How to Coach Youth Speed Drills | STACK Coaches and Trainers
X

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

Coaching Youth Speed Training

January 21, 2013 | Brian Lebo

Must See Speed Videos

Much debate in the strength and conditioning world concerns how young athletes should begin a development program. However, experts agree that speed and agility drills can be part of any athlete's training, regardless of age. Youth speed training can easily be implemented in either an individual or group setting. Although form and function may be similar, the intensity level of children's exercises and drills should be appropriate for the degree of physical and psychological maturity of each individual athlete. (See Youth Sports Psychology: How to Ensure Your Athletes Stay Motivated and Have Fun.)

A qualified, experienced strength and conditioning professional should supervise these exercises and drills.

Youth Speed Training Drills

Introducing form, technique, and muscle memory drills early ensures the development of good habits. Focus on stride length, stride frequency, and footwork fundamentals with resisted running and speed ladders. These drills can be introduced when the athlete is of grade-school age, about six to eight years old. For weighted, resistance running, add loads not exceeding 10% of the athlete's body weight.

  • Arm Action Drills
  • Mountain Climbers
  • High Knees
  • Acceleration Drills (moving quickly from a still position; starting and stopping)
  • Resisted Running (parachute, weighted sled)
  • Uphill Running
  • Speed Ladders

Strength/Power Development

Lower-extremity strength and power are foundational components of speed development. Linear speed, agility and vertical jumping are based on the amount of force an athlete can generate against the ground. Since these exercises are higher-intensity/impact, volume should remain low for younger children. Athletes can safely begin performing them as pre-teens, about 10 to 12 years old.

  • Prisoner Squats
  • Power (high) Skipping
  • Power (long) Skipping
  • Lateral Skaters
  • Split Squat (alternating lunge) Jumps
  • Squat Jumps
  • Ankle Hops
  • Standing Long Jumps/Bounding

Keep It Simple

Youth speed drills should be easy to instruct, demonstrate, and perform. Don't stay on any one exercise or drill for too long. Keep it fresh to maintain engagement and involvement.

Make it Fun

Remember, they're just kids. Be generous with recognition and encouragement. Kids like competition, so make a game or contest of some of the drills, but keep it friendly.

Learn more by checking out our Speed Drills Library.

Topics: SPEED DRILLS
Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...
Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...
Must See
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 4,985,554
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,222,351
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,295

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,466
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,478
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,723
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

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,368
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,988,602
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,610
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,529
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,175,033

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

There is a point at which the weather or conditions or maybe even circumstance will prevent you from doing proper speed drills and speed work. For...

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

5 Weight Room Speed Exercises You're Not Doing

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

Improve Your Baseball Speed With This On-Field Workout

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

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

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

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

3 Biggest Myths About Soccer Speed

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

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

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

Build Sprint Speed Like an Olympian

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

Increase Your Lacrosse Speed With Multi-Directional Exercises

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time

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

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Acceleration Drills to Increase Speed

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

8 Speed Workout Tips to Get Faster

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion