Speed training is a concept with little meaning without a specific frame of reference.
A bullet train could go 200 miles per hour on a track. Off track, an ant goes faster.
A champion in a 100 meter dash, may not be able to cut and turn as fast as a soccer player. A football player may not be able to dive fast enough to avoid being kicked in an MMA match.
Jump rope drills will not help you deliver a high side kick fast. Nor will ladder drills or cone drills help you increase your punching speed.
Speed, speed training drills and speed training equipment must match your objective and consider you strengths and weaknesses.
I have dislocated both shoulders during training. I need to be very careful with my deltoid ligaments in high-speed punching techniques. I do not have any limitations with my legs.
My speed training protocol must consider these.
Below are three steps in choosing your drills and your speed training equipment.
- Write down what it is that you plan to accomplish with your drills. Don’t over complicate it, but write it down. Connect what you do with an outcome. Don’t just write, “I want faster footwork.” Instead, write down faster footwork allows me to confuse my opponent in my next match so that I can execute my strong left-hand This sequence of connecting your training to an outcome keeps you on track.
- Train against resistance. Shadow boxing style training is great; however, it is limited. There is always resistance in real life. Using rubber bands is a simple way to create resistance in the areas you need them. With a little bit of research and some imagination, you can attach rubber bands to any part of your body to create the resistance you need for speed training
- Train deceleration. Training to both accelerate and decelerate are two parts of increasing your speed. Many athletes focus on acceleration so much and forget how their ligaments get stronger during deceleration or eccentric phase of the motion. Also, deceleration ties into retraction. If you punch very fast but do not retract your punch fast, an experienced opponent could grab your hand or use the opening you create during a punch against you.
Practice a wider range of vision in planning your speed training and then focus your drills towards a particular outcome. Don’t get so focused on one aspect of speed training that you forget the real reason for your drills.