The most popular request that we hear from parents is “My son/daughter needs to focus on speed and agility training”
Well maybe, but maybe not.
Maybe your kid needs to learn how to move in general.
Maybe your kid needs to get a little stronger so he can control his own bodyweight to avoid looking like a melted candle every time he squats.
Maybe your kid needs to eat more than an orange for breakfast and a jolly rancher for lunch.
Maybe your kid needs to learn about hard work and how to struggle and persevere without Mommy and Daddy holding his hand.
Once we lock all of that down, MAYBE some extra speed training could be of some benefit.
But until that happens I’m willing to bet little Johnny could find more worthwhile things to do than running around some cones.
The art and science of becoming a faster human being includes a lot more than simply just running. Of course to become a better sprinter you have to sprint but that isn’t the only component.
There is a magical thing that happens when an athlete connects the dots on these other components I mentioned above. Getting stronger, eating A LOT, and digging in and putting in some old fashioned hard work have taken more average athletes to top competitors than fancy footwork in a ladder.
Seeing a slow, uncoordinated teenager and deciding that speed and agility training is the best plan of action is like a doctor giving eye drops to a blind patient. All the speed training in the world isn’t going to make him faster.
Speed is about how much force a person can put into the ground to keep them moving forward so it makes sense why our hypothetical teenager isn’t fast. Without the ability to generate significant force he will never see real improvement.
Believe me when I say that I understand the allure of speed and agility training. It looks fun, can make you an Instagram star, and “all the pros are doing it.” At one point early in my coaching career I even encouraged them as a means to get faster.
But I’m here to admit to my past mistakes. If any of my athletes got faster it was because of their own abilities maturing and through no credit of my own.
Top combine coaches in the industry will tell you that improvement in the drills they test in the combine comes mainly from practicing and getting better at the test.
To put this simply, putting in reps on an agility ladder only gets you better at running through an agility ladder.
Note that this isn’t my own personal crusade against the production of ladders, only that they have been bastardized for years in their use. When used correctly they can be a great tool. When used incorrectly they can be a great waste of time.
And unfortunately the same can be said of what many know as “speed and agility training”.
What I’m ultimately getting at is not to stop training to get faster altogether but to go about it more intelligently, with a plan and competent coaching.
So if any of the “Maybe” statements from the beginning of this article apply to you or your son or daughter give us a call today to set up a Strategy Session and find out how to maximize time and effort in training.
“The journey of 1000 steps begins not with a single step but ONLY when you stop making f*cking excuses.”