Speed Kills! Why Position Players Should Focus On Speed Training

In football there are big plays and moments that usually determine the outcome of a game. And usually, explosive position players are the ones that make them.

Finding explosive, fast and dynamic athletes has become a major focus for college coaches. Dallas Blacklock, the wide receivers coach at Texas Southern University, believes these types of athletes have a massive impact for teams.

“It’s a huge benefit. Speed kills,” said Blacklock, who has coached at multiple USA Football Regional Development Camps and Development Games. “If you build your team with explosive position players, your team will make explosive plays. That’s how you win football games.”

It’s imperative that athletes continue to get faster, quicker and more explosive. That is what college coaches are looking for,” Blacklock said. “Those are the kids that get scholarships.”

So how do athletes become explosive?

Athletes can utilize various drills in the areas of plyometric, speed and resistance training to work on their speed. It is also crucial that athletes work on flexibility and mobility. All of these areas of exercise help to develop and fine-tune the quick-twitch muscles that create explosive ability.

“Athletes can have straight speed, or track speed, but football speed is a whole different ball game,” Blacklock said. “Football is a game of changing direction. It’s great if you can run fast but if your muscles can’t maintain that high level of speed during change of direction then that limits what you can do.”

Here are some drills Blacklock uses to increase the dynamic playmaking ability of the wide receivers at Texas Southern.

  • Weighted lunges
  • Front squats
  • L-Drill
  • 5-yard cone shuttle
  • Box Jumps
  • Start-Stop cone drills

These exercises are extremely valuable and can be worked on during the offseason or midseason.

Blacklock utilizes these exercises in order to help athletes practice dropping their hips, hold a low center of gravity and develop burst. He emphasizes that athletes sprint through the entirety of the exercise in order to prevent athletes from slowing down when they change direction during a game. He also advises that athletes make sure they get adequate rest and are properly hydrated.

In addition, here are some speed drills for position players that are found on USA Football’s website.

Read the original article by Gavin Porter on USA Football’s website.