Developing true speed takes patience, but with proper sprinting mechanics, over time you will become the athlete you've always wanted to be. (See Basic Speed Training Drills for Any Sport.) The key to speed training is progression. You must master a sprinting drill with proper technique before moving on to more advanced drills. This is where patience comes in. It may be frustrating, but take your time and fix each drill into your motor program.
The following support drill is designed to help you master the proper body position for sprinting, so you can increase your speed. It will improve your stability and strengthen the main muscles used in sprinting—the hip flexors, glutes and calves. The drill can be performed every day as part of a speed development program. I recommend performing it for 10 to 20 sets and progressing to a distance of 30 yards.
- Hold head in a neutral position with eyes straight ahead
- Stand tall with hips high, chest up and arms down at sides
- Bring right knee up, with toes up and good positive shin angle
- Arm on side of raised leg should be back, with elbow bent as if you were reaching for your back pocket to get your wallet
- Fingers should be extended with thumb close to right rear pocket
- Opposite arm (on support side) should in front in closed position with hand at cheek level (no higher) and fingers extended
- Rear leg (support leg) should be fully extended and locked
- To make drill a little more difficult, raise heel slightly on support leg
Performing the Speed Support Drill
Sets/Distance: 10-12x30 yards
- Hold support position for a few seconds
- Step down with right foot and bring up left leg
- Make sure to follow correct arm action
- Move forward, as if you were marching with your knees up