When it comes to speed in sports, there are generally four areas we categorize:
- Maximum Velocity
- Change of Direction
All sports require these basic fundamental skills. Linear sprinting, curved runs or curved sprinting (like in baseball on the base paths) require specific training. An example would be optimizing ankle stability to get the most out of maximizing motor control & maintaining top speed. Agility for quickness can be utilized in basketball for enhancing proprioception to help maintain joint stability and help with change of direction. Linear speed can be crucial for open-field runs in football or sprinters on a track.
In order to level up with potential, you will need these 4 basic “formulas” for speed:
- Big Force
- Short Time
- Proper Direction
- Optimal Range of Motion
Ground reaction force can be summed up with the first two. How much force can you apply into the ground and how quickly (short time) can you do it? Applying force in the proper direction is all about technique. How well your body can stabilize itself to create the proper direction will result in higher force outputs to help maximize speed.
Having an optimal range of motion in the joints, tendons, and muscles can help repeat the cycle to get the most out of maximum force needed, but do it in the shortest time possible.
These four skills take a lot of motor control that can enhance speed dramatically when done efficiently and effortlessly. Training these different mixes in speed will vary from sport to sport.
Whether it’s curved runs, angled starts, or agility side to side movements, the body requires different muscle groups to activate in any specific environment the body is put into. Muscles will contribute differently when it comes to accelerating or at top-end speed.
Whatever sport you play, the body will organize itself differently depending on how you are applying the different vectors on the body. This happens through Acceleration, Maximum Velocity, Quickness, or Change of Direction.