T Nation

Short Speed Sessions

I’m wondering if any of you have any ideas on how a speed session could be implemented into my Aussie Rules teams training sessions. We have only 2 training sessions per week. It is a juggling act with skills training, strength training, and general aerobic and anaerobic conditioning over 2 x 2hr periods.

Most of the training programs I have ever used for speed have been around the 40-60 minute mark. I need something that is around 15-20 minutes and will yield results. I realise that may not exist but it is the max amount of time I have to allow for this particular type of training.

If any of you have a program or some guidelines as to how I could best incorporate a 15-20 minute speed session at the start of my teams practice it would be most appreciated.

With my athletes I we start every training we do in the summer with a speed/power circuit of varied length. Because they are all high school kids, they often have summer schedules (with vacations, work, sport camps, etc.) that are very erratic, thus we do speed, power, strength, etc. all in one session- concurrent model.

What has worked for me has been 8-minute circuits. What I do is pick four exercises and perform them in circuit fashion, starting a new drill every 2 minutes. For them I always pick a jump variation and a med ball throw variation and the other two might be short sprints, agility drills, other jumps, etc. etc. only limited by your creativity.

So a sample circuit might be:
A. Broad Jumps x 3
-rest until the 2 minutes is completed-
B. Kneeling overhead throws x 4
-rest until the 2 minutes is completed-
C. 20m pro shuttle x 2
-rest until the 2 minutes is completed-
D. Hurdle hops x 25
-rest until the 2 minutes is completed-

We perform this circuit anywhere from 2 to 4 times. Two circuits would be 16 minutes, which would seem to fit well into what you are looking for.

The beauty of that sort of training is that you can play with reps (lower for true “max effort” jumps or sprints or raise for a heavier volume load/greater conditioning effect) and change the exercise selection while staying in a framework that is easy to understand and use. I would run these circuits with 8 high school kids in one group and I could have the whole circuit explained while they took their 1-minute water break after the dynamic warmup. The other great thing is that you hardly need any equipment for this, a few cones, a few med balls and I’d also recommend a long measuring tape for broad jumps and bounds.

I have a ton of different drills to use (mountain climber starts are a personal favorite) if you are interested and want to hear more about thsi.

Jtrinsey—

I’m an indoor track coach with a lot of green-as-grass athletes and very limited space most days. Your circuit concept seems like it would be a good fit for me. I’d definitely like to hear more.

Many thanks in advance.

[quote]jtrinsey wrote:
With my athletes I we start every training we do in the summer with a speed/power circuit of varied length. Because they are all high school kids, they often have summer schedules (with vacations, work, sport camps, etc.) that are very erratic, thus we do speed, power, strength, etc. all in one session- concurrent model.

What has worked for me has been 8-minute circuits. What I do is pick four exercises and perform them in circuit fashion, starting a new drill every 2 minutes. For them I always pick a jump variation and a med ball throw variation and the other two might be short sprints, agility drills, other jumps, etc. etc. only limited by your creativity.

So a sample circuit might be:
A. Broad Jumps x 3
-rest until the 2 minutes is completed-
B. Kneeling overhead throws x 4
-rest until the 2 minutes is completed-
C. 20m pro shuttle x 2
-rest until the 2 minutes is completed-
D. Hurdle hops x 25
-rest until the 2 minutes is completed-

We perform this circuit anywhere from 2 to 4 times. Two circuits would be 16 minutes, which would seem to fit well into what you are looking for.

The beauty of that sort of training is that you can play with reps (lower for true “max effort” jumps or sprints or raise for a heavier volume load/greater conditioning effect) and change the exercise selection while staying in a framework that is easy to understand and use. I would run these circuits with 8 high school kids in one group and I could have the whole circuit explained while they took their 1-minute water break after the dynamic warmup. The other great thing is that you hardly need any equipment for this, a few cones, a few med balls and I’d also recommend a long measuring tape for broad jumps and bounds.

I have a ton of different drills to use (mountain climber starts are a personal favorite) if you are interested and want to hear more about thsi.[/quote]

That’s very clever. What sort of athletes are you training here? I’d be really interested to hear any other drills you use for this if you have the time to spare. I like the way you have set all that up. That would fit perfectly into my schedule.

Glad I could be of some help. I’ll try to stick to practical outlines of what I did this summer rather than speculating but I’ll add in a couple of the changes that I think I’ll be making.

For a little background information the athletes I train are all in high school (although this summer I suppose I will now have two outbound collegiate athletes) and were actually all females- not neccessarily by plan but because I am just getting my network set up in this area and that’s where I have an in with a few of the high school coaches who send their athletes to me. Their abilities are very varied, they range from a kid who is a 3-sport all-stater and will be playing volleyball at the D1 level next fall and a couple of freshman who might even be better eventually (both already broad jumping 8’+) to some kids who are just trying to make their varsity high school teams. At times these kids have to train together so I needed to come up with a template that was flexible enough to challenge both ends of the spectrum properly.

As I mentioned before, the circuits are comprised of 4 exercises and a drill starts every 2 minutes. One drill I chose to focus on was the broad jump- we did all our training outside so I didn’t have a way to test VJ and the broad jump is an easy drill and measureable so the kids could see improvement and also compete. The other was the med ball chest pass because I feel that is a dynamic movement that can help upper body power for volleyball, field events and basketball- which comprises basically all of the kids who train with me. So we did a one variation of both of these drills every time. So the circuit would look like this:

A. Broad jump variation: either regular broad jump or a broad jump holding a pair of 5lb plates or a pair of 10lb plates. This summer I’ll be picking up some X-vests as that should make loading a bit easier as some felt jumping while holding plates was a bit awkward. I also might do a depth broad jump by having them drop off a 12-18" box and do the jump. That would be for more advanced kids.

B. Med ball throw: We did chest passes or kneeling chest passes with either a 4lb ball or and 8lb ball so that made four variations.

C and D. Other drills I used were:

Sprint variations:
Mountain climber starts
Pushup starts
Jump back starts
20m sprints from a 3-point start

Agility/COD:
20m pro shuttle
3-cone drill (see NFL combine)
4-cone drill (something I made up)

Reactivity:
Hurdle hops
Unilateral triple jump
4-step bound
Double leg, 3 bounds (triple broad jump)
Scissor jumps
Jump squats holding 20#

Other:
Overhead med ball throws
Med ball scoop throw (keg throw)
I think I’m going to try to pick up some kettlebells to do swings with

I’m excited to see how the kids do with these kneeling jumps I’ve been seeing on EliteFTS.

One thing that really hit home for me was a quote that James Smith has made a couple of times that is something to the effect of “Most of the world’s elite athletes throughout history have been built by using a combination of jumps, sprints, throws, calisthenics and basic lifts.” So basically I just figured out what sort of stuff I could do within the context I had available. I do all my training outdoors so I can’t use a squat rack or anything like that so we just do trap-bar deadlifts, lunges, 1-leg RDLs and a ton of sled dragging.

If I had limited space I would do a ton of box jumps, broad jumps (if you have the space) maybe kneeling jumps if they turn out to be worthwhile along with kb/dumbbell swings and some of that other stuff. If you have a hallway you can do stuff like pushup/mountain climber starts and whatnot.

I tend to ramble so I hope that was all clear. If anybody has any questions I’ll be happy to answer and if anybody has any other comments or critiques that would be awesome too.

[quote]jtrinsey wrote:
Glad I could be of some help. I’ll try to stick to practical outlines of what I did this summer rather than speculating but I’ll add in a couple of the changes that I think I’ll be making.

For a little background information the athletes I train are all in high school (although this summer I suppose I will now have two outbound collegiate athletes) and were actually all females- not neccessarily by plan but because I am just getting my network set up in this area and that’s where I have an in with a few of the high school coaches who send their athletes to me. Their abilities are very varied, they range from a kid who is a 3-sport all-stater and will be playing volleyball at the D1 level next fall and a couple of freshman who might even be better eventually (both already broad jumping 8’+) to some kids who are just trying to make their varsity high school teams. At times these kids have to train together so I needed to come up with a template that was flexible enough to challenge both ends of the spectrum properly.

As I mentioned before, the circuits are comprised of 4 exercises and a drill starts every 2 minutes. One drill I chose to focus on was the broad jump- we did all our training outside so I didn’t have a way to test VJ and the broad jump is an easy drill and measureable so the kids could see improvement and also compete. The other was the med ball chest pass because I feel that is a dynamic movement that can help upper body power for volleyball, field events and basketball- which comprises basically all of the kids who train with me. So we did a one variation of both of these drills every time. So the circuit would look like this:

A. Broad jump variation: either regular broad jump or a broad jump holding a pair of 5lb plates or a pair of 10lb plates. This summer I’ll be picking up some X-vests as that should make loading a bit easier as some felt jumping while holding plates was a bit awkward. I also might do a depth broad jump by having them drop off a 12-18" box and do the jump. That would be for more advanced kids.

B. Med ball throw: We did chest passes or kneeling chest passes with either a 4lb ball or and 8lb ball so that made four variations.

C and D. Other drills I used were:

Sprint variations:
Mountain climber starts
Pushup starts
Jump back starts
20m sprints from a 3-point start

Agility/COD:
20m pro shuttle
3-cone drill (see NFL combine)
4-cone drill (something I made up)

Reactivity:
Hurdle hops
Unilateral triple jump
4-step bound
Double leg, 3 bounds (triple broad jump)
Scissor jumps
Jump squats holding 20#

Other:
Overhead med ball throws
Med ball scoop throw (keg throw)
I think I’m going to try to pick up some kettlebells to do swings with

I’m excited to see how the kids do with these kneeling jumps I’ve been seeing on EliteFTS.

One thing that really hit home for me was a quote that James Smith has made a couple of times that is something to the effect of “Most of the world’s elite athletes throughout history have been built by using a combination of jumps, sprints, throws, calisthenics and basic lifts.” So basically I just figured out what sort of stuff I could do within the context I had available. I do all my training outdoors so I can’t use a squat rack or anything like that so we just do trap-bar deadlifts, lunges, 1-leg RDLs and a ton of sled dragging.

If I had limited space I would do a ton of box jumps, broad jumps (if you have the space) maybe kneeling jumps if they turn out to be worthwhile along with kb/dumbbell swings and some of that other stuff. If you have a hallway you can do stuff like pushup/mountain climber starts and whatnot.

I tend to ramble so I hope that was all clear. If anybody has any questions I’ll be happy to answer and if anybody has any other comments or critiques that would be awesome too.[/quote]

That sounds like a good set up. I think I will give something like that a go. It will be pretty different to what they have done in the past but I think it will be of great benefit to the team.

Thanks for all this information.