should include mechanical adjustments, power training, change of direction work as well as specific strength training exercises. This ensures that teenage athletes will develop a full complement of skills to improve speed in all movements.
Essentials for Teenage Speed Training
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Speed Ladder Drills: The speed ladder improves athletes footwork and body control while activating the muscles for harder movements to be used later in a session.
Marching and Skipping Patterns: Before an athlete can be fast they must learn to control and organize movement slowly. Marching patterns teach an opposite arm opposite leg drive with a stiff and controlled core. Skipping patterns build on this premise by introducing harder ground contact that more closely simulates sprinting.
Vertical Jumps: Power is an essential component to all speed training for its ability to train explosive movement. Vertical jumps are important to train landing and stopping patterns that can cause injury when working at top speed.
Sled Pushes: Push sleds enable athletes to create proper body position angles and increase strength within the pattern of sprinting. This has direct carryover to improving sprint speed.
Bill Rom is the director of performance training at Prospect Sports, where he works with athletes from the NFL, MLB and throughout College Sports. He has written for EliteFTS.com, Stack.com, as well as been a speaker for the National Strength and Conditioning Association. His writing focuses on sports performance training and fitness.