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The Need for Speed

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© August, 2013


by Reese Bridgman
Assistant Athletic Director for Strength and Conditioning Norfolk State University

The Need for Speed Having change-of-direction speed  is critical for skill position players.

Individual success in football is determined by technique and physical skill. Two of the components of physical skill are linear speed and change-of-direction (COD) speed. The degree to which a player possesses speed is partly dependent on the amount of strength, especially lower body strength, and flexibility that he has. Strength and speed combine to create explosive force, which may be even more important to football than speed itself. These components aren’t very useful without the proper mechanics that are required to carry them over from the drills or exercises to the game itself.

NFL coaches and scouts during the late 1960s and early 1970s began to see that the team with the most speed usually won the game. The trickle-down effect brought that understanding of a need for speed down to every level of the sport. Like all other college football programs, we recruit for speed and we train for speed.

At one point, coaches felt that a sprinter from t ...The full article can only be seen by subscribers.
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