This five-minute fitness drill is all about giving your players the ability to hit bursts of speed during a game. MORE
Can speed be coached and if so how do I coach it?
Speed can definitely be coached, but if a player is only ever trained for endurance, that speed will not increase. He may be able to run for longer, but the basic speed will remain at around the same level.
The way to increase speed is to increase heart rate, and that comes about through short sprints – known as interval or fartlek training. This is also the principle behind bleep tests, although there’s a slight variation on the way they are done.
In interval training, players sprint a short, specified distance between fixed objects, then return in the other direction at a relaxed pace.
They then repeat the task again and again, alternating sprints with recovery runs.
This, over time, will improve core speed and stamina.
Dedicated speed training is a great idea. It presents a core base for better athleticism (to include sprinting and longer distance running) and that will improve strength and concentration as well.
And that means your players will stand up better to the rigours of match day. Remember to warm players up properly beforehand, and combine with exercises that improve mental agility as well.