Are Speed and Agility Drills Necessary to Get Faster?
“I need my kid to be faster!”
It’s a statement that I hear on an almost daily basis at the facility from numerous parents whenever I ask what their (and their kid’s) goals are moving forward.
My business partner, Eric Cressey, wrote a fantastic blog post last year titled “Make My Kid Faster” so I won’t belabor many of the same points here because he already did most of the work. And, speaking truthfully, there really isn’t much more I can add to what he already said.
That said, I recently wrote an article for Stack Magazine which tackles the same question – albeit in the context of a young baseball player asking how he can go about lowering his 60 time.
I wanted to make sure that my answer addressed the fact that GETTING STRONGER is a sure-fire way to get faster. For me, many of the “speed drills” that are popular in today’s youth athletics are nothing but smoke and mirrors designed to look cool and to give the illusion that something is happening.
It all comes down to how well (and efficient) one is at developing force. If an athlete is weak, it’s going to be hard to develop any force regardless of how many ladder drills are done.
Force production is all about how much of it one is able to generate into the ground. Sure, there are a multitude of exercises we can implement that will help and will undoubtedly get the ball rolling in the right direction, but if an athlete is weak from the start (has no horsepower), there’s really no reason to get cute programming.
What good is it going to do to tell little Jonny to work on his foot speed if, once he’s out on the playing field, he can’t even change direction without crumbling to the ground like a Jenga game gone awry?
How is a ladder drill going to help someone throw a ball harder? Or run faster?
Now, I’m not throwing all these types of drills under the bus – there is a time and place for them, of course. But when we’re talking about young athletes and even upwards on up to the high school and collegiate ranks (and yes, even the pros), learning how to squat or how to perform a push-up properly takes more precedence in my eyes than running against a parachute.
But I digress.
In the article linked to below I give some further insight on my thought process on the matter, but I also throw a bone and offer some “speed” drills that I find efficacious for baseball players on improving their 60 time.
And, as always, whenever I link to an article I’ve written on another site, I’d really appreciate if you’d “Like” the article (on the actual site) and share it on your social media if you so choose. Anything that helps spread the word would be great, and if I ever meet you in person you’re totally getting a hug. Thanks!