Expert Tips on Increasing Your Football Speed

Speed is the athletic attribute most evaluated by coaches. Your speed could determine whether you make the team, actually play in games or sit on the bench. No matter your position, speed is a vital part to excelling on the football field. It’s a reflection of your strength, power, and efficiency. The more powerful you are and the more efficiently you can move, the faster you’ll be on the field. Being able to control your body when sprinting, bursting or changing direction gives you a HUGE competitive edge to increase your football speed.

Speed encompasses acceleration, deceleration, and top speed. Acceleration is when you increase your speed, for example, when you come out of break when running a route. Deceleration is the exact opposite. It’s when you slow down, for example, when you go from sprinting to stopping or changing direction. Your top speed is the fastest speed that you can achieve.

Football players should participate in strength training, agility and speed drills.   Let me share with you ways a player can increase his speed on the field.  As a side note, to ensure your muscles stay loose and free of injury while doing these techniques add a sports massage therapy treatment as part of your training regimen.

Practice Short Sprints

Football players need to be fast over a short distance.  They need to learn how to produce small, explosive bursts of acceleration without experiencing long, competitive lengths before getting into rhythm like a long distance runner.   For example, long distance runners begin at a slow pace until the dominant competitor pulls away from the rest, breaks into a fast stride and the acceleration process begins.  This is easily recognizable when watching a long distance race but with football you do not have time for such build-up.  You need to be quick off the snap and outrun your opponent immediately at the start of the play.  The best way to ensure you arrive to the football first is by practicing short sprints. A good start would be to run ten 25 yard sprints with 30 second rests between each sprint.

Learn Good Sprinting Technique

Good technique prevents hamstring pulls and shin splints, keeps you consistent and may help you to move faster. Here are some pointers for sprinting properly:

  • Swing your arms from your shoulders, not your elbows. Lock your elbows at 90 degrees. Pull them back hard. The stretch reflex at your chest and shoulders will move them forward all on their own.
  • Avoid your arms crossing the midline of your body; this makes you rotate.
  • Pick your foot off the ground, bring it to your hip and then swing your leg forward. Keeping your lower leg tight to the upper leg when swinging forward helps you to move faster.
  • Swing your leg forward so that your upper leg is parallel to the ground.
  • Drive your foot back toward the ground using your glutes. It’s not a knee extension. Your glutes are big and powerful muscles; your quadriceps are small by comparison.
  • Land on the balls of your feet; avoid running heel to toe, as it may overstress your hamstrings and tends to cause a braking motion that slows you down.

Start by employing your leg muscles every time you drive your body forward gaining momentum and speed from the get-go.  Your muscles consist of “muscle memory” and every time you engage in this routine your leg muscles increase contraction speed.  Your muscles remember what the boost of energy and force feel like and with repetition the increased contraction speed occurs.  As a result, you become faster.

In addition, if you are looking to improve your 40 time, check out this article by Travis Hansen.

Here are three great videos to help you increase you speed.

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