Regional Academy Speed
Ninety percent of the quickest Academy players are likely to be those who will benefit the least from technical coaching of their running mechanics. Their speed improvements will tend to happen within the natural maturation process and as a product of their strength training. The competencies listed below are aimed more at those individuals whose basic running form is compromised, and their maximum running speed poor.
Young players should aim to be able to:
- Execute a well-coordinated 3-pt start, with contra-lateral arm and legs working together (left arm, right leg drive together)
- Demonstrate good acceleration mechanics, which involve:
- Driving the arms from the shoulders, not the elbows
- Running with dorsi-flexed ankles (90º angle) to decrease ground contact time
- Running with a high stride rate
- Running with a stable pelvis
- Running comfortably with an inclined torso, which aids acceleration and ease of handling.
Young players should also be adept in the safe use of speed training apparatus such as:
- Bungee resistance, working with partner
- Bungee assistance, working with partner
- Sled resistance, training alone.
Finally, young players need to: fully understand that speed training is an intense, high quality, activity that requires adequate rest during, prior to, and after its use. As such, players should be coached and adhere to these principles when conducting speed sessions.