When parents call in to Redline to inquire about our services a lot of them will ask if we offer any classes to work on foot speed and agility.
I highly recommend to parents not to waste your money on these types of classes. Throwing a bunch of ladders, hurdles, and cones out and running through them like an obstacle course is not how you create speed.
The truth is foot speed has very little to do with running speed. I’ve seen many athletes with really fast feet run incredibly slow.
These athletes often look like cartoons when they take off running, Their feet move fast, but they’re not actually going anywhere.
I often refer these athletes to this tweet from Altis, one of the top track and field facilities in the country.
Over the last couple years I’ve started implementing timed 10s into our athletes programming. This gets their competitive juices flowing because they want to run a fast time. The athletes that take off with super-fast feet look like they’re taking 100s of steps in just 10 yards, and they feel really fast, but their time is slow.
When I cue them to be patient through their strides, and put force into the ground with each step, they feel slower, but the time is faster, and then the light bulb goes off in their head. I NEVER cue an athlete to have quick feet. Powerful strides are how you create speed, not quick feet.
The best solution to gain speed is to get stronger legs. Legs with more strength can put more force into the ground.
Running mechanics can help, but there isn’t once special ladder or cone drill that is going to make you faster. If that were the case everyone would be fast.
Speed is no different than anything else; it takes years of hard work and patience to develop game changing speed. Not everyone is dedicated enough or willing to put in the work over the long term to get faster. They’re looking for a quick fix, but that doesn’t exist.
Here’s a recent text I received from one of our athletes:
This is coming from a guy who wasn’t blessed with natural speed, in fact, his first 60 time he ran with us was a 7.8. This athlete does not miss days in the gym. He’s added over 20lbs to his frame and taken almost a full second off of his time by doing very basic training. We sprint, do plyos, we throw med balls, and we get really strong in the weight room. That’s it.