It is customary to see young athletes being taught and drilled on how to run as fast as possible in a straight line or using an external apparatus (tubing, parachutes, high-speed treadmills etc.). Although linear speed is crucial in sports, it should not be the only aspect taught when working towards optimal athletic development in young athletes.

      Except for track and field, and maybe beating out an infield hit in baseball, very seldom does a young athlete need to sprint forward with proper form; and they almost never hit ‘top-end-speed’ for any length of time. Sports are multi-directional and varying in speed.  Young athletes must be taught how to move efficiently and quickly at angles (not just forward) and be ingrained with the knowledge and ability of how to decelerate (stop) and shift (change directions) as fast as possible.

      When teaching multi-directional speed it is crucial to teach young athletes the skills behind multi-directional speed and not just throw a bunch of ladders and disc on the ground and have them run through it while yelling at them to run faster. Drills are simply used as a vehicle to enhance the skill or technique.  An example I would like to use is acceleration. The skills of acceleration are: punch the knees, throw the hands, and push into the ground. The drill would be to tell the athlete to get from point A to point B in X amount of strides. SKILL OF MOVEMENT, NOT THE DRILL IS CRUCIAL TO TEACH. Some of the skills of multi-directional speed that need to be taught for proper youth atheltic development are:

–          Reposition the feet for greater Acceleration and deceleration

–          Allow 1 leg to do its job while the other prepares for its job

            (one extends while the other flexes) if not it dissipates forces.

–          Push the center of mass over lead leg

–          Proper deceleration sets up the first step in acceleration

–          Must control shoulder sway

–          Hands move first and quickly to generate quick acceleration

–          Throw hands back to gain distance during the drive phase of linear acceleration

–          Disassociate upper and lower body

–          Stay low- allows for greater leg angles for acceleration and deceleration

–          Load to explode

–          Watch for energy leaks

     Here at Athletic Revolution Matthews, we teach young athletes the proper skills needed to be the fastest, quickest, and most agile athlete on the playing field. To learn more on how youth fitness and sports performance can help your young athlete be the best that he or she can be, check us out at  We are the only Charlotte area youth specific fitness center.

 Til next time, Coach George

Posted by Athletic Revolution | in Champions, General, Youth Athletic Development | 2 Comments


  1. I love these informative blogs, thank you

  2. So much to learn, thank you Coach George and Tiffany. I do hope our students/parents read these blogs. Thank you.


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