If you're a team sport athlete who is working on getting faster, you could be wasting your time with your current speed program. Many team sport athletes mindlessly select a speed workout meant for sprinters or track athletes. That's why you need to be careful when selecting a training plan. Ignore the generalized promises some programs offer, and focus on the sport-specific speed you need for your team to win.
Team sport athletes must be able to accelerate, reach maximum speed in the shortest possible time, and decelerate in a controlled fashion. If you're currently training for top speed by running distances of 100, 150 and 200 meters, you're not training the kinds of speed needed for team sports, and you're giving your competition an advantage.
Make the needed adjustments with the following speed-training workout, designed for athletes participating in team sports. It focuses mostly on acceleration and can be done one or two times per week.
Foam Roll: Using a foam roller or a tennis ball, target your calves, T-spine, lumbar spine, IT bands, quadriceps and hip rotators (check out this foam rolling video)
Static Stretch: When performing static stretches, hold each for a count of 20. Stretch your quadriceps, hamstrings, hip femoris, adductors, groin, calves and shoulders (See Increase the Effectiveness of Your Stretching Routine.)
Dynamic Warm-up: Perform these drills for 10 yards, progressing to 15 and 20 when you get more advanced.
Sets/Reps: 3x10 each leg, followed by 3- to 10-second cadences
When you can perform these correctly, add a cadence of:
Sets/Reps: 6x10 yards
Sets/Reps: 5xdrill with 2- or 3-minute rest between sprints for good recovery
Using the same acceleration technique, perform five times with 3- to 5-minute rest between reps
Check out STACK's Speed Workout Library for more ideas for your next practice.