Speed and Agility Training for Beginners

Speed and Agility Training for Beginners

Speed and agility are the holy grail of many sports, and many athletes invest a significant amount of time researching speed and agility training, only coming upon pages and pages of bad information. In this information, I’d like to go over some of the major concepts of speed and agility training, and hopefully provide some good information that you can use.

Principle #1: keep the volume low.

Don’t do endless repetitions until you can barely walk. Speed and agility training is about quality, NOT quantity. Think about it: when are you the fastest? Probably when you are the freshest. This is when you are really training your speed and agility.
Let’s say that you do a workout of 100 repetitions of a speed and agility drill. You may only have the energy to do the first 15 at the highest speed. The other 85 repetitions, sure, they’re difficult, you’re probably getting a good sweat going, and you might be breathing hard, but none of that is the target of your workout. You just want to get faster. And yet, 15 repetitions were performed at maximal speed, and 85 repetitions were performed at a sub-maximal speed (ie slower than you should be). What do you think your body will remember better: the 15 repetitions or the 85?
When you should cut off your speed and agility training? As soon as speed starts to decline.

Principle #2: participate in your sport

If you are a complete beginner, you will make major improvements simply by participating in your sport. This is the benefit of being a beginner. Very little work will result in very big results, and no supplementary speed and agility training is necessary for the first little while.

Principle #3: perform footwork drills

Footwork drills develop coordination, which improves how your nervous system uses your muscles in your sport. What happens is that you become more efficient (use less energy, or are more relaxed) at performing the specific movements of your sport, without wasting energy on micro-movements that don’t contribute to your speed and agility. Very importantly, do not perform footwork drills in excess. See principle #1 of speed and agility training about keeping the volume low.

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