There are a number of ways an athlete can express ‘Speed’. Because of this ‘speed’ is broken into multiple sub qualities:
• Reaction = the ability to react quickly to an opponent or to stimuli which may be auditory, visual, or kinaesthetic. Intercepting a pass, or reacting to a team mates call.
• Agility = A rapid whole body change of direction or speed in response to a stimulus, open skill. An attacker evading an opponent to score a goal.
• Change of direction speed = the ability to rapidly change direction while maintaining good body mechanics/coordination, closed skill. Weaving in and out of cones in a preplanned movement.
• Acceleration = the rate of change in velocity. In field/court sports this often not from a stationary start more often it is from rolling starts, and striding starts. Therefor need to train this way.
• Maximum velocity = Highest speed or velocity attained during a speed episode. Typically occurs between 30 to 40 m in a field sport athlete, May be 50 to 70 in a track & field athlete
• Speed-endurance = the ability to repeat speed efforts with limited diminishment of performance. Repeatedly being able to sprint up and down the basketball court.
Does your training program take into account all of the different sub qualities of Speed that are important for your sport?