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What Is Speed And Agility?


Defining Speed and Agility

Sport speed refers to how fast an athlete can move in a particular direction in a carefully thought out plan and the execution of that plan through an action. Speed consists of starting, the pace, efficiency, stopping and endurance.

Speed can be applied in sports in a manner of different functions like: the speed of an athlete, throwing an object, hitting a homerun ball, speed of passing a baton, ball, puck, or the athlete’s reaction to a ball thrown in order to catch or produce an outstanding performance and perfect execution.

Agility is developed by training the body to move in different directions quickly and easily, resulting in improved reflexes. This can be accomplished by doing agility drills or training sessions; some examples of agility training are jumping, ladders, hurdles, and resistance.

Agility training can be used in sports in different ways like basketball, football, soccer, tennis, hockey, and other sports that encourage athletes to change direction quickly while moving. Even though the player has speed and moves quickly, but lacks agility, this disadvantage could turn against them. In order for the player to optimize their potential, there must be a correct agility training implemented and added to the training routine through utilizing different, but correct, types of professional training programs.

Speed and Agility Training

Like all training, speed and agility training should start with the measurement of the athlete’s level of fitness in agility and speed. This training is for both individual athletic, as well as individuals who play on teams. It hones the progress and improvement of the individual skills, but can still be related and used for the whole team’s benefits. Team building is necessary in order to gauge the athlete’s improvement relative to their teammates; this way, a feedback on the training needs of individual athletes can be identified as well as the skills that are quickly mastered. Varsity and junior coaches have the ability to measure and gain insight in order to help them make a decision regarding the teams’ full potential based on the speed and agility testing results. Measuring speed and agility helps the coaches to identify what skills an individual athlete needs to improve and focus on in order to produce outstanding performance during practice and actual games.

Starting on Speed Training

Evaluations for this type of fitness are 20, 30, 40 yard dash, sprint start technique, pro-agility shuttle, cone drills, changing direction, acceleration and reacceleration, body positioning, breaking down of each movement, and vertical and broad jumping.

How to Proceed With Speed Training

The proper speed and agility training should be done by a professional speed and agility trainer in order to avoid injuries. Together with the professional trainer, equipment and testing protocols will produce results like an athlete being faster and quicker, improvement in ability to change directions while maintaining speed, and the ability to stay on the game longer.

What Is Plyometrics Training

Plyometrics training is a specially designed training program that helps build strength, speed, agility and coordination and is most commonly comprised of: various jumping techniques, lateral bounding and lunges, sprinting and resistance training. Trainers utilize plyometrics training methods in sports such as: basketball, football, soccer, racquetball, tennis, qb training camps and more. Varsity coaches and Junior coaches alike have found plyometrics training improves the speed, agility, and coordination of their team as a whole resulting in outstanding performance. Athletes competing on an individual level across various sports have also benefited from plyometrics training.

Are tools necessary when using plyometrics training?

Not all plyometric training programs are created equal. There are plyometric methods that do not utilize tools and there are plyometric methods that do utilize training tools. Though some training techniques may be the same, a person may hit a certain level of training that requires more advanced techniques and tools. The main problem with plyometric training that does not utilize tools is that an individual or team can hit various plateau levels. Athletes know that plateaus can hold them back from reaching their athletic goals. Therefore, the best plyometrics training includes tools with the training. Some tools that can be utilized in Plyometrics training are: BRL (Ballistic Response Ladder), PH (Performance Hurdles), Speed Parachute, Speed Harness, and Reaction Balls.

How important is plyometrics training?

Important questions many people ask are:

Are all training methods created equal? Is it true that you need to be born with speed and agility in order to be a great athlete? Can I just run fast to achieve my athletic goals?

Not all training methods are created equal. There are training methods developed to be basic, but an aspiring athlete usually wants to be better than average and that’s why plyometrics training is so important. Plyometrics training helps the athlete train harder in order to develop muscles in various parts of the body needing development in order to achieve their athletic goals. This can be accomplished by practicing the lateral stance….developing awareness of what’s going on behind and around you, and through various training techniques, learning how to respond to the unpredictable variables that may occur in sports such as basketball, soccer, football, tennis, racquetball and more.

It is a myth that a person needs to be born with speed and agility in order to be a great athlete. It is true that some people are born naturally with speed and agility. However, for those individuals who are not born quick and agile, with the proper training they can develop the skills they need in order to become a more talented athlete. For those who are born with exceptional athletic abilities, they also can benefit from proper training in order to improve their athletic abilities even more.

Running fast may be one athletic goal, but it won’t help an individual reach their full potential if that is the only talent they have or develop. Various sports such as basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball, football, soccer, running, track and field, tennis and racquetball require more than one skill or talent. Almost all sports require you to be quick and agile along with the ability to be aware of what your opponent is doing. Plyometrics training teaches the proper techniques and skills a person or team needs to develop in order to achieve outstanding competitive performance.

Begin and sustain a plyometric training program in order to become a better athlete now!

Science Of Speed

Speed is the pace that something is able to move or function.

Science is a systematic way of gaining knowledge through observation and experimentation to learn more about the structure of the natural and physical world and how it behaves.

When it comes to applying science to sports, a lot of knowledge has been gained through observation and experimentation. For example, how fast a runner can run, what components are involved with that runners’ speed such as nutrition intake, body makeup like muscles, BMI, what type of clothing and shoes they’re wearing, etc. The world of science continues to study sports and how to enhance speed by applying the knowledge gained through scientific studies.

What can be assessed to increase speed:

  • Monitor heart rate –Through studying blood pressure, heart rate and pulse, it has helped determine a safe speed an athlete can endure without putting their health at risk but also be able to have optimal performance.
  • Assess oxygen levels – It is important to measure the oxygen level an individual athlete is experiencing in order to avoid signs of low oxygen like shortness of breath which could result in low performance rate and the need to stop training (your trainer could tell you more).
  • Atmosphere – Practice should be conducted in various atmospheres such as high altitude and sea level in order to be prepared to compete and be able to achieve and maintain endurance levels needed to compete.
  • Environment – Study and assess if different weather conditions or different type of grounding such as hilly ground, rough terrain, wet terrain or dry terrain has an effect on the speed of the individual.
  • Body composition assessment and monitoring -This can include the way the athlete’s body is made up such as BMI, how much food and fluid is consumed, the type of food and fluid, how efficiently the individual’s body burns fuel and where that energy source is coming from such as carbohydrates, protein or fat.
  • Energy usage – Machines can determine if you are using energy efficiently by utilizing cameras or monitors attached to different parts of the body.
  • Muscle Assessment – Assess which muscles are used in each sport and what training techniques can be applied to strengthen certain muscle groups to gain speed quicker.
  • Monitor kick rate – The kick rate may make a difference between winning and losing in a well-trained athlete and it can be assessed and monitored in order to develop proper training.

How has science improved sports speed:

  • Type of clothing –Clothing has been designed to be lighter in order to lessen air resistance.
  • Type of protective gear – Studies show what types of protective wear an athlete needs for different sports such as how heavy or how light the gear can or needs to weigh and the type of material it can be made of to provide the protective properties needed in order to avoid injury.
  • Type of shoes – Technology has been increased from scientific research that helped determine whether or not the weight and composition or materials the shoes are made of determine whether the result will be slower or quicker.
  • Nutrients – Science is utilized to find out what type of nutrients should be consumed in order to reach optimal results.
  • Stadiums and training facilities – They provide a controlled environment. For example, basketball stadiums can be equipped with a heater or air conditioning, football stadiums can be cleared from light snow, lights are added in order to conduct sports events regardless of the time of day.
  • Video footage – Film can be reviewed by coaches, athlete’s and teams to learn what plays work, what their opponents’ tactics are and how they can improve performance.
  • Rules – By studying the science of a particular sport rules can be made or altered to help players to be safe and help teams coordinate such as in high contact sports like football, hockey and rugby.
  • Sport Balls – By studying Newton’s law of motion, scientists have found that an object will stay in motion unless another object enters its pathway such as a soccer ball, basketball, football, tennis ball, baseball and more. Another way a ball could be slowed down is through friction. For example, a soccer or cricket ball is rolling down the grass; the grass causes friction with the ball and slows the ball down. There’s a reason the basketball needs to weigh what it does, there’s a reason why the volleyball has a regulatory weight for an official volleyball; there’s a reason why the soccer ball is designed the way it is. In addition, scientific laws can help determine what rules will be safe and fair for individual sports. Thus, the study of science has resulted in a variety of new technologies being created to benefit the sports world.

By utilizing the knowledge you gain about the science of speed it can help you to train better and learn the tips and techniques of what works, what needs to be improved, how to apply it, and how to monitor and assess training techniques in order to reach optimal results. Science can be used to explain techniques and rules in sports. Through studying sports, science can help the game to be beneficial and more enjoyable so a variety of people can benefit.