Football Speed Training
Football speed training wins more games period. Speed within the
game of football takes place in short bursts of maximal speed,
a stationary position and often involving acute and precise changes
of direction to either avoid or tackle an opponent or react to
a quarterback’s throw.
To an outside observer, football looks like a sport of primarily
brute strength and so it seems that training for football would
involve a great deal of maximal strength training with strength
and hypertrophy as the primary goals. And while strength is a key
element in football, the importance of football speed training
cannot be overlooked or overemphasized.
One of the persisting images in most people’s minds of football
training is that of players running through a tire course, carefully
and quickly hopping feet in and out of the center of the tires
time after time after time. It’s important to note that the
reason most people have this image in their heads and why it is
that football movies and documentaries almost always show this
footage is because this is a drill that’s effectiveness yet
simplicity will ensure it stays part of football speed training
with no end in sight.
This simple tire drill, repeated again and again, teaches the
mind to make short, quick, directed movements and make them fast.
An essential element of football speed training is precise and
effective footfall patterns such as these. Being able to depend
on your mind to automatically adjust your body’s movements
for agility allows your body faster.
Just as essential to football speed training as agility and
footfall patterns is explosive power in the form of quickness.
to go from a full sprint from a still position as the ball
is snapped represents an athlete’s quickness and, obviously, the quicker
a player can bring himself into a full sprint, the better. Training
to run against resistance, whether that be with a partner and a
resistance band or with a resistance parachute, teaches the body
to the appropriate muscle fibers for the movement so that doing
the same movement when the resistance is gone is faster and better.
Sprinting drills must also be a part of football speed
training to teach the athlete’s body to reach maximal speed in the
shortest amount of time. Since running in football is never a distance
challenge, sprints should be limited to 40 and 100 yard runs with
time to recover.
Starting in an upright, standing position, in
full uniform when possible, the player should be directed
to sprint over the ending line and begin to slow only when this
been crossed. Sprint drills can begin with a 40 yard dash
and then be increased to 100 yard dashes as the player’s ability increases,
but to sprint or run any longer than that is a waste of time for
Combined with the correct strength training program, these
drills are the essential basic elements of any football