Summer is usually a time for barbecues, beaches, and vacations, but for athletes it is so important to keep up with conditioning all four seasons of the year. Speed and agility training is a valuable addition to an athlete’s training regimen, as it helps to improve speed, responsiveness, and performance. Training to improve speed and agility has so many great benefits. While your friends are all sitting poolside or relaxing this summer, why not start up a speed and agility program? Read on for 9 reasons to commit to speed and agility training this summer.
- The need for speed. What athlete doesn’t want to run faster? Speed and agility training can help athletes to improve running mechanics, strength, and power, thereby increasing speed. Increased speed can help an athlete to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time, get to the ball or to the opponent first, create more opportunities for scoring, and defend against faster opponents. Speed can be a real game-changer.
- Be nimble. Agility is the ability to change direction quickly and easily, which is essential in many different sports. An athlete with agility training can react well to changes in the environment during competition. Being agile also incorporates maintaining balance and control while moving. Altogether, agility can help athletes to increase speed, power, coordination, and efficiency.
- Reduce the risk. Speed and agility training has the potential to help reduce an athlete’s risk of injury. This risk reduction comes from strengthening the muscles and tendons used in running and changing direction. This focused training can also help improve flexibility and balance, which can help to reduce non-contact injuries or other season-ending injuries.
- Develop confidence. Athletes who work on their speed and agility can help to increase their confidence, as their abilities in their sport improve. Improved performance comes from faster speed and better mobility, making for a more confident athlete. Confidence can make a good athlete greater.
- The mind is an athlete’s strongest muscle. For athletes, mental strength is just as essential as physical strength. Speed and agility training can push athletes to work on their mental toughness. Pushing through difficult workouts and dealing with setbacks can build that mental muscle that an athlete relies on in tough competitive settings.
- Work hard, play hard. What good will an athlete be if he or she isn’t enjoying his or her sport? Working on speed and agility training can help athletes to enjoy their sport more through improving performance skills and through building confidence. When an athlete is competing in top condition, it makes playing immensely more enjoyable.
- Tip top shape. Overall fitness is so key for athletes. Speed and agility not only helps with strength and flexibility, it also is a great boost for cardiovascular health. Being in peak physical condition through speed and agility training can allow an athlete to have more energy as well.
- Lower stress. The exercises implemented in strength and agility training can help to reduce an athlete’s stress levels. This kind of conditioning helps athletes to release endorphins, which can have good mood-boosting effects. A dedicated exercise program can also help athletes to feel more in control of their life and routines, which can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Better sleep. All that energy expended during strength and conditioning training can lead to a good night’s sleep. This is such an important component of an athlete’s training life. Better sleep quality can help an athlete to perform better.
What does speed and agility training entail? This kind of specialized conditioning is intended to help an athlete perform at his or her best in any sport. There are many different kinds of exercises, and most professional trainers will design a personal program, tailored to an athlete’s individual needs. Some speed and agility exercises include:
- Sprints: Running just 10 or 20 yards at full speed is a great way to help improve speed.
- Agility ladders: Running through and touching each ladder rung with your feet can help an athlete to gain agility. These ladders can be done forward, backward, and even sideways.
- Change-of-direction drills: An essential skill for athletes, change of direction drills help athletes to become more agile and quick.
- Plyometrics: These explosive exercises really focus on increasing an athlete’s power.
What’s the best way to begin a summer regimen of speed and agility training? Work with a pro! Consulting with a qualified trainer will help to ensure that you’re exercising correctly and that you’re working efficiently to achieve good results.
The professional trainers at ROI help athletes to reach new heights and to achieve their athletic goals. From teens to professionals, the team at ROI works to build a personalized, science-based program customized for each and every athlete. Learn more about ROI at their website, or reach out to schedule your summer speed and agility training by calling 512-562-9141.