The core of technique development or learning is in the action of achieving perfect sensory-motor habits. A sensory-motor habit is simply a “learned activity of sensory and motor processes intentionally practiced to the point of nationalization”. From a physiological perspective, this entails creating a permanent conditional reflex connection that enables the exact same motor reactions to respond to the same stimuli. The development of a sensory-motor habit occurs through many stages:
Many articles, books and information products discuss the development of speed from its physiological perspective of bio-motor enhancement.
How to get athletes stronger so as to create more force production and absorption.
How many sets and reps are necessary in a given training program in order to elicit the greatest possible hypertrophic response.
How long should the rest times be between sprints or cone drills so as to ensure maximum recoverability.
These are all valid considerations and the purpose of this article is not to diminish their value.
The pursuit of lasting speed and movement enhancement with your athletes however, should not be reduced to learning and applying just the overviews of quality programming. There is a much larger picture to consider – and it requires a more long-term approach and keen eye from a coaching perspective.