Where It All Started
Introduction to Speed – Using the Physics of Earth
1) Psychology of Speed
2) The Greatest Secret Weapon
3) The Power of 10,000
4) Visualize, Imagine, & Dream Your Way to Running Faster
5) The "Aha" Moment: The Athlete’s Epiphany
6) Confidence and Self-Concepts
7) The Psychology of Words
8) How Athletes Learn and Think
9) “Oh No! Not Running!”
10) Get Out of that “Stupid State”
11) Just Relax… and RUN!
12) Hmmmm… Thoughts While Running
13) How to Communicate with the Athlete
14) The 3 Speeds: Teaching the “Feeling” of Speed
15) Ratio Separation Point (RSP)
16) Physiological Processes of the Body - For EveryBody!
17) Myelin Skill Training
18) “You Just Can't Teach That. . .”
19) Right Brain vs. Left Brain
20) Male and Female Speed
21) What about Strength? Strength vs. Speed
Bibliography Works Cited About Kenneth Taylor
137 139 143
My goal in writing this book is to enlighten young athletes, parents and coaches and open their eyes to unseen possibilities in the world of speed, sports and athletics. This book is designed to touch the psychological, physiological and sociological aspects of speed. It looks at the paradigm of coaching, teaching and parenting styles. It is designed to discuss and bring to light the possibilities of becoming a faster athlete regardless of genetics. Through research, experience, and real athletic examples, it will examine the spiraling events and positive results that commonly occur when athletes run faster. It will also touch on how that resulting positive confidence carries over into other parts of the athletes' lives. The Positive Spiral Example: An athlete gets faster, which increases his confidence, which makes him feel better about himself because he knows he can get to the ball or make the play. This leads him to volunteer or even tryout for important positions, which leads to more quality repetitions, which leads to more possible opportunities for success. This further leads to others giving him praise, which makes him feel good about himself, so his communication skills get better with parents and teachers, so his grades improve, and so on and so on. It is a positive spiral chain of psychological, physiological and sociological events. Unfortunately, there is also another side - the negative spiraling chain of events. Whether positive or negative, I examine, through real life and fictitious scenarios, how the "spiral" can influence and ultimately determine one's athletic possibilities, and life outcomes. 1
Although more scientific studies and research is still needed regarding the psychological, physiological and sociological influences that affect an athletes‘ ability to run faster, it is known that the athletes‘ ability to think and process information, their physical limitations and the environment can all have a positive and/or adverse effect. Here, we look at and apply the current findings to current teaching trends. We discover that the vast majority of us have experienced the positive and negative spiraling chain of events in our past. There is a psychological journey that all of us athletes travel through from good and bad coaching. Which path we take as youth can depend on the positive or negative coaching styles that influenced us during our life. Ever see a coach yell harshly at a kid who already made a bunch of mistakes, only to watch that kid go deeper into confusion, frustration, depression and hopelessness? Ever see what happens to a kid's life when a coach constantly gives him lots of praise? What about the influence this has on his peers? Yes, being a faster athlete can help you make the plays, but it is much deeper than that. Over time, it can influence who you are and who you become. But why, if we know this, do we know so little about how to become a faster athlete? Who really helps you get faster? Our youth become interwoven in a pattern of coaching that leads them to a habitual pattern of thinking and results, thinking and results and so on. It is a perpetuated spiral that can lead down many negative or positive roads. This is normal and a part of life. In fact, when we look at our young athletes we will see that it is a delicate and tenuous response to our psychological, physiological, and sociological culture. We, as parents, coaches, and teachers frequently must make decisions at different levels in this paradigm of athletic cultures and chains of thoughts and results (or non-results). These decisions then directly determine a young athlete's direction in life. However, if we have the ability to influence our athlete‘s outcome towards the more positive path, wouldn‘t we do it? Parents and coaches are charged with making decisions that guide our youth. Our findings show that most parents and coaches, or even athletes themselves, do not have all the information needed to make the most educated decision regarding speed. The fact that most athletes and parents still think that speed can not be taught is a perpetuating cycle of decisions made with incomplete experiences, results, repetitions and opportunities. 2
A young athlete does not know, what he does not yet know. Over and over again I will hear an athlete, parent, or coach claim “I already know what speed training is.” But do they? Do you? Probably 99% of the time athletes and parents are confusing speed training with conditioning or agility exercises. This incorrect characterization of speed training and of training overall, is further exasperated through our social culture of how we, as a general coaching and teaching community, guide and instruct our youth. Often our community, teachers and coaches instruct through the negative spectrum and even through penalty and threat. The focus is on the rewardpunishment model. Deserve and don't deserve. However, when it comes to sports, it is hard for a child to become deserving if he can't get an opportunity. And so the negative spiraling chain of events begin: if he doesn‘t get an opportunity to become faster, he doesn‘t get noticed, so he doesn‘t get in the game, so he doesn‘t make mistakes, so he can‘t learn how to become a great player. Millions of athletes are left behind to never discover their true genetic potential. We know that the vast majority of athletes will never become Olympic sprinters or professional athletes. However, the true spirit of striving and achieving may be undiscovered and untapped through the experiences that produce unsupportive thoughts, reactions, results and decisions. This is different for the elite and genetically gifted athletes. They don't live in this world and usually have a hard time relating to the kid ―on-the-bubble.‖ However, the kid ―on-the-bubble‖ represents the normal or average athlete. News Flash: there are millions more average and below average athletes than not. And most get left behind. We now know through quantifiable research it is physiologically possible to become a faster runner and all around faster athlete. Throughout this book, we will take a brief look at what it takes physiologically to become a master at any activity. We will examine the 10,000 hour rule so eloquently researched and examined by Malcolm Gladwell. We will also look at some of the research done by Daniel Coyle and his examination on the findings of Myelin building within the body: how the physical activities we engage in day to day is largely skill based and Myelin Sheath building is at the core of building a skill. If "it" is a skill then most any 3
human can learn and then master "any" activity when rehearsed for 10,000 hours. We, as humans, are non-unique in how we learn. Like most mammals, we learn by creating and making mistakes. It isn‘t the only way we learn or teach ourselves, but it is the most biological and primal way. In fact, as we will discuss, when training for mastery, we are looking to find that "zone" where we actually make mistakes. This is the zone where the deepest learning takes place. This is where we get better. Better at running! Sociologically our society and up-brining has taught us to not make mistakes. "Mistakes are the enemy" is a common notion that we hold as a hard rule on the inside. This not only limits us as we train athletes, but it limits our thoughts and ability to think towards a path that helps us develop and improve our skills and positive thought patterns. In addition, I will bring to the surface the spiraling effects of bad coaching, bad thinking, and how bad decision making can destroy an athlete's future. I don't mean his professional or Olympic future, but an athlete‘s right to strive, discover and enjoy his or her athletic life. By following the rules of the body and the rules of physics on earth, you can run faster! Just this fact alone should bring forth and improve your psychological confidence, and thus willingness to examine and try the tools, techniques and regiments that help athletes run faster. Once an athlete discovers not only what is honestly possible, but the clear road to get there, then the positive results start to become the norm. And that is the positive spiraling effect that I want for all athletes! How successful can you be? The sky is the limit! Once you are given the right tools, you never know what desire and inspiration can bring out of the dark.
The Obvious Benefits of Speed:
Faster times mean more/better opportunities to play at the next level. More opportunities to receive scholarships. More opportunities to achieve personal records, school records, club records, and maybe, just maybe, world records!
The Benefits - Speed Helps You: Accelerate before your opponent When you are efficient with your speed, you can accelerate away from your opponent before they can react to your speed. If you can accelerate to your top-end speed before your opponent can get to your top-end speed, then you will always break away even if someone is faster than you at their top-end speed. Decelerate before your opponent When you are faster, your body will begin to adjust to that new speed. Your old speed will begin to feel slower and, therefore, more controllable. This control will help you decelerate and even come to a complete stop before your opponent. This type of control will allow you the option to get quicker accelerations...with control. Have less fatigue than your opponent When you are fast you don't get as tired as your opponent, because you are more efficient doing the same movements. If you are 10% faster than the average speed of your sport, then you can relax and just play the game with extreme confidence. Relax more than your opponent When you are efficiently fast, you know when to raise and lower your physical and emotional intensity so that your muscles are relaxed at the right time throughout their motions. You end up with fewer muscle strains and pulls, and less soreness. Leverage and load your body before your opponent When you are fast and efficient, your movements are smoother. This allows you the option of making your movements sooner and more easily as well as be able to gain leverage over your opponent before they get set. Recognize and anticipate key plays and situations before your opponent When you are fast, you simply get there first! When you are first, you have the ability to anticipate, plays, and actions developing before they actually happen. Be more composed than your opponent When you are fast, you create your own secret weapon. This leads to supreme confidence because no one can get by you or no one can catch you. You will be (and look) more cool and calm and composed. Help your coach use your speed in more places Your coach now has the flexibility to move you to many different positions for the greater good of the team. This will ultimately help your team win.
The Psychology of Speed is highly influenced by what is physically possible. It is influenced by personal confidence in one's own abilities. What is believable? What is believable is that no one is unique to the challenges of being a human on this Earth. We all are dealt the same hand when it comes to Earth physics. This fact is irrefutable. This fact alone gives us the confidence that it is possible to run faster and more efficiently. Why can we do what we can do? We all must negotiate the physics of Earth and the physiology of the human body through time and space. And we do it very successfully. I will continue to assume this until I see everyone in the mall asking the question, â€œCan you help me get up? I can't handle gravity.â€? Let's look at just some quick definitions in general physics. Our knowledge of these general physics principles gives us the psychological confidence about what we can do. Physics: The scientific study of matter, energy, space, and time, and of the relations between them. The behavior of a given physical system... -The American Heritage Science Dictionary Definitions Related to Speed -
Energy: The ability to do work. Work: The act or actions of moving, lifting, warming, lighting something.
Force: Any influence which tends to change the motion of an object. Torque: An influence which tends to change the rotational motion of an object. Inertia: The resistance an object has to a change in its state of motion. Newton's' First Law of Motion: An object stays in motion or at rest with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Newton's' Second Law of Motion: Acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass (of the object being accelerated) the greater the amount of force needed (to accelerate the object). Newton's Third Law of Motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Power: The amount of energy put out or produced in a given amount of time. Momentum: The product of the velocity and the mass of an object in motion. Velocity: The rate at which an object changes its position. Speed: How fast an object is moving.
These are the physics principles that we must deal with and master to be a normal functioning human, or a super-great athlete. Knowing how to negotiate these principles gives us the psychological advantage that we, too, can learn. If we can learn, then we can soon master the moves and achieve greatness. It is, what it is – the Physics of the Earth. This has not changed since the beginning of man on Earth.
------Important Note *For ease of reading and understanding this book, ―the athlete‖ that I often refer to throughout is typically a high school male. However, this relates to all healthy athletes: male or female, young or old. Age and gender do not matter – just the ability to learn and process information and then respond accordingly. In addition, I am usually talking in generalities. The general population is the norm, not professional athletes. 20
1– What is speed training? Simply, speed training is training athletes how to run faster. Why speed training? Generally speaking, a faster athlete has many more opportunities to be successful, and not just in sports – in life. The benefits of being fast can be anything from just making the cut, to making great plays, to becoming the league MVP, to getting a scholarship, to going Pro, and so much more (see the list of the benefits of speed in the beginning of the book)! The very good news is that all athletes can improve their speed and overall athleticism. This is done through hard work and dedication to getting better at the skill of running. However, it is not the type of hard work you might imagine. When athletes hire me to train them for speed, they all think that I am going to have them do a lot of hard-core running. They think I am going to have them work harder to get faster. I don't blame them. It is how we are trained to think and what we are trained to do. This conception is rooted in the history of our athletic paradigm and culture. "No pain, no gain." But what if I said there is a better, more successful way? Don‘t get me wrong, I do have them work harder. But it's not physical - it‘s mental. The hard work is purely psychological. True speed training is about both the psychology and physiology of how to run faster and work less doing it. What is the ―Psychology of Speed”? What do we mean when we say this? After all, running is a physical act of a specific skill. The way we think about this skill, however, varies vastly from person to person. For instance, some athletes think that running at a full-speed pace for 60 yards is challenging, while the 800m runner in track hopes he only has to do 60 yard sprints because to him they are super easy. 21
The mere fact that two people can have vastly differing opinions about a similar, even identical, event is fascinating in itself. Digging deeper, however, interesting patterns of thoughts, habits, and patterns emerge. We find chain-like reactions that spiral into good (positive) thoughts or bad (negative) thoughts, which develop into good or bad decisions. How we process information, how quickly we process information, and the meaning we give that information is the foundation of learning; hence, the resulting decisions made on the information (in other words, what we have learned) can greatly affect our athletic career and our life as a whole. The Psychology of Speed is about how well we can process information. More specifically, it is about how well we can process information while on the move. The goal is to think clearly about specific things while running, while accelerating, and even while decelerating. The key to running faster and more easily is to learn and then rehearse: What to move, Where to move it, and When to move it there, for proper running form (see call out box). You may think, ―What's the big deal? Either you can run fast or you can't.‖ Right? Wrong. I still meet athletes and parents, and even coaches, who have given up on an athlete before the athlete has even been given a chance to improve. The sports world is filled with doubters and disbelievers. They just don't believe it is possible to get faster. You can get faster. And, as for the young athlete, he can get faster sometimes by as much as 50%. Psychological and physiological research, as well as history, has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that improvements can be made regardless of the athlete‘s present capabilities. How is this improvement possible? I‘ll explain. Belief and courage are good places to start. We first need to believe that getting faster is possible. We need the courage to start the process, and then we must have the determination to stick with it. Within the following pages we will lay out the psychological process of learning and the many chain reaction spirals that result from this process. We are only talking about a skill here; the skill of running. But that skill is greatly influenced by what we think about and when we think about it.
SPEED LESSON What to Move, Where to Move It, and When to Move It There While running- move the right knee up to the front side of the body to a height 3/4 of the full leg up position. (A full leg up position is when the thigh is parallel to the ground or the knee is even with the hip.) Simultaneously - sync the speed and the motion of the right elbow to the backside of the body and the left elbow to the front side of the body. When the elbows move to the back of the torso, the forearm and hand should be lined up under that elbow, pointing straight down or perpendicular to the ground. Simultaneously - After the left foot strikes the ground and the left leg has extended, the left arm should be in its full front side up position, and the right arm to its full backside position. With the right leg in its full front side position, and keeping the elbows bent at about 95 degrees, the hand should get no higher than your shoulders on the front side of your upper body. The photo is a personal analysis of a runner. The lines show the proper position of where the body should be.
*To view sprint technique videos and drills, see the Speed Training manual. You can order the manual from www.speeddr.com
What is the greatest secret weapon an athlete can possess? That‘s easy. SPEED. Why? When you are fast no one knows exactly how fast you are, and more importantly, no one knows when you are going to use that great burst of speed. Speed allows you have much more influence and control over the game for a greater period of time. When the ball gets loose, you can choose to get there first. When you have the ball, you can separate sooner. When your opponent has the ball, you can catch up by closing the gap—quickly! Your speed is a secret that only you know! Coaches base their decisions on a number of factors when choosing a starting lineup. These factors include strength, good judgment, intelligence, knowledge, desire, leadership, team play, and of course, speed of play. In most sports it is hard to become a starter if you are slow. You have a much better shot when you are the fastest. In fact, speed is so instrumental in a player‘s list of attributes that some NFL teams will actually draft a superstar track sprinter who has never even played football just for the speed factor. Seriously. Since speed is such a valuable asset for an athlete, why doesn‘t it receive greater attention in training? Most coaches say speed is very important, but then they have their team spend 75% percent of their working time focusing on building strength, building power, conditioning and learning the playbook. If you think about it, this really doesn‘t make much sense. It‘s a major oversight of most athletic programs. One reason for this oversight is that fast and efficient running is very hard to quantify. It's also very hard to teach athletes how to become more efficient movers, unless, of course, you have a knowledgeable and qualified speed trainer. Which is rare. Unfortunately, most ―speed trainers‖ are actually just conditioning coaches. Therefore, most youth and high school programs just have a running and conditioning regimen with bench marks to attain. Even with the college teams and pros, most of the attention is paid to the workout regimen and not to teaching the efficient movement and running of the individual athletes.
Why is proper speed training difficult? Because itâ€˜s personal. Each athlete is different in his ability, his body type, and, most importantly, in his individual thoughts and personality. It is much easier to require all athletes on a team to do the same required and regimented program to get ready for the season. It is very difficult, on the other hand, to get each athlete to learn how it feels to move faster and more easily, from that athlete's point of view. Furthermore, we are locked into a certain, established culture of training and practice. We are locked into a culture of measuring athletic performance, and we base our opinions about a particular athlete on the results of that performance. We then make absolute and conclusive decisions based on those opinions. But what if we could help change that? Size is measurable, speed is measurable, strength is measurable, and time is measurable. But how do you measure the combination of these things? The one who has the greatest combination of running speed, strength, and composure is often the one who makes most of the plays. This combination, at the highest level, makes for an athlete who is balanced and controlled, and moves very fast as well; like a cat chasing prey. This high level of balance and control allows for better and quicker change of direction, acceleration, deceleration, and poise, and hence, a more accomplished athlete. These athletes get high praise for being good workers in the weight room and on conditioning drills. But the real reason for their greatness is the speed at which they move their size and strength. If an athlete cannot get his size and strength to the play, what good are those attributes? It is his speed, and efficiency that enables him to be where he needs to be, when he needs to be there - yet there is no praise for being efficient. Have you ever seen a spirit shirt that said, "The most efficient runner's club?" Of course not. Almost all of the spirit shirts are awarded to the athletes who reach strength milestones. It's the "1000 Pound Club," or the "900 Pound Club." However, it does not matter how strong you are if you cannot get that strength to right place at the right time to make the play. (more on this in chapter 21 â€“ Speed vs. Strength). Additionally, if you put your foot or body in the wrong mechanical positions, you will run even more slowly, use more effort, become more fatigued, risk more injury and lose the play more often. Miss enough plays and you will shape the opinions of others to believe that you are not very good. You may be strong and dedicated, but you just can't get to the ball or to the spot you need to get to, in time to make the play. 26
Unfortunately, the result is that your opinion of yourself and your conclusions about your abilities are shaped by this evidence and experience. Consequently, you conclude that you are, in fact, not very good. But, speed changes all that.
You may have heard of the 10,000 hour rule for mastery. This is a rule that researchers have universally agreed upon that says for a person to become world-class at any activity, it takes, on average, around 10,000 hours of practice. They found that being an expert is not really based on talent, and it is not unique to a particular person. They found that what the masters and the geniuses have in common is that they had been toiling and practicing their chosen craft for about 10,000 hours, regardless of the activity. This rule applies to everything from playing chess to shooting free throws to running. The following is a common scenario that happens with young athletes every summer. Follow along, and then apply the spiraling power of 10,000. Psychological Scenario: Let's say you are an athlete. You work hard all summer long. You do disciplined weight training and sprints for conditioning. At the end of the summer, you, the coaching staff, and everyone else clearly sees that you are 10% faster than last year. Everyone is happy. â€•Great job, kid! You did it. Hard work pays off.â€– But, let's dive deeper into this scenario and compare it to really getting faster. You did it. Your hard work paid off. You can now run 10% faster at a top speed of, say, 15mph, and you can hold that speed pretty well. And you are now also 50% stronger due to great dedication in your weight training. In this scenario, you did a great job of spending 100% of your time on strength and conditioning, and it worked; hence, you can now make 10 more great plays per game. 31
This is where coaches and athletes make a lot of mistakes in wellmeaning judgments and opinions. The mistake they make is that they think a 10% improvement equals 100% improvement. Now try the scenario this way: During the summer, you spend most of your time learning to run faster and more efficiently. You learn about your body and master what to move, where to move it, and when to move it there. You use 75% of your summer training time learning to run faster. Then, you spend 25% of your training time on strength training to support your running speed. (Once you have mastered how to run, then add in conditioning). Now your top speed improves to 20mph not 15mph, and it is easier to hold because you are more efficient, so you use less energy. You can now do five to ten more reps per workout simply because you are not tired! The number of deliberate, concentrated, and high quality repetitions grows exponentially. It's like playing a video game 500 more times than your opponent did that summer. Now your improvement is 60% vs. 10%! Now you make 20 more great plays! Also, now that you are faster, the application of your strength is exponentially greater, simply because you run at a higher mph! Remember, back to physics, it doesn't take as much effort to keep an object in motion as it did to start the object in motion. And you are the object! Just like riding a bike, you pedal hard at the start to get the bikes momentum going and then you can just coast! Letâ€˜s use soccer as an example. Now that you are faster, you may end up looking like the one with the best ball skills and ball control on the field. The truth, however, is that because of your speed, you now always seem to get to the ball not only first, but a full two seconds before your opponent. This gives you more time to organize your body, which gives you more touches on the ball. So now you look like a better soccer player because you are constantly getting multiple opportunities to touch and control the ball in all types of situations. Now, not only are you faster, but your soccer skills improve because you are now able to touch the ball ten more times than anyone else during a game or during practice. Considering this spiral effect, 32
figure out your opportunities from the time you were 10 years old. How about 8 years old? Think about how important this spiral of positive opportunities could be for your soccer career? Being faster to the ball will give you many more opportunities to gain quality repetitions. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell describes the 10,000 hour rule. He examined the success of people like Bill Gates and the Beatles and how the one thing they had in common for their tremendous success was practicing a certain task and skill for about 10,000 hours. He describes, in detail, how the Beatles were right out of high school when they started to play in Hamburg, Germany. They played together for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. In the book, he quotes John Lennon as saying, ―We got better and got more confidence. We couldn't help it with all the experience playing all night long.‖ Gladwell further quotes Philip Norman, the author of ―Shout‖, the biography of the Beatles, as stating ―They were no good on stage when they went there [Hamburg]. But when they came back, they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.‖ What do you think would happen if you had the time to control the soccer ball 10,000 hours, or even 10,000 times? Or shoot free throws 10,000 times? Or rehearse great, efficient running form for 10,000 reps? Or, for that matter, do anything for that many hours? To put this in perspective, to get to 10,000 hours, it would take you 10 years of practicing, if you worked 3 hours a day, every day. Now that is commitment! Does this approach sound like some new, off-the-wall theory? In fact, this notion is well documented: ―This idea - that excellence at a complex task requires a critical, minimum level of practice - surfaces again and again in studies of expertise. In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is a magic number for true expertise: 10,000 hours,‖ said Alain Saffel in his review of Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers back in 2009. One can conclude from this approach that the opportunity for practice, or the rehearsal of a specific task or skill, is more important than talent; hence, everyone can get faster and reap the benefits of speed. Speed can change our athletic future by providing multiple, high-quality opportunities for this practice. However, let's slow down a bit. I don't want to under-emphasize the importance of ―quality‖ and the concept of "quality opportunities" or "quality reps" or "quality practice." This kind of practice is more important than just ―plain practice.‖ Your focus, 33
To read more about The Power of 10,000 and other Secrets to Running Faster, check out
“You Just Can’t Teach That! Or Can You?”
in it’s entirety at:
www.thespeeddr.com or on Amazon.com
We have a lot of supporting evidence that it is possible to improve our overall speed. We even have the tools to teach speed effectively and safely. It is when we as coaches revert to our old-school ways of teaching sports that we only improve by a small amount. We all need to be more proactive and continue to pursue the path of knowledge and understanding. "You Just Canâ€˜t Teach That!" is about the Psychology of Speed. We knew improvement was a possibility; we saw it happen, and some of us lived it. But it wasn't until the past 15 years or so that we have really focused on discussions that are quantifiable. In most cases, the formula is done. Through the in-depth research from Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hours and Geoff Colvin's Deliberate Practice, we almost have no excuses. Not knowing is the only excuse for not getting better or getting faster. We know much more than ever about what it takes to become a genius or world-class athlete. We thought it was innate, but it turns out that it is about repetition. It is about focused, concentrated, and repeated repetition. And for most of us, itâ€˜s not about much more than that. Just a few more hours a day focusing on deliberate practice of a desired task will do the trick. Like all things in life, it is not guaranteed. But, weâ€˜ve come a long way. We once thought that we had to be born with talent, but research has shown that this is inaccurate. Unfortunately, to this day, some coaches, parents, and athletes still believe that talent cannot be taught. And unfortunately, this is often compounded by the poor decisions made from incomplete information and incomplete results. Through the use of your good focus and deliberate practice, you too can become world-class. Do you have the dedication to give 10,000 hours? Would you have the resources to be able to focus on your task for 9 or 10 years? Through the more recent research of myelin building, we know that physiologically, this process of becoming world-class takes place and develops over time within our bodies. Just the knowledge that this process 133
is not unique to anyone should give us the psychological confidence that all things are possible through the development of skill. If it is a skill, then it can be accomplished. We just don't know when or how big that skill will become, but we can all become great at a skill we previously did not possess. Through firing the right signals to the right nerves, we improve not only the speed of the impulse, but the control of when that firing happens. The result of this firing builds more and more layers of myelin that wrap around the nerve and allow the nerve to improve the speed of the impulse. This exciting research, such as the work published by Daniel Coyle, shows how deliberate practice physiologically helps improve and develop skill. Stay focused at that task for 10,000 hours, and seemingly you too will become a master at that skill. Teaching athletes to run is the same concept; running is a skill like any other human mechanical action. Psychologically, the results of all the research should be our "Aha" moment. We can get much better, as athletes, within certain individual parameters, including, but not limited to, body size or environment. When we learn to run faster, we create a whole new dynamic of positive, spiraling changes within our physical body and self-concept. Two separate systems that work together as one whole unit, the mind and the body. We evolve into a whole new being. Many times this great and enormous transformation is the result of less than 10,000 deliberate hours. The evolution of running faster and more efficiently happens long before even 100 hours. It can happen in more like 100 simple focused repetitions or less. How many hours would it take you to complete 100 reps? 10 hours? Or 20 hours? Maybe less. If we pay attention and follow the rules for building myelin, then we actually focus on and seek out mistakes and errors. I still get confused looks from my athletes when I tell them I want them to make mistakes 90% of the time. We are looking to build a new skill. We are looking to find that "zone" for where learning takes place. That zone is the â€•make mistakes, go back, and slowly correct themâ€– zone. This is where we get better and better and better. If we keep going, only the constraints of our human body and personal potential limit us. We can no longer be afraid of athletes making mistakes. In fact, we want to train athletes to seek out mistakes and then make the deliberate correction. Resolve to create this sequence of 10,000 hours of deliberate practice - focusing on correcting and re-correcting. Seek out errors, and you too will build myelin. You too will build a skill. You too can run faster than in the past. You too can change your self-concept. And you 134
too can change your whole life and become a master. This awesome change is made possible through understanding the Psychology of Speed and not just "conditioning."
â€œWe Learn . . . 10% of what we read 20% of what we hear 30% of what we see 50% of what we see and hear 70% of what we discuss 80% of what we experience 95% of what we teach others.â€?
Kenneth Taylor, Sport Speed Expert, is a SAQ Pioneer and former Professional Football Player (NFL) and World-class Track Athlete. He played Corner Back and Punt Returner for the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl Championship team and the San Diego Chargers. Since retiring from professional football in 1988, he has become a well recognized Sport Speed Specialist. For over 20 years, Ken has coached and trained thousands of athletes from various professional and educational institutions and corporations including middle/ high schools, colleges/ universities, Nike, the FBI, NFL, NBA and their kids! His specific training services are for those players who want to improve themselves and develop their athletic potential through speed, quickness, and athletic skill instruction. His specialty is with athletes that participate in change-of-direction sports such as: soccer, football, basketball, baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, lacrosse, and track & field. Ken earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Oregon State University where he concentrated on â€•Exercise and Sports Science, Exercise Physiology, and Biomechanical Movement.â€– He has earned many awards including PAC-10 AllAcademic Team 1982, 1983, and 1984 and he was also the PAC-10 ScholarAthlete Medal Winner for 1984 representing track and football. Ken is also the founder of NASAQ (National Association of Speed~Agility~ Quickness), a group of highly educated, professional, and top-notch world-class athletes who are giving back to the athletic world.
Ken makes a difference in athletes‘ lives through his unique psychological and physiological techniques. He has helped coaches, trainers, and athletes throughout the world through speaking engagements, speed seminars, articles, personal consultations, team trainings, training videos and DVD‘s, and online video analysis. He has also written the first interactive speed training video book and manual. Kenneth is often also known as the ―Speed Dr.‖ which was lovingly given to him by several of his athletes‘ moms, who said ―he was like a doctor – he could fix anybody!‖ If you would like more information on Kenneth Taylor‘s training options or to book him for speaking engagements or other trainings, please contact us. Contact: Email: email@example.com. Website: www.thespeeddr.com.
“Hope to hear from you soon! Until then, Be Well, Be Fast‖ - Ken
Can speed be taught? The answer is YES! Kenneth Taylor, Speed Specialist and Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champion, will take you through an in-...