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How to put together a speed clinic

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2 Day Structured Speed Clinic – Part 1

With the summer coming, there is no better time to run a
speed clinic. Athletes are looking for the best way to
improve their speed so they can explode onto the scene
in the fall and create a memorable year. Running speed
camps are definitely profitable, but also remember that
you can reach more athletes and help out many more people
by putting on a clinic then you can performing one-on-ones.

The more specific you can gear the speed drills to the
athletes sport, the better. Here, from start to finish, is an
outline for a 2 day Speed Clinic guaranteed to be successful.

Day 1
Introduction – Go over your brief bio, but remember the
athletes are there because they want to get faster as soon
as possible and don’t really care about who you are and
who you have trained. Stay focused on how increasing
the athletes speed will have a huge carry over to their
performance in their sport.

I. Dynamic Warm-up
Loose skip
Lunge w/ hamstring
Backwards loose skip
Lateral lunge
Side shuffle
Leg circles
Side shuffle
Lunge w/ twist
Leg swings (front & lateral)
Skips for height

The warm up exercises should be structured from the
most basic, low intensity exercises and should progress
through to the more complex movements that simulate
the speeds athletes will be moving during practice
and competition.

II. Speed Drills
A-skip
A-run
Backwards run
Fast leg
Accelerations 4x30m

With the speed drills, you can break down running
technique into ‘parts’. Give cues so the athletes can
focus on the purpose of each drill.

III. Acceleration Drills

1) Partner ‘March’ (4×10 meters)
2) Partner March and Release (resist and release at 10
meters then run for 20 meters)

The Partner Marching drills are to teach body angles
for starting positioning so the athlete can feel the correct
position. A common mistake is for the athlete to bend
or break at the hips. Make sure that there is a straight
line from the support leg’s ankle all the way to their head.

Other Acceleration Cues:
* Drive the lead arm (same as front leg) up as you
begin to sprint.
* Drive out so the body is at a 45 degree angle to
the ground.
* Keep the heel recovery low during the first
6-8 strides. Think about ‘running on hot coals’ to get
an idea of how your heels should be recovering.
* Step over the opposite knee and drive the foot
down into the ground to create maximal force. During
acceleration, the foot should strike directly below or
slightly behind the hips.

IV. Arm Action

Perform arm action drills to teach the ‘cheek to cheek’
movement. This drill will allow the athletes to rest a
little but it is also a great set-up exercise to help enforce
relaxation that will be touched upon in the next section.

V. Max Velocity

Explain what maximum velocity (top end speed) is and
why it is important in their specific sport. Use either
fly 30’s or Ins & Outs to stress the importance of
relaxing while running.

1) Fly 20’s
Place a cone at the starting line, at 15y, at 35y and at 55y.
Accelerate hard to the first cone (15y). Maintain the speed
you have generated by running relaxed and following the
maximum velocity cues from 15 – 35y. Once you hit 35y,
slowly decelerate for the next 20y coming to a full stop at
the last cone.

2).Ins & Outs
Place a cone at the starting line, 15y, 25y, 35y, 45y and at
65y. Accelerate hard to the first cone (15y). Maintain a
hard sprint for 10y, focusing on maintaining the speed
and intensity created during acceleration. Once you hit
the next cone (25y) go into a float by easing back in
intensity (don’t try to continue to get faster) without
losing any speed. At the next cone (35y) go back to a
hard sprint, running at full intensity and trying to
increase your speed. At the next cone (45y), shut down by
slowly coming to a stop. You should not be at a complete
stop before the final cone at 65y, giving you a full 25
yards to slowdown.

VI. Plyometrics

1) Double Leg Hop – Stabilization
2) Lateral Double Leg Hop – Stabilization
3) Single Leg Hops – Stabilization
4) Lateral Single Leg Hops – Stabilization

Your athletes must learn how to stabilize and absorb forces
appropriately. The key is to land softly and absorb the
forces created with the muscles (not the joints!). If you
are landing quietly then you are probably on the right
path. If we jump right into single leg bounds or depth
jumps, without the proper progression, then we are putting
our bodies at risk for avoidable injury.

Due to the intensity (they place a high demand on the
central nervous system) and the need for correct form,
they can cause injuries when not performed correctly.
Plyometric exercises should be learned progressively,
starting with two foot jumping and landing exercises
(box jumps), then moving to stabilization work
(single leg box jump), then finally moving to more
complicated multi-jumps (double and single leg hurdle
hops). Since we do not know the ability of all the clinic
participants, you should just teach how to jump and
land correctly.

VII. Break

During the break go over the importance of Nutrition
and provide handouts.

VIII. Strength
Importance, misconceptions, techniques in the weight
room (if accessible)

Sprinting is all about force production/application. Faster
top running speeds are achieved with greater ground
forces. You need to get stronger in order to be able to
apply more force. The more force you can produce and
the more efficient you are at producing that force, the
faster you will be.

IX. Flexibility – Hurdle Mobility
1). Walkovers
2). Lateral
3). Holds
4). Over 2 Back 1
5). Over/Unders
6). Snake

Part II will come next week and I will cover Day 2 of the
structured two day speed clinic that I use myself for my
camps.

If you’ve thought about running your own speed camps
and clinics as a new career, a supplement to your current
coaching or even as a means to create a little extra revenue
for the summer, then you need to check this site out:

http://www.topfitnessprofessionals.com/speedcamp.html

It could be the answer that you have been looking for.
It was for me!

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