Speed, Agility, Quickness… Oh, my!!

Jump serves are a very effect tool to bring power into the game. It allows a simple serve to become a weapon to score a point when done correctly. Nothing puts fear into the other team than to see a jump serve with top spin thundering over the net. If you were new to the sport of volleyball, is this the first skill that a coach would teach you? Of course not! Jump serves take a lot of practice to master. Plus, you would not consider developing this skill until the basics are sufficiently mastered.
 
As silly as that example was, many athletes are treating their strength training in this manner.
Speed, agility, power, explosiveness? Which is the most important athletic trait to focus on when training? They are all critical athletic traits of successful high school athletes. However, like the jump serve there are more important items to focus on first. Strength is the foundation of successful athleticism. Without adequate strength other qualities like speed, agility, power, and explosiveness improvements will be minimal. They sound great when trying to figure out what to train for, but time could be well served elsewhere.
 
Think of it like this:

Strength Pyramid

 

As you can see from the graphic above, first and foremost the athlete must be able to move safely (mobility) and be able to survive the whole activity without passing out (work capacity). From there the athlete should work on increasing their relative strength. If you have ample relative strength you would be able to perform the following: push ups, pull ups, hand walking, single leg squats, rope climbing. How do you stack up? Are you able to perform these exercises multiple times with good form? If the answer is no, then get to work! Anyone can master those exercises, but it will take work. The good news is that once an athlete has improved their relative strength they will naturally find increases in their quickness, speed, strength and other athletic attributes, because those activities are determined by how hard you can push against the ground (strength).

Long story short, focusing on the development of speed, agility, or quickness training is not inherently wrong, but improvements may be small when compared to those who already have sufficient strength. Follow the right steps and you will be quicker, faster, and more explosive!
 
We have a few spots left in our Tuesday/Friday 5:30-6PM and Monday/Wednesday 5-5:30PM volleyball classes. These sessions will be ending the 1st week of June. While spots remain, add your athlete for $59! To reserve your athletes’ spot email David directly at david@foundationstrength.com. We reward those who are action takers, so act fast!

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