10 Types of Speed

Its important to identify and train different types of speed for an athlete to increase overall performance.  Most sports, with the exception of track and field, require an athlete to make different types of movements depending on the situation.   These 10 different types are straight from my notes of Scott Moody's mentorship in Kansas.  Scott's program, AthleteFit, does a great job of integrating training methods to translate weight room gains into performance gains on the field. I've split up the different types of speed into 3 categories

Category 1

Acceleration

Deceleration

Change of Direction

Change of Pace

Category 2

Anticipation

Recognition

Reaction

Category 3

Player v Player

Player with Ball

Player v Player with Ball

These 10 types of speed are like the gears to an old fashion watch.  If you take out just one of those gears, no matter how big or small that gear may be, the entire watch stops working. In sports, its very easy to identify players who are great hard skill athletes.  A hard skill is a fixed movement that can be defined and measured.  There is no reaction required and there is nothing external to challenge the movement.  An example of a hard skill would be a tennis serve, a golf swing, or a free throw in basketball.  Hard skills are difficult to execute because of internal challenges like nerves or pressure.  Category 1 would fall into the hard skill category when isolated, like a 40 yard dash, a vertical jump test, or even a pro agility test.  Unfortunately, sports aren't played against cones, they are played against other athletes.  While its important to develop and strengthen the hard movement skills of speed, soft skills are the key to performance.  A soft skill requires some type of recognition and reaction.  Defending a player with the ball would be a great example of a soft skill.  When a player can put all of this together, it translates into CONFIDENCE.  This is the last component of real Game Speed.  It is something that is very hard to measure but very easy to see.   A confident player will move faster or perform better than the player that is hesitant or unsure.  A player with self-belief expects to win.  Every great athlete from every sport has this in common.  Building confidence is the true goal of a any real training program.