How to Become a Faster Athlete

How to Become a Faster Athlete
Speed is a necessary requirement for most athletes. Whether the sport is tennis, soccer, football or lacrosse, most athletes are called on to demonstrate both long and short bursts of speed. In addition to all-out speed, it is often necessary for athletes to have the ability to change direction and accelerate once again. Proper training is essential to condition the muscles responsible for these movements. Speed and agility training is designed to target fast-twitch muscles, which are responsible for speed, quick direction changes and acceleration.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Open and flat training area
  • Cross-training athletic shoes
  • Training schedule
Step 1
Select appropriate exercises that are specifically targeted to improve fast-twitch muscle development. Examples of these are ladder drills, 20-yard touch-cone drills and other exercises that require muscle groups to demonstrate explosive power release, recover and repeat.
Step 2
Use training aids such as a parachute or resistance belts to build strength for speed. Parachute trainers attach to an athlete's waist by means of a belt. Resistance belts are positioned around the athlete's waist and held on both ends by a coach or trainer.
Step 3
Perform specific exercises that strengthen a particular muscle. For example, standing on a step with the heel suspended over the edge and then raising and lowering will work calf muscles. Attempt to strengthen target muscles for responsiveness.
Step 4
Maintain a good height-to-weight ratio. Watch calorie intake, and maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can cost an athlete in both time and performance.
Step 5
Run hills or stadium steps to strengthen legs and, more important, to build endurance. Running up stairs and hills and then slowly walking down forces a wide range of muscle groups to work.

Tips & Warnings

 
Establish a training and workout regimen, and stick to the overall plan and schedule.
 
Before beginning any workout program, it is always advisable to have a physical performed by a licensed physician.
 
Hydration is extremely important during all phases of training.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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