Archive for “Deceleration” Tag

Speed & Agility Training to Improve Sport Performance


Speed and Agility Training To Improve Sports Performance

by Todd Durkin

Speed kills. Speed and agility training in sport gives an athlete an edge on his/her competition. And the great news is that it can all be learned through technique training, proper drills, and hard work. If you’re wanting and willing to get faster, let’s dive (or sprint!) into the action.

In this article, you will learn all about improving your speed and agility training. You will learn about stride rate, stride length, and proper running mechanics. You will learn several different speed improvement training drills, exercises, and programs that will enable you to reach new levels in your sport.

And you will learn:

  • Best strength exercises for speed development
  • Top technique tips for speed performance
  • Power and plyometrics to develop fast-twitch muscle fiber
  • Nutrition for optimal fueling
  • Top recovery strategies

So don’t be left in the dust. Dive into the article and find out all the in’s and out’s of improving your speed and agility.


Speed and Agility Training

First off, let’s understand speed training and its components. Here are the phases of Speed Training:

  • Dynamic Warm-Up (see below; not really a phase of speed training but essential to include prior to speed training)
  • Mechanics
  • Acceleration (reaching maximum speed in the shortest amount of time possible)
  • Top-End Speed
  • Deceleration
  • Change of Direction (Agility & Quickness)

As we talk about speed training, it is necessary to understand the following principles:

  • “Stride Frequency”: The number of strides taken in a given amount of time or distance. This is improved via technique drills, cycling, towing, sprinting and bungee work.
  • “Stride Length”: The distance covered from one stride when sprinting.  Strength and flexibility are the most important factors to improve stride length.

All great speed and agility training programs should be preceded by a great General Warm-up and Dynamic Warm-up. A general warm-up is 5-10 minutes of exercise to begin elevating core tissue temperature, increase heart rate, and prepare the body for a workout or competition. Examples will include running, treadmill, jumping rope, elliptical, or bike.

One would then proceed into the Dynamic Warm-Up

Speed and Agility Training Dynamic Warm-Up:

Should be performed before every workout, practice or competition, and should take approximately 5-25 minutes.

The purpose of the Dynamic Warm-Up is to: Increase tissue temperature, improve flexibility, activate the nervous system, and help coordination and develop body awareness. It also lengthens fascia.

What is Fascia? Fascia is a specialized system of the body (connective tissue) which plays an important role in the support of our bodies. Fascia is a very dense connective tissue which envelops every muscle, bone, nerve, artery, and vein as well as our internal organs including the heart, lungs, brain and spinal cord. When fascia becomes constricted, it becomes tight, creates great pressure on its structures and becomes a great source of tension to the body. 

The methods utilized to perform a dynamic warm-up are:

Movement in Space: (10-20 yards)

  • High knees
  • Butt-kicks
  • Cariocas
  • Exagerated Cariocas
  • A-Skips
  • B-Skips
  • Frankenstein Walks (& skips)
  • Lunge with rotation
  • Reverse lunge with reach over top
  • Side-lunges


  • Jumping jacks
  • Gate swings
  • Pogo hops
  • Seal jacks
  • Arm circles
  • Trunk rotations
  • Cats & Dogs
  • Downard Dog
  • Scorpion Kicks
  • 1 Legged Windshield wipers
  • Bodyweight Squats

Perform each movement approx. 10-20 seconds.

Before a workout or competition, the emphasis is on a dynamic warm-up.

After a workout, the emphasis should be on static stretching and myofascial release.

Speed and Agility Training Flexibility:

Speed and Agility Training

Every time after you workout, practice or compete, there should be stretching that involves holding each stretch 20 seconds to 1 minute,  and it should take 10 minutes minimally. Using a stretch rope, you should concentrate on your hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, calves, trunk and opening the chest and shoulders. The methods utilized to stretch are rope chest stretch, standing rotator cuff stretch, kneeling hip flexor stretch, cats & dogs, downward dog, lying rope hamstring stretch, lying rope lower back stretch, lying rope groin stretch, side-lying rope quad stretch, walking soldiers. Foam rolling (ie. The Grid or a foam roller) & a massage stick are essential to do on your own to promote fascia lengthening and recovery. This can be performed both before and after the workout.

When assessing speed, one of the most critical aspects is acceleration. Acceleration is defined as the ability and time it takes for the body to reach Top End Speed. 

Mechanics and technique for acceleration include:

  • Foot Contact behind hip
  • Body angle at 45 degrees/Straight line from heel to neck
  • Chin to chest
  • Head down

Some of the best technique acceleration drills include:

  • Marches along wall
  • Wall Runs
  • 3, 5, 7, 9 step wall sprints


Speed and Agility Training

A huge part of speed and agility training is acceleration, it is important to train and strengthen the posterior chain of the body—glutes, hamstrings, lower back, mid-back, and even the calves & feet. Some of the most effective methods and strength exercises to improve acceleration include:

  • Sled Drags & Sled Pulls
  • Resisted Towing
  • Tire Flips
  • Plate Pushes
  • Keiser Air Runner
  • Bullet Belt
  • Super Band Leap Frogs
  • Form running in place & move out
  • Legged Romanian Deadlifts
  • Calf Raises (Double & Single Leg)
  • Swiss Ball Leg Curls
  • TRX Hip Extensions/Bicycles, Leg Curls
  • Hyperextensions (Glute/Ham)
  • Barefoot Balance Touches (on airex pad)
  • Planks
  • Pullups

Once one achieves top-end speed (T.E.S.), the mechanics then change. Now, technique is a bit different:

  • Foot Contact now under hip
  • Body is upright
  • Upper body relaxed
  • Arms swinging 90-120 degrees from waist to chin; drive elbows back!
  • T.E.S. typically reached at approximately 20-30 yards on a linear sprint

Some drills to reinforce Top End Speed Mechanics/Technique Drills include:

  • Arm swing drills
  • Fast Claw Drill
  • Marches
  • Skipping

Some of the best exercises and methods to improve acceleration and T.E.S. include:

  • Uphill running
  • Stadium Steps
  • Resisted Speed Drills (bungees)
  • Assisted Over-speed training with bungee
  • High speed treadmill

Best Strength Exercises to Improve Overall Speed (& acceleration):

  • Squats (2 legged & 1 legged)
  • Step-ups
  • Lunges (variations)
  • Bulgarian Split Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Plate Pushes
  • Sled Drags
  • Plyometrics (squat jumps, lunge hops, Box jumps, leap frogs, vertimax, etc.)
  • Olympic Lifts (snatch, clean & jerk, clean, power shrugs) (power development)
  • Core Conditioning (ie. hyperextensions, Glute/Ham Raise, Russian twists, Bosu Core, med ball standing twists, med ball standing windmills, med ball seated sidewinders, med ball side-tosses into wall, med ball throws (straight up), etc…
  • Pullups
  • Weighted arm swings

3 Tips for Speed Performance: (credit to Patrick Beith)

Tip 1 – Drive Phase – Don’t force yourself to “stay low”

Speed and Agility Training

The drive phase happens right after you react to the starting gun. Your initial 8 -10 steps is considered your drive phase. The biggest problem seen with athletes in the drive phase is that athletes are ‘trying’ to stay too low. Keep the body angle at about 45 degrees and keep the heel of the recovery leg low to the ground during the first 8 strides. Drive the foot into the ground and explode powerfully backwards to create maximum ground reaction force. Drive your elbows backwards and keep your head down. You should be in a straight line from your heels to your head.

Tip 2 – Acceleration Phase
In this phase, you want to think “powerful.” Since the acceleration phase (0-30 yards) is associated with a higher stride frequency then at maximum speed, focus on leg drive. You want to keep the feet behind your center of mass so that you can maximize leg drive.  “Head down and drive.”

Tip 3 – Relaxation 
One of the most challenging things to do is to stay relaxed while sprinting full speed. I often look at my athlete’s cheeks to see if they are running with “puppy dog” cheeks. If an athlete is too tense, their jaw will be tight and they will be tensing their entire body.

If you see an athlete with a tight face, eyes squinting, teeth clenched, elevated shoulders, and tight fists, they are actually slowing themselves down. You have to let your muscles work for you and not against to maximize your speed potential. This is a tough concept to learn and MUST be practiced if you want get the most out of our speed.

Relax and let your speed come to you!

There is an often forgot about third component to speed and agility training – and it is quickness. Let’s look at the difference.

Agility is the ability to accelerate, decelerate, and change directions as quickly as possible in the shortest amount of time possible

  • Closely related to balance
  • Should be able to move forward, backwards, left, & right all very well

Quickness is the ability to react to a stimulus in the environment in the shortest amount of time possible (a whistle, clap, defender, etc.)

  • Closely related to reaction time
  • Could be foot quickness or hand-eye quickness

Factors affecting Agility & Quickness:

  • Ground Reaction Forces
  • Reaction Time
  • Acceleration & Deceleration
  • Starting quickness (1st step quickness)
  • Cutting
  • Cross-over ability

Drills/Methodologies to Influence Agility & Quickness:

  • Line Drills—runs back & forth, jumping jack feet, front hops, side hops, Ali shuffles, 1-legged lateral hops, 1-legged front hops
  • 5 dot drill
  • Mirror Drill
  • Tag Drill
  • Cone Drills (cone circles, box drill)
  • Bag Drills (shuffles, figure 8’s, shuffle & figure 8’s)
  • Agility Ladder drills (1 foot in each rung, sideways 2 feet in each rung, Ali shuffles, Icky Shuffles, NFL crossover drills)
  • BOSU foot Quickness Drills
  • Deceleration Drills
    • Sprint & stop
    • Sprint & stop and repeat
  • Super Band overspeed/resisted speed drills (running forward & backward or left & right with Super Band; works acceleration & deceleration)

* Incorporate hand-eye coordination into any of these drills for additional quickness/reaction time.

To include hand-eye coordination and reaction time, you can include drills such as:

  • Reaction ball drills (drops, rolls, into rebounder)
  • Card Catch drills
  • BOLA catches

Furthermore, if you are needing to increase your agility and quickness, you can use the same aforementioned exercises to improve your speed. Due to the fact that agility often is lateral quickness or involves cutting, it is imperative that the groins & hips are adequately worked also. The following exercises will augment the strength exercises found in the speed & acceleration section:

  • Diagonal Lunges
  • Slide Board
  • Lateral Band Walks
  • Side Lunges
  • Dirty Dogs
  • Horse-Back Riding

POWER for Speed and Agility Training

If an athlete really wants to reach full potential, they must be able to convert their strength into power. Power is defined as the ability of the neuro-muscular system to create a force rapidly. In its simplest term, power = strength + speed

  • Strength– the maximal amount of force a muscle can generate under a given set of conditions
  • Speed– the ability to move from one point to another point as fast as possible

Methodologies to improve power:

  • Olympic lifting
  • Plyometrics
  • Strength training with speed component

For the sake of this discussion, I am going to concentrate on plyometrics to improve power (along with strength). Plyometrics is a system of hopping, skipping, jumping, or running that works on developing explosive power and maximally recruiting fast-twitch muscle fiber by eccentrically loading a muscle and quickly producing a concentric force. Plyometrics are exercises that enable a muscle to reach maximum strength in as short a time as possible. The faster the eccentric movement (the loading phase), the more stored elastic energy will be released, resulting in a more explosive jump.

Benefits of plyometrics:

  • Improves power & elasticity
  • Trains the nervous system
  • Improves anaerobic conditioning
  • Transformation of muscle strength into power
  • Recruitment of most motor units and their corresponding muscle fibers
  • Develops fast twitch muscle fiber!!!

Rules of plyometrics:

  • Perform on soft surface
  • Do early in your routine
  • Land softly
  • Have adequate strength base before introducing advanced levels of plyometrics (approx. 10 weeks of resistance training)
  • No pain should be experienced in joints
  • Be attentive to form & technique
  • Be sure to stretch & work on strength & flexibility when using plyometrics as part of program
  • Use a 1:3 work/rest ratio for most plyometric exercises
  • Can be performed in many ways:
    • immediately after dynamic warm-up
    • Infuse it during your workout and perform immediately after a strength exercise (complex training)
    • Can be performed on speed days also performed as separate sessions

3 Basic Categories of Lower Body Plyometric Exercises:

  • Jumping—taking off on one or two feet; landing on 2 feet (jumping jacks, leap frogs)
  • Hopping—taking off on one foot and landing on same foot (single leg hopping over line)
  • Bounding—taking off on one foot and landing on other foot (alternate leg bounds)

3 Stages of Plyometric Program Design:

Off-Season (General Conditioning)—2 to 3 times per week; 80-100 foot contacts

Pre-Season (Sport Specific)—2 to 3 times per week; 100-150 foot contacts

In-Season (Sport Specific Maintenance)—1 to 2 times per week; 80-100 foot contacts

Speed and Agility Training

3 Levels of Plyometrics


  • Jumping Rope
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Line jumps & hops
  • Squat jumps
  • Tuck jumps
  • Skater plyos
  • Overhead Medicine Ball Tosses
  • Med Ball Chest Passes
  • Plyo Pushups on floor
  • Medicine Ball rotational ab twists into wall


  • Box jumps
  • Lateral box jumps
  • 1 legged jumps (front & lateral)
  • Supine medicine ball push presses (to partner)
  • 1-legged lateral bounds
  • Plyo situps
  • Med ball throws into ground (with twist)
  • Explosive pushups onto 2 steppers
  • Explosive pushups onto 1 stepper
  • Med ball push press to partner into plyo pushup & repeat
  • Abdominal leg throws
  • Med ball overhead tosses, sprint, and retrieve


  • Depth Jumps
  • Depth Jump with multiple repeats
  • Single leg triple jumps
  • Smith Machine Bench Press Throws to partner
  • Add another exercise to upper & lower body
  • Keiser Air Runner or double leap frongs
  • Increase height of box
  • Incorporate single leg movements
  • Use weighted vests

Recovery for Speed and Agility Training

With all this focus on proper training to improve overall athleticism, it is necessary to  address one critical aspect to an athlete receiving maximum benefits from their training. It is called RECOVERY & REGENERATION. The following components play a critical role in determining how quickly an athlete can recover. The quicker the athlete can recover, the quicker they can train or perform again. Let’s take a look at a couple key components of recovery:

1) Nutrition is step one

  • Protein is step one; we want to increase protein synthesis. One should consume approximately 1 g per lb. of body weight.
  • A protein and carb drink promotes glycogen recovery faster than a carb drink alone following a workout. This helps stimulate protein synthesis.
  • Good nutrition controls insulin, glucagon, leptin, and other very important hormones.

insulin—stores nutrients into cells
leptin—follows insulin & caloric intake/deposition
glucagon—releases fat
Nutrient Timing does play a role in overall nutrition

2) Flexibility (see beginning of article)

  • Static Stretching
  • Yoga

3) Foam Roller or Massage Stick (Self-Myofascial Release)

4) Bodywork (massage, Rolfing, Optimal Performance Bodywork, etc.)

5) Infrared Saunas

6) SupplementationSpeed and Agility Training

  • Fish oils & Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM
  • Multi-vitamin & mineral Complex
  • B12

7) Sleep

During sleep, the production of growth hormone, testosterone, and IGF-1 are at their peak. Growth hormone speeds the absorption of nutrients and amino acids into your cells and aids the healing of tissues throughout the body. Testosterone and IGF-1 are anabolic hormones that are important in muscle growth and assist in recovery also. It is recommended that you get at least 8 hours of sleep when trying to optimize hormone-release and recovery.

Now that you have the tools, it’s time to implement the game-plan and begin working towards improving performance and designing a great speed and agility program. If you combine training hard, the correct methodologies, along with ample recovery & regeneration techniques, it is then that you can maximize your strength, speed, and power development. GO GET IT!!!

What to learn how to teach speed mechanics like the pros?

Check out Ultimate Speed Mechanics



About the Author

Todd Durkin is an internationally-recognized strength and conditioning coach who works with numerous NFL, MLB, and NBA athletes. He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, and the author of The IMPACT! Body Plan. For more information, visit or follow him on Twitter at @ToddDurkin. 

Three Quick Ways To Become a Better Coach


Become a Better Coach

Become a better coach with young athletes


By Wil Fleming


In the network of coaches that I have met, the most passionate always are other coaches at AR. Every one of the coaches that I have met wants to do the best they can FOR their athletes. As a franchise this sets AR apart from any other that I have ever witnessed (outside of maybe Fitness Revolution!).


The franchisee at the local Starbucks isn’t trying to become better at brewing coffee, the local owner of Chipotle isn’t trying to build a better burrito, but each and everyday the owners of AR’s are trying to be better at developing young athletes.


It is a pretty cool thought when you get down to it.


In light of this, and of a conversation that I had with one of my coaches recently I wanted to talk about my 3 ways to INSTANTLY become a better coach. We can all dive into more continuing education products, and attend live events, but those things take time and it is all about being a better coach today than you were yesterday!


    1. Attend your athletes’ sporting events


We typically see our athletes in the bubble that is our AR, we even evaluate them through the lens of an assessment, but the ultimate assessment is how they perform on the field (or court, or track). See your athletes compete and you will be able to pick out exactly what it is that is holding them back.


In their lateral movement are they applying the principles of deceleration? Are they reacting quickly enough to the visual cues of the game played? Right there you have a blueprint for their next phase of speed training.


Do your athletes start to tire later in the match or game? How exactly is their game paced? If you didn’t already know you know now and you hae a blueprint for designing the conditioning protocols they will use in training.


Lastly, and it has been said 100’s of times, being a presence at sporting events is one of the single greatest marketing tools you have in your toolbox.


    1. Use film to breakdown lifts


This is so simple but sometimes we forget it. Our eyes can only capture so much, and with limited repetitions per training session there are so few opportunities to see your athletes in action while training.


Using film can help you spot errors when you believe that everything is going perfectly. Recently with one of my athletes I was able to spot that the athlete was lacking in complete extension of their hips while doing Olympic lifts, even though it seemed they were reaching this point while in full speed. I was able to notice this by breaking down the lift on film and correct this error for the next lift.


Taking a look at film will sharpen your ability to see things going forward and improve your ability to correlate results (missed lifts, slowing down in acceleration, etc) with particular errors.


For the best breakdown of movements I use the iSwing app available for iPhone and Android (it costs $2.99).


    1. Spend 1 day observing other coaches


This is almost immediate, but just arranging to spend 1 day while around other coaches can help you become a better coach and improve your abilities as well. I am fortunate that at AR Bloomington we have some tremendous coaches that I can turn to so that I can bounce ideas off of them, but even if you are not in this situation find someone in driving distance and go learn from them.


They don’t have to be household names or even strength coaches. Just last week I was able to observe a 2x state champion basketball coach take his team through some off-season basketball workouts. His command and presence resonated with me to be a better leader on the floor of our gym.


The desire to become a better coach is the reason that the members of the AR family are among the best in the world.

Try out these 3 quick tips and see your coaching improve overnight!




Designing The Right Speed & Agility Training Program


Speed & Agility Training Program Design


By Wil Fleming


Training athletes in speed & agility can be some difficult business.

Without a plan in mind of how to train a speed session, what can start as a speed session can crumble into a conditioning workout, with no lasting effects on an athlete’s ability to move quickly.

When I am training athletes in speed & agility I find it necessary to first, break it down into the component parts that I would like to train,and second assess the size of the group that I will be working with.

Lets start with what we need to train.

Linear and Lateral Technique
The first thing we should address with any group of any size is the technical components that will make the athletes better and safer. For linear technique we must analyze the most common ways that linear speed are expressed:

Is it from a 3 point stance, 2 point stance, split stance, from a slower pace?

This will guide our use of acceleration training and allow us to coach the young athletes on the proper start positions.

Lateral technique will focus on the lateral gait cycle and change of direction body positions. This type of training should be done with any group regardless of age and size of the group.

Linear and Lateral Power
The next phase of training will involve using different implements or tools to create more power for your athletes. Typically we will use sleds, weighted vests, medicine balls, or resistance bands to improve power in both the linear sprinting/acceleration and in lateral deceleration or acceleration

Linear and Lateral Reaction
When training reaction we are trying to improve the athletes ability to perceive the action and make the appropriate reaction. Drills in this category include change of direction with visual or verbal cues and acceleration drills on visual cues

Next lets move onto the size of the group, as this will determine the types of drills and equipment that we can use.

Less than 3 athletes
With less than 3 athletes training the coaching can be very intensive and the athletes can receive direction on technique with any and all drills. Very rarely in this situation will you be limited with the amount of equipment needed to complete a drill. Rest times will have to be accounted for through the training plan to make sure that the athletes get quality repetitions.

Small group – Less than 10-15 athletes
Training in groups smaller than 10 may limit your ability to train the group with equipment that you have on hand. If equipment is to be used it will be necessary to partner up the young athletes or go in a rotation. Your ability to instruct will not be limited, but should be planned out in the speed & agility training program for the day.

Large group – More than 15 athletes
With a group of more than 15 athletes restrictions on equipment become a primary concern, typically with groups this size or larger choices of equipment should be easily transportable (cones, small bands) and be plentiful. Instruction time should be mapped out before hand and should be deliberate. Large groups should be divided into smaller groups, this will allow for instruction between repetitions. Rest intervals in large groups are less necessary to plan because a normal rotation of drills and groups will allow for even, or positive rest periods.

With groups of any size it is important to approach Speed & Agility with the same type of deliberate plan that is often reserved for strength training. Doing so will insure that your session will not turn into glorified conditioning work, but will instead develop real, true speed, wow coaches and grow your business.


Youth Speed Training Mistakes

Youth Speed Training

Youth Speed Training Expert Opinions

Coach Robert Dos Remedios is considered one of the best Strength Coaches in College sports.


And he agrees.


So does Sue Falsone.


Sue is the former Head Physical Therapist for the Los Angeles Dodgers and current Director of Physical Therapy for the vaunted ‘Athletes Performance’ facility in Arizona.


The ability of an athlete to become ‘elite’, ‘professional’ or ‘world-class’ is based almost entirely on what kind of development happened when they were young.


Coach Dos explained to me how puzzled and frustrated his is year-in and year-out to have all-state high school athletes come in as freshmen to his program…


… Only to be lacking in the BASICS of speed, agility and strength.


As far as he’s concerned the ‘Mistakes’ we make at the youth level from a Speed & Agility Training perspective are:



7 Steps to Kids Programming: Part 3


Kids Programming

Picking up from yesterday…


Over the years, I have grown fond of referring to these issues as the ‘Likely Bunch’ and have created a training template intended to meet of the aforementioned needs as a matter of principle rather than what an assessment tells me.


Rather than programming for the day, week or month, my standard Training Template for a high school athlete looks as follows:


  1. Tissue Quality – 10 minutes
  2. ROM/Torso/Activation – 10 minutes
  3. Movement Preparatory – 10 minutes
  4. Movement – 10 minutes
  5. Strength/Power Technique – 10 minutes
  6. Strength Execution – 10 minutes
  7. Warm-Down/Active Flexibility – 10 minutes



Youth Fitness: Inventory

Youth Fitness: Find out how to get ahead of the competition


youth fitness

Okay, the inventory is set and ready to move!


And here’s what I’ve got for you:


1) Closed-Door: How to Create Profitable & Effective Speed Camps


On the Sunday of the 2009 IYCA International Summit, I did a 4-hour closed-door presentation along with Pat Rigsby:


:: How to Teach Deceleration & Acceleration (6-Step Sequence)


:: How to Prepare Athletes for Speed Combine Camps


:: How to Create Programs that Are Effective in 1, 2 or 7 Day Speed Camps


:: How to Write & Send Press Releases So You Get in the Paper & on TV


:: How to Create Free Community Events that Lead to BIG BUCKS


This seminar was wildly successful and became an international smash hit.  Not just because of what I taught about effective Speed & Agility Training, but because I revealed my own formula for creating weekend Speed Camps that routinely generated as much as $10,000!!


—> Click Here Right Now for 83% Savings



Coaching Young Athletes Too Much or Not Enough?



Coaching Young Athletes

I have long contended that too much coaching when it comes to working
with very young athletes is far worse than not enough instruction.


Give them ideas of what it is you want.


Offer more instruction if they need it.


And then let them play.


Allow them to figure it out.


This process builds Athletic Intelligence and gives very young athletes the
ability to warehouse knowledge through a trial and error sort of way.


Do you agree?


Disagree and want to explain why?


Please watch this two minute video during which I explain how to correctly be
Coaching Young Athletes the process of deceleration.


Give it a watch and leave your comments below. I really want to know your
thoughts on the matter.



At this past February’s International Summit, I, along with ten of the most
well-known and gifted Youth Fitness Specialists in the world, offered information
about training, nutrition and business during a 3-day event that has been called
"One of the Best Fitness Events Ever"


::Dr. Kwame Brown – The Art of Play
:: Pat Rigsby – Marketing for a Youth Fitness Business
:: Nick Berry – Business Systems for Youth Fitness
:: Carlo Alvarez – Creating Championship High School Programs
:: Dr. Chris Mohr – Nutrition for the Young Athlete
:: Lee Taft – Speed & Agility Training


Click Here Now to witness this landmark event for yourself


Youth Speed Training Myths



Youth Speed Training success

Training young athletes for speed is a topic that I love to chat about.


Mostly, because I learn from a variety of sources.


What’s your philosophy on speed training?


Deceleration first?


Systemic strength as a base?


Multiple parts of different kinds of stimulus?


I love to learn from IYCA Members worldwide and would be honored if
you would click on the link below and share with me your thoughts
on Youth Speed Training


So, what say you about speed training, my friend?


Please…. Leave your thoughts and comments below –


Speed Training That Works



Speed Training with young athletes



The DVD’s from my first annual International Summit will be released
in just a few short days.


The amount of information you will receive on strength training, programming,
speed training and agility development AS WELL as guaranteed business strategies
that work will absolutely stagger you…


… Stay tuned!


– Brian

Exercise Programs For Kids and The Art Of Teaching Speed

Exercise Programs For Kids Speed Training

One of my favorite things to teach, both to young athletes as well as
Coaches, is the mechanics of speed.


Deceleration techniques specifically.


And that’s because speed is seldom taught as a skill at all.


Usually, the ‘speed work’ of a training session consists of some hurdles,
cones, sprinting and ‘plyo’ exercises with little attention being paid to
form or function.


Simply put, we don’t often TEACH speed and respect it in the way we


Young athletes can (and should) be taught how to become faster and
more efficient from a movement perspective.


And in order to do that correctly, you must have a progressive system
in place that allows them to learn.


I always teach speed by instructing on the skill of deceleration first –
and I teach that from both a lateral and linear perspective.


Here’s my overview for teaching the skill of lateral deceleration for Exercise Programs For Kids:



The Speed Training Secret

Speed Training Coaching

I received this great question from a reader earlier this week:


"Hi Brian. When training young athletes 8 – 12, what are the most important concepts of speed and acceleration to teach or stress?"


The answer, my friends, is none of them…


… Well not really, anyways.


If I were to look solely at speed training and acceleration development with pre-adolescent athletes, my suggestion would be strength. Strength is an often forgotten variable in the speed and power equation and quite a critical component to the matrix of developing young athletes.


But the actual answer is deceleration skills.


To decelerate well means that you are in a position to re-accelerate effectively.


It means that you are likely one of the ‘fastest’ kids on the field (remember – it’s not who runs the fastest… it’s who can change direction quickest and with the most ease).


It means that you are likely injury-free (a combination of strength and quality mechanical understanding are the two greatest factors I have seen in terms of reducing the likelihood of knee and ankle injuries).


Now when teaching proper deceleration skills, it is critical that you move from Closed to Open Habits.


Closed Habits – skills being executed in a static environment.


Open Habits – skills that are adaptable to varying conditions and situations.


Closed Habits remove the external concerns of adjunct movement, opponents, teammates, speed and objects like a ball or puck.


In essence, Closed Habit skills are taught in the beginning stages of learning a given movement or series of movements.


For example, with my ‘Principles of Movement’ chapter and DVD in Complete Athlete Development ( I show how to teach both linear and lateral deceleration skills starting with repeating the motion from a static environment.


Eventually, you move into more advanced variations of learning and mastering these skills, such as repeating them in harmony with a random cueing from a coach or trainer.


At this level, the skills are known as Open Habits.


It is the progression of learning quality deceleration skills that make young athletes truly ‘fast’, ‘quick’ and ‘agile’.


Not the answer you were looking for on speed training, perhaps



Complete Athlete Development: No More Guessing

No more guessing.


Proven strategies that work every time.


Complete Athlete Development:

That’s what you get when you follow what is in the DVD

An all-inclusive training system for working with

young athletes ages 6 – 18.


And yes. It’s been internationally field-tested and

proven to work.


Over 15,000 young athletes worldwide have been exposed

to my training system. And I may a lot of mistakes

with them along the way.


That’s kind of like the built-in guarantee of Complete

Athlete Development.


I’ve made mistakes and am certainly never afraid to

say I was wrong.


I used to work endlessly on linear speed technique.


Teach my young athletes who to accelerate forward,

drive their arms and get full hip extension with every



Then I realized I was wrong.


It’s not about linear speed. It’s about angles and



That’s why I created my Principles of Movement.


They teach young athletes how to accelerate and decelerate

through a progressive sequence –


1) Repeat Statically

2) Repeat Dynamically

3) Repeat Randomly

4) Predictable Specificity

5) Random Specificity

6) Individualization



I also used to think that working with pre-adolescents

was nothing more than playing some random games.




Sharks and Minnows


Capture the Flag



Then I realized that these games had to be cloaked in

certain aspects of coordination.


That without these coordination efforts, young athletes

would be grossly deficient in certain areas of athletic

ability by the time they reached the teenage years.


Some of the coordination facets include –


1) Kinesthetic Differentiation

2) Balance

3) Rhythm

4) Spatial Awareness

5) Movement Adequacy



Ever since I adopted all these ideas and put them into

practical use, I have seen the injury rates of my young

athletes drop considerably while their overall performance

increase dramatically.


Have a look at what other Coaches worldwide have to

say about my Complete Athlete Development system –


This training system has changed the philosophies,

training styles and lives of countless Coaches worldwide.


And all because I was in the trenches making mistakes.


Until I found the secret to it all…



‘Till next time,



The Young Athletes Injury Prevention Lie



Young Athletes Programming Do Reduce Injuries

You can’t build a house on quicksand.


You just can’t.


When the base isn’t sturdy, the structure is bound to


And that’s the only real lesson you need to understand
when it comes to injury prevention for young athletes.


It’s all in building a foundation.


From the ground up.


As Trainers and Coaches, our entire obligation when
working with younger athletes (6 – 13 years old) is to
fill them with as much athletic knowledge as possible.


Nothing ‘sport specific’.


Nothing ‘position specific’.


Just a full and complete warehouse of information.


Force production and absorption.


Speed and agility skill.


Lift mechanics and positioning.


Teaching young athletes how to perform these critical
elements of sporting success in the undeniable key
to the becoming champions.


But it’s also the most important factor in preventing
injuries as well.


And that is one of the main issues we have wrong in
this industry.


True injury prevention does not come in the form of
6-week programs geared towards lessoning the risk of
certain incidents.


Real injury prevention occurs naturally as a secondary
result of proper developmental training.


It is not an isolating issue that needs to be addressed


Case in point, I was reviewing an ‘ACL Prevention’
program offered by a local hospital last week and saw
the curriculum they teach their young athletes during
this 6-week course:


a. Deceleration Techniques

b. Jumping and Landing Mechanics

c. Proper Strength Training Technique


Is there anything in there that shouldn’t automatically
be included in a well designed athletic development
training system?


What denotes this specifically as an ‘ACL Prevention’


A good friend and colleague mine, Alwyn Cosgrove, is
found of saying, "If it isn’t injury prevention that
doesn’t that make it automatically injury promotion?"


Alwyn’s comment is meant to make you think.


All quality training programs should be based on
preventing injuries.


If they aren’t, than they’re promoting them – which
doesn’t seem to make any sense.


In the case of young athletes (6 – 13), the most
critical factor in preventing injuries is in understanding
the science and practical application of coordination





Spatial Awareness


Kinesthetic Differentiation




Movement Adequacy



How each of these commodities apply to a training


How to create fun and engaging drills for each of them.


Why they are critical for both future performance and
injury prevention.


And it seems to me that when it comes to working with
younger athletes, very few Coaches and Trainers truly
seem to get it.


ACL and other debilitating injuries that occur in the
teenage years can be prevented by applying the right
kind of exercise stimulus while athletes are still
very young.


Maybe worth looking at a resource that is considered
one of the greatest information products ever produced
when it comes to the training and development of young


Complete Athlete Development has been field tested on
more than 15,000 young athletes worldwide and changed
the lives of countless Coaches, Trainers and Parents.


I’ve been coaching for 13 years now.


Not one major injury suffered to a single athlete


Could be chance.


Maybe I’m just lucky.


Or perhaps there’s some stuff about injury prevention
that you need to know better?


Have a look at Complete Athlete Development and find out –


Over 3.5 million young athletes will get injured playing sports
this year in the United States alone.


Tragic but largely preventable.


Give CAD a try –



‘Till next time,




Youth Athletic Development Coaching For Speed – A Lost Art

What you’re about to see is one of the final phases of a system for

teaching speed and agility to improve youth athletic development.


You start youth athletic development by Introducing ‘Skill Sets’.


You then Teach ‘Deceleration Techniques’ through the Principles
of Movement.


You then Integrate these techniques into a functional and
specific format.


It is progressive and systems oriented.


And it works.


Notice how I coach as my athletes are working.


I stop to show and explain what was right and what was wrong.


Coaching is an art.


It is a never ending process of correction and affirmation in youth athletic development.


Here’s that video –





Crisp, clean and direct.


Now that is the culmination of a progressive speed training system.



1) Introduce
2) Teach
3) Integrate



It doesn’t get easier than that and yet still, very few Coaches and Trainers do it right.


I’m not going to bother you with ‘testimonials’ or a ‘sales ad’ here.


Just click the link below and look hard at my Complete Athlete Development system.


The ‘How To’ for developing young athletes from 6 – 18 years old.


Including this Speed and Agility progressive system.


With a guaranteed money back stipulation, you have absolutely nothing
to lose.


Here’s your exclusive link –


Complete Athlete Development – Click Here and See For Yourself





Common Mistakes in Youth Speed Training

The video above is an excerpt from the Youth Speed Training’ DVD in my Complete Athlete Development system.


Teaching quality deceleration and acceleration skills from different
angles is the most important place to start with an effective
Youth Speed Training system.


Do you have a system for Youth Speed Training?


Complete Athlete Development will be off the market very soon, but
the speed training system I outline within it will make all the difference
in the world to the success rates of your young athletes.


Heath Croll down in Virginia had this to say –



“… I realized in an instance that the techniques and progressions he
was showing were going to make my athletes the fastest and most
agile in the game…. I was right!”