BreakingMuscle
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Plan to Win: Speed, Stamina, and Agility for Sport

Coach
Strength and Conditioning, Football, Youth Development

We’ve all seen it. A line of athletes drags through a circuit of agility ladders, mat drills, and an endless succession of 20 yard shuttles as coaches scream about toughening up and being strong in the fourth quarter. Athletes stumble through drills looking at their feet, standing up straight, not using their arms. Put simply, they are in survival mode.

 

The goal here is to build speed, agility, strength, and the stamina to go all day long. While these goals all make sense and should be priorities, they cannot all be trained simultaneously.

 

Train for Sport Over Toughness

Mental and physical toughness is a valuable goal, but it can be developed without sacrificing development of speed and agility. Athletes who train in an aerobic fashion with infrequent to non-existent breaks are not getting faster or more agile. They’re not even being conditioned in a way that translates to football, basketball, baseball, or any primarily anaerobic (fast glycolysis) or phosphate system driven sport. Training in this way would only help them in a sport where they were expected to move at 60-70 percent effort for a long time with no breaks. This is not characteristic of most sports.


 

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