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You Can’t Teach Speed (Or Can You?)

You can’t teach speed. I’ve heard many people say that.

But is running fast a natural ability that some have and some simply don’t?

Or is speed something that can be taught and improved with any athlete?

The notion that speed can’t be taught is very wrong and I’ll explain why.

Legendary speed coach, Bill Parisi, says “Speed, in all of its forms, is a skill that research has proven can be developed and improved through targeted training and optimal mechanics.

That says it all.

We need to remember that “speed” consists of many different types.

Just like there are many different types of “strength.”

While some athletes are inherently fast, speed is absolutely something that can be learned and developed.

NATURAL ABILITY

One of the biggest myths about speed training is that you can’t teach speed. Athletes have natural speed or they don’t, end of story. But this is simply outdated thinking.

In recent years, there have been more scientific evidence that speed is indeed learnable. Frankly, this is also common sense if you think about it. Speed is a skill and any skill can be improved on with appropriate practice.

While there is no doubt that some athletes do have a natural ability to run fast – even those natural athletes can be taught to run faster. There are too many technical and physical components to speed development that make it something that can be learned and developed over time.

TECHNIQUE

Linear speed, multi-directional speed, and acceleration are all highly technical movements. This means that no matter how fast an athlete runs, their technique and running mechanics can almost certainly be improved on.

If you think about this, we aren’t taught to run, we typically just do it.

However, there are a significant amount of books and literature now that show us the proper mechanics of developing speed.

Just like other physical training methods, proper technique is crucial for peak performance. Speed is no different.

STRENGTH

One of the most important factors in speed development, if not the most important, is strength.

Most people don’t realize how important foundational strength is to run fast. Many top speed coaches today understand the importance of strength training for their athletes. When they get stronger, they are able to faster for their sport.

Why is this?

Since running and sprinting are about applying force off the ground, it makes sense to get stronger. As with any type of physical training for athletic performance, intelligent program design is the key here.

SUMMARY

To get faster, the athlete must work on 3 things.

1-Building a base of strength.

2-Improving technical proficiency with running mechanics.

3-Running more. To get faster, the athlete has to get out and run. This means running good reps and programming effectively.


Yes, speed can be taught.

Any athlete can learn to run better and run faster.

The myth that speed can’t be taught is that. 

It’s just a myth.

Coach Scott

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