4 Essential Speed Training Drills | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Basic Speed Training Drills for Any Sport

March 22, 2012

Must See Speed Videos

One of the most important attributes of athleticism is speed. It can differentiate good players from great players, and it's one of the most sought-after abilities on the playing field—regardless of the sport.

Speed training drills must be learned correctly and practiced constantly to truly enhance your speed. You need to perform drills that enhance the four basic components of speed training: Stride Length, Stride Frequency, Acceleration and Speed Endurance. Below are speed training drills that emphasize each one. These speed training drills work for athletes of any sport.

Speed Training Drills

Stride Length: The amount of distance covered between strides. A product of proper running form and force generated off the ground.

Stride Length Training Drill: Forward Bounding

  • Forcefully alternate strides
  • Focus on maintaining extension in back leg
  • Contact ground with balls of feet

Sets/Distance: 4x30 yards

The number of strides within a given distance. This is a combination of how fast you can move through the stride cycle and ground contact time.

Stride Speed Training Drill: Quick Feet to High Knee Drill

  • Start drill with small strides, bounding as fast as possible
  • Take small, fast steps and land on balls of feet
  • Gradually move into High Knees, forcefully driving up knees

Sets/Distance: 4x15 yards (five yards of Quick Feet; 10 yards of High Knees)

Acceleration: The ability to increase speed over a given distance. Usually from a stationary or slow-moving situation to full speed, with emphasis on push-off force.

Acceleration Drill: Med Ball Push to Sprint

  • Select med ball you can easily throw 10 feet or more
  • Start in staggered stance and drive ball out as far as possible
  • While driving ball out, start sprinting
  • Sprint 30 yards

Sets/Distance: 4x30 yards

Speed Endurance: The ability to support top speed over a given period. Largely improved by anaerobic interval conditioning.

Speed Endurance Drill: Interval Sprints

Perform these at full speed with monitored rest periods. Pick a distance proper to your sport (see below). Gradually decrease the rest-to-work ratio. Start at 3:1 and then move to 2:1 and so forth.

  • Football — 20 to 40 yards
  • Basketball — 10 yards
  • Baseball — 30 yards

Sets/Reps: 5-10x1

When starting to develop a speed training program, make sure that you begin with the basics and move up progressively. If you can consistently do the simple things well, you will build a great foundation of speed that will be perfected over the course of your  career.

Read these articles for more great speed training drills:

Photo:  2.tbo.com

Wray Watkins
- Wray Watkins is the director of strength and conditioning at MVP Sports Centers in Lake Forest, Calif. He has worked with athletes from the NFL,...
Wray Watkins
- Wray Watkins is the director of strength and conditioning at MVP Sports Centers in Lake Forest, Calif. He has worked with athletes from the NFL,...
Must See
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,472,069
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,305,124
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 20,340,071

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 147,463
Add Core Power for Basketball With Damian Lillard's Med Ball Throws Views: 4,255,154
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 23,946
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Improve Your Baseball Speed With This On-Field Workout

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

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

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

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

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

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

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

Acceleration Drills to Increase Speed

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

Increase Your Lacrosse Speed With Multi-Directional Exercises

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

5 Essential Cross Country Workouts Explained

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

Soccer Speed and Agility Drills for Women

8 Speed Workout Tips to Get Faster

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Make Quick and Powerful Cuts Like Adrian Peterson

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash

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

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson