Most speed drills fall into one of three training categories—resistance, assisted (a.k.a. overspeed) or reaction. Here’s a quick rundown of what defines these categories and how they help your game.
Resistance Speed Training:
Introduces the element of resistance, which forces you to work harder to sprint. Examples include sprinting while pulling a weight sled, wearing a weight vest or running uphill. All resistance work teaches your muscles to produce more force while running without weight or against a hill.
Assisted or Overspeed Training:
Forces you to run faster than you do naturally by reducing resistance. Examples include sprinting downhill or having a partner attached to a long bungee pull you forward in the sprint. This acclimates your body to sprinting at greater speeds.
These drills begin on a partner’s command. Examples include starting on an audible cue, such as a whistle or clap, or a visual cue, such as a partner’s pointing or dropping a tennis ball. You learn to respond and react quickly to another’s actions, which mimics the demands of most sports.