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Johnp2

Question To The Coaches...

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Do you think speed can be taught? I say no. I think team speed and even football speed can be coached, but I don't think flat-out speed can be taught. I know that many do (there are 'speed' camps popping up around here) and that is impossible to be agnostic of any sport, in my opinion. My assumption is they teach track and field speed, which does promote the fundamentals of running, but don't think it would turn into tangible benefits on the football field.

What are your thoughts?

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Do you think speed can be taught? I say no. I think team speed and even football speed can be coached, but I don't think flat-out speed can be taught. I know that many do (there are 'speed' camps popping up around here) and that is impossible to be agnostic of any sport, in my opinion. My assumption is they teach track and field speed, which does promote the fundamentals of running, but don't think it would turn into tangible benefits on the football field.

What are your thoughts?

In a word, no. There is either raw speed talent there or not. Now, you can coach and improve the overall running form and build up muscle, but you can not teach raw speed. Trust me, I have seen raw speed and you cant coach or stop it.

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Do you think speed can be taught?

I've got a couple of different answers. Yes, I think speed can be taught. It can always be improved. Now I don't think that you can turn Bubba into Carl Lewis. But everyone can be coached up. Particularly at the 6-10 year old range, their are a few things that can be taught about hands, hips, timing, and particularly watching where your eyes are (don't look at the other kid).

There is also a question of burst speed vs. long distance speed. Looking at long distance speed, there is strategy involved, and that can certainly be taught.

I suspect though, that you are talking more about burst speed on the football field. That sort of on-field-football-speed is different than flat-out-track-50m-dash-speed. We had Spring flag football, and towards the end, our local YMCA had a track meet. My kids who were fastest on the field (and on the basketball court) were clearly not the fastest on the track. However, the football-fast kids have tremendous peripheral vision. They can spot the halls and burst through them. I also think the peripheral vision thing can be coached up.

In general, yeah, I think speed can be improved through good coaching.

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Speed is an interesting thing. My son is fast and for many years people would rave about how fast he was. At some point he was in a track meet and although he did well, you could then clearly see that he did not have elite speed. But anytime on the field/ court/ etc, there he'd be "faster" than just about anyone and then some. At that point I began analyzing what exactly it was, why was he the fastest on the basketball court or football field or whatever. I mean he is fast, don't get me wrong, he'll beat most anyone in a footrace. But what really sets him apart in a sport is he has a super quick response-time. For whatever reason he has very little hesitation, he's two steps ahead before the next kid even thinks about going.

Can you teach that? I think you can to a certain extent. He's naturally aggressive, but I pushed him on it from an early age. I cajoled and encouraged and helped him hone it. I still do so now although I don't have to as much. He realizes that gives him an edge and he exploits it.

As for the physical side, I think you can improve speed to a certain extent. You can work on leg strength and technique. It might not turn a slow kid into a speed burner, but maybe a slow kid can be a not so slow kid. And you could probably find all you need on the Net. Here are a few exercises to begin with: walking lunges, bear crawls, high stepping.

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Thanks for the responses thus far. They all make sense.

Unlike Orange, my son is not very fast. He's not slow, he's just never been considered fast. Out of 11 players on my team he is maybe the 4th or 5th fastest player. Of course, he does run with proper motion (I was big into track and field in HS) so taught him early on how to run--as I know it.

Additionally--and I find this very interesting--if I had to rank my players from fastest to slowest, the list has remained the same all the way back to when they were 5-6. Back then I would have bet anything that the list would have drastically changed 4-5 years later...but it hasn't. Of course, I imagine the biggest changes in flat-out speed occur between the ages 10-15 as opposed with 5-10.

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Speed can be improved on.So its not necessarily taught.Its constant working out.Even at young ages those very fast kids have something genetic but as they get older it definitely can be improved.I've seen true speed and D1 athletes in front of me and all these guys worked there butts off before high school.starting around 4-5th grade.

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I've seen true speed and D1 athletes in front of me and all these guys worked there butts off before high school.starting around 4-5th grade.

That makes sense, and it's almost the chicken or the egg. In other words, are they playing D1 football and worked their butts off because they were always so much faster than everyone, or are they fast because they worked their butts off?

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I've seen true speed and D1 athletes in front of me and all these guys worked there butts off before high school.starting around 4-5th grade.

That makes sense, and it's almost the chicken or the egg. In other words, are they playing D1 football and worked their butts off because they were always so much faster than everyone, or are they fast because they worked their butts off?

these kids played d1 football and ran 4.4-4.5's by junior year.they got fast working there butts off.started running track at a young age by the time they got older they were just freaks lol.haha 8th grade and these kids were ripped like they had been working out for years.just because of running track.i dont think it was genetic thing.i was friends with them and saw there families.no 1 else in there family was like them at all.crazy but true.

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