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Speed Training Drills

Here are some drills for improving your speed. They are simple, but effective. These drills are divided into two categories:

  1. Speed Training Drills
  2. Speed Endurance Training Drills

Speed training drills are for working on your speed, while speed endurance drills are for working on how long you can hold that speed.

Hills and stairs can be one or the other, depending on how long they are.

Drills for Speed Training

20-yd Burst

The 20yd burst improves your start speed and acceleration. This is a staple of your speed training drills because football is mostly played with bursts of 20-40 yards.

Your ablility to cover 20-40 yards very fast is what will set you apart from the competition.

For this drill, you want to explode out (and stay) low, and drive hard for the entire 20 yards. Your body should stay tilted, and your head down until the very end.

You can also start this drill from a low standing (2-point) position.

20yd Power Sled

The sled adds resistance to your bursts, which improves your starting power and acceleration. This can translate to faster breaks, which means more interceptions.

If you don't have a sled, you can also use tires, but they don't have handles for pushing, and they aren't as flexiblie when it comes to adding weight.

The same rules from the 20-yard burst apply to this drill: EXPLODE out and drive low and hard for the entire 20 yards.

40yd Dash With Parachute

At the end of your tilted starting phase, your body begins to tilt back upright. This is when you reach your maximum speed, and is also called your "drive" phase. During this phase, your hamstrings and glutes work to pull you through each stride.

The parachute adds resistance to your drive phase and strengthens your hams and glutes through a sprinting range of motion. You develop a faster drive phase which translates to a faster maximum speed.

Speed Endurance Training Drills

Speed endurance drills increase your ability to hold your speed for longer periods of time. For example, you may have to return an interception, punt, or kick to the house.

Bleachers and Stairs

Stairs and bleachers are great ways to build speed and speed endurance. Because they're low impact and not as taxing on your hamstrings as the flat speed training drills, they can also be an adaptation exercise to build strength before hitting the forties.

Depending on the length of the stairs/bleachers, you may have to run them multiple times in order to get your speed endurance work in.

Sand Hills

Sand hills are a bit more difficult than stairs, bleachers, and stadiums.

They will definitely increase your speed because they require you get your legs up and down very quickly in order to cover ground.

The slower you go, the harder they are.

My Experience with Sand Hills

During a college (JuCo) track season I decided to get in some extra speed training outside of track practice. My dad had always sung praises about running the hills at Baker Beach, so I got up early in the morning before class, three days a week, for two weeks and hit the sand hills.

At the end of those two weeks, we had a track meet, and that day I PRed (personal record) in every event: the 200m, 400m, and 4x400m relay.

I started running track when I was 9, and in the 10 years leading up to that moment I had NEVER PRed in EVERYTHING.

If you can find a sand or dirt hill long enough to work out on, do yourself a favor and go hit it.

Great Cornerbacks Don't Run Miles

None of the speed training drills here are over 200m long because there is no need: you are a cornerback, and your position consists of bursts of speed and power.

Running miles trains your body to be slow and decreases your performance.

Speed Endurance of Long Duration

If you want to increase your speed endurance over the course of a game, you should perform intervals of 15-20 reps of stairs, bursts, or sprints with shorter resting periods (45 to 90 seconds).

Remember, to get fast...RUN FAST!



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