C H A P T E R Speed, Agility, and Speed-Endurance Development Steven S. Plisk 2 0
Chapter Outline Movement mechanics Program design Running speed Agility Developing speed and agility
S peed is the result of applying explosive force to a specific movement or technique. In most sports, the ability to change direction and speed is more important than simply achieving or maintaining high velocity. Such agility requires rapid force development and high power output, as well as the ability to efficiently couple eccentric and concentric actions in ballistic movements.
S peed-endurance allows for the maintenance of maximal velocity over an extended time period and the ability to repeatedly reach maximal acceleration or speed in multiple bouts. Special endurance is an application of speed-endurance for activities with exercise-relief patterns specific to practice or competition.
Objectives of Speed and Agility Training Increase impulse production by moving the force-time curve up and to the left by - generating greater force in a given time or - improving rate of force production. Improve eccentric and reactive qualities of strength.
Force and Velocity in Concentric and Eccentric Muscle
R unning speed is the interaction of stride frequency and length. Both are important during initial acceleration, but stride rate has a greater impact on maximum velocity. As speed increases, impulse production increasingly depends on the ability to generate force rapidly.
Stride Length-Frequency Interaction As a Function of Running Velocity
Muscular Requirements Involved in High-Velocity Running As the recovery leg swings forward, eccentric knee flexor activity controls its forward momentum and helps prepare for efficient touchdown. Effort during the last-support phase is neither essential to sprinting efficiency nor a high-risk period of injury according to the available research. During ground support, the role of the plantar flexors is indicated by the high moment at the ankle joint.
Sprinting Technique During the Start and Initial Acceleration
T he goal of sprinting is to achieve high stride frequency and optimal stride length by maximizing the backward velocity of the lower leg and foot at ground contact; minimizing vertical impulse and horizontal braking forces; emphasizing brief ground support time, explosive force production, and rapid stride rate; and developing eccentric knee flexion strength.
I n general, agility involves greater emphasis on deceleration and subsequent reactive coupling with acceleration than does linear sprinting. Changes in direction and speed can be executed at a variety of velocities; agility should therefore be viewed in a larger context than simply as stop-and-go movements.
Agility Technique Visual focus: Athlete’s head should be in a neutral position and eyes focused directly ahead. Plyometric training: The ability to decelerate from a given velocity is requisite for changing directions. Arm action: Explosive arm action should be used as a means of rapidly reacquiring high stride rate and length.
Developing Speed and Agility Primary training method (execution of sound technique, first at submaximal speed and eventually at full speed) Secondary training methods - Assisted sprinting (using methods to artifically increase speed as a way to improve stride frequency) - Resisted sprinting (using resistance to improve speed- strength and stride length) Tertiary training methods - Basic fitness - Power - Speed-endurance
Five-Step Competition Modeling Procedure for Designing Specialized Metabolic Conditioning Programs 1. Identify competition model with respect to level; scheme, style, system; time period; and personnel. 5. Select core training or testing drills. 2. Identify nature and scope of tactical events. 3. Videotape specific competitions or segments with respect to selected tactical events and assignments. 4. Evaluate fundamental exercise-relief pattern; subdivisions; and set groupings as a function of extended-recovery intervals.
Limitations of Five-Step Approach It does not provide a direct measure of workload intensity unless acompanied by a standardized test or tests. It may not account for the total volume of work performed because activity is not necessarily discontinued when play is suspended.
Running Speed and Agility Training The extreme neuromuscular demands and power production of speed and agility drills dictate that they should be conducted under minimal metabolic stress. Training sessions should be structured around brief work bouts and frequent rest periods with a minimum duration of 2 to 3 min to maximize power availability during successive repetitions and sets.
Speed-Endurance Training Speed-endurance drills should be structured on competition and interval methods. Intense intermittent training is generally superior to submaximal distance or duration methods in developing the metabolic power and capacity needed in high-intensity sports.
Training Variables Fundamentally sound speed, agility, and speed-endurance training programs are based on traditional manipulation of the following variables: Exercise interval Exercise order Exercise-relief Frequency Intensity Relief or recovery interval Repetition Series Set Volume