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Creating A Comprehensive, Year-Round Speed-Development Program

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© August, 2005


by David Needs
Assistant Football Coach & Head Track Coach, Carson Newman College, Jefferson City, Tenn.

OUR PROGRAM BELIEVES in the old saying that, “Speed wins football games.” To that end, we’ve developed a 4-part program for speed development that’s used throughout the year — not just to condition our athletes, but to make them faster. This program weaves some common threads that serve as principles for all parts of the speed program.

-    Principle 1: Stretching. We’re not a big supporter of what’s called “stagnant stretching.” We utilize a method called “dynamic stretching” instead. Stagnant stretching is a process whereby the athlete stretches while cold (not active) by standing and touching his toes or sitting on the ground to stretch without first warming up. Unfortunately, most teams stretch before practice by having the team line up and perform stagnant stretches — before their muscles are warm. Muscles are like salt-water taffy; when they’re cold they don’t stretch very far. But if they warm up, they stretch much more quickly and more easily.

Dynamic stretching is done by exaggerating an athlete’s running motion through a series of stretches designed to both warm up and stretch at the same time. To dynamic stretch, we have our players do a low-and-slow wal ...The full article can only be seen by subscribers.
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