SlowMotion training time: tim rudd for iyca
Speed training is just as much about deceleration as it is acceleration I believe too many coaches and programs put way too much emphasis on acceleration. They spend the majority of their training focusing on sprinting, jumping, Olympic lifting, etc.; basically the main focus is on force production. This is a huge mistake. Your athlete’s health and performance will suffer if he or she develops a quality (speed) and then can’t slow down (deceleration). The fact is that most non-contact injuries occur as a result of poor deceleration ability. Also athletes who can’t decelerate effectively struggle to create or close space between them and their competition. This is what separates players who make plays from players who get played. Deceleration is important in getting ready for re-acceleration. And it’s imperative that coaches teach their athletes how to slow down by emphasizing multi-directional development (lateral speed and agility). Components of lateral speed and agility include: ›› Change of direction angles (deceleration to acceleration) ›› Cutting, pivoting, turning ›› Landing, resisting ›› Deceleration/stabilization emphasis Let’s look at the steps in teaching the first component above (change of direction angles): 1) As athletes prepare to stop and change direction, they must lower their center of gravity; the stopping foot must strike outside the shoulders. 2) The foot must be flat and perpendicular to the line of movement (lateral). 3) The knees bend (minimum 20 degrees) and shoulders drive forward simultaneously while the hips push back. 4) The stopping foot and leg must quickly extend out of the knee bend as the shoulders simultaneously lean in the opposite direction. All these steps happen simultaneously. These steps, along with all other components of lateral speed and agility, are key in the ability of the athlete to quickly stop (deceleration) and redirect forces in the opposite direction (acceleration). These components are all skills that can and should be learned and improved. No matter what component is being developed, it must be progressed over time from static to dynamic, low-intensity to high-intensity and predictable to chaotic. This is key in optimizing an athlete’s ability to slow down the speed she creates. ✪ Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.
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Bay Area Issue 80, February 2014