One of the most common questions asked about speed and agility training is, well, what’s the difference between speed and agility? Aren’t they both just about moving quickly?
Both are definitely important—and definitely related—but they still mean different things. Here’s a (very) quick breakdown:
- Speed refers to how quickly you can move your entire body from Point A to Point B. So, if you’re sprinting down the field, speed is what’s helping you cover ground quickly.
- Agility, on the other hand, is all about changing directions quickly. So, if you’re trying to make a quick cut to avoid a defender, agility is what’s helping you do that.
Of course, there are more to the definitions than that, but that’s the basic gist.
Both speed and agility are important for just about any athlete out there, and both are important for different reasons.
Speed is important for, well, being fast—whether that’s in a race or just getting to the ball first. Agility is important for, well, being agile—which comes in handy in lots of sports where you need to be able to change directions quickly.
Agility Training vs. Speed Training
Speed training is all about improving your raw acceleration and top end speed. This means things like sprinting and other explosive movements that help you move as quickly as possible.
Agility training, on the other hand, is about improving your ability to change directions quickly. This can be things like lateral movements, quick feet drills, etc.
So which one is more important? That depends on your athletic goals. If you’re looking to improve your overall athleticism, then you’ll want to focus on both speed and agility training. But if you have a specific goal in mind (like generating more power to become a faster sprinter), you may choose to focus more on speed training.
When you improve one, the other usually follows suit—but not without some effort on your part to improve. So, if you’re looking to get better at both, there’s no harm in doing some speed training and some agility training.
Speed vs. Agility: Which is More Important for an Athlete?
Both speed and agility are important for any athlete who wants to be quick on their feet. But if you’re trying to decide whether you need to focus more on one or the other, speed training is all about moving in a straight line as quickly as possible, while agility training is all about changing directions quickly and efficiently. Neither is more important than the other—it just depends on your goals, the sport, and the situation.
Again, if you’re looking to improve your overall athleticism and reach your peak performance, then you’ll want to focus on both speed and agility training. But if you have a specific goal in mind (like improving a sport specific skill), you may choose to focus more on one or the other.
No matter what your goals are, remember that both speed and agility require practice and dedication to improve—so don’t forget that you have to start putting in the work if you want to start seeing results!