How Texas T&F Improves Their Kick | STACK

How Texas T&F Improves Their Kick

September 1, 2007 | Featured in the September 2007 Issue

Must See Track & Field Videos

 

A strong kick at the end of a race can make the difference between standing on the podium to receive your medal or watching the awards ceremony from the bleachers. We hit up Trey Zepeda, strength and conditioning coach for the University of Texas track and field team, to learn how the Longhorns shift into that extra gear.

STACK: Talk about the importance of possessing a strong kick.
TZ:
It’s the most important tactical skill you can have as a runner. No matter how tired you are during a race, you should always be able to pick your pace up at the end.

STACK: When should a runner start to kick?
TZ:
I tell my runners to have a plan, and an alternative if the race doesn’t go the way they envisioned. We figure out what they will do if they get boxed in, or if the pace is faster than expected. If you get boxed in, keep your composure and try to escape by the last 400. Initiate your kick there instead of at the 200, because, more than likely, you’ll be behind. Same thing if the pace is quicker than expected—start your kick a little sooner.

STACK: How can an athlete learn to develop and use his kick?
TZ:
You can tell an athlete all you want when and when not to kick. But until he’s in an actual race, he won’t be able to apply it. But during training, he should replicate the race as much as possible.

STACK: How can athletes improve their ability to kick into that final gear?
TZ:
With speed work. You can do repetition work, intervals and running hills, both down and up. Basically, any training you do can improve your kick; there is no secret formula. I tell my kids that they need to improve strength, power, speed, endurance, tactical awareness and self-belief. It comes down to who wants it more at the end and who has trained the hardest.

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

Make Quick and Powerful Cuts Like Adrian Peterson

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

Get Faster With 3 Essential Speed Training Strategies

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion

Soccer Players: Get Faster with the Montreal Impact Workout

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

Michael Johnson's Guide to a Faster 40

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

Step Counting: How Big Men Can Run a Faster 40

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

2-Week Long-Distance Track Workout Training Plan

How Sammy Watkins Built His Game-Breaking Speed

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Soccer Speed and Agility Drills for Women

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

Reactive Agility: The Next Big Thing in Speed Training

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

5 Essential Cross Country Workouts Explained

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

Pyramids: A Sprint Workout for the Strong

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

The Speed Drill That Set Up DeSean Jackson's 64-Yard Touchdown

Increase Your Soccer Speed With 4 Sprint Drills

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

Get Faster With 'The .10 Second Difference' From EXOS

3 Speed Drills to Help You Sprint Faster and Lower Your 40 Time

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Sprint Speed

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

4 Foot Speed Drills to Increase Speed and Agility

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season