No matter what sport you play or how hard you train, you can never be too fast. And, when it comes to adding speed, there’s no better time to separate yourself from the pack, literally, than the summer. Putting in the extra work on agility drills and speed workouts now will give you that added burst you need to dominate your upcoming fall sport season. So, let’s get right to it — here are some handy speed training tips that are sure to help you leave your peers in the dust:
1. Perfect Your Technique
Let’s make something clear … before you start doing cool workouts you need to master your technique. Having the proper running form is the essential first step in any speed training regimen. When starting a new drill, take it at a slower pace, focusing closely on proper technique, before taking it up a notch.
2. Add In Some Resistance Training
Incorporating additional resistance, like parachutes, into your speed workouts is the perfect way to gain some speed. Your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves will all put in some extra work and your top speed will start to rise.
3. Run For The Hills
Uphill repeats are a great way to improve in a variety of areas. As you push upward, you’ll work all sorts of muscles — from your lower legs to your hip flexors to your back, and the added incline also forces you to use the correct running form.
4. Make Some Time For Plyometrics
Plyometric exercises are all about exerting a maximum amount of force in a short burst of time. Standing long jumps, box jumps, and forward bounds are some of the best ways to upgrade your explosiveness and burst.
5. Fuel Up The Right Way
Proper nutrition and hydration are just as important as any of the steps listed above. Before a speed workout, make sure you have a carbohydrate-rich snack. During the workout, don’t forgot to stay hydrated. And afterwards, rehydrate your body while also consuming a healthy snack within the first 30 minutes. These steps are essential if you want to get the most out of every workout.
6. Don’t Forget To Recover
When you really push yourself, be sure to give yourself an easier workout the next day. When you feel exhausted post-workout, consider getting a good night of sleep. When your body is feeling strained or sore, think about getting a massage or trying yoga. You need to give your body time to build back up and get stronger.
As a 6 foot, 230-pound athlete with equally ridiculous speed and power, Saquon Barkley is primed to be one of the league’s most exciting tailbacks from the first handoff he takes on September 9 against Jacksonville. We got a chance to sit down with the rookie sensation to cover his journey to stardom and how he is ready to seize the spotlight in the Big Apple.
From Starting In High School
Q: Let’s flash back to your time at Whitehall (PA) High School. You dominated there and seemed to make a major jump between your sophomore and junior year. How were you able to take your game to the next level?
A: The biggest reason I jumped from my sophomore to my junior year was my change in mindset. I made it up in my mind that I wanted to play college football, and once I did that, that’s when the work ethic improved. I started to push myself in the weight room and in conditioning. Even off the field, I started doing better in school. I just started challenging myself every day, and once I did that, everything on the field took care of itself.
Q: Despite dominating, ESPN had you ranked as 24 th best running back. Did you use that as motivation? How did that impact your season and what you were looking to do?
A: Actually, at one point I was ranked 60 th . Coming into Nike The Opening (in 2014), I was ranked the 60th best running back in the country. But that just made me want to prove a point. When I got to the Opening and competed against some of the top guys, I did really well. That helped me get to the top level and boost me to that 24 th spot. And I carried that motivation into college. I wanted to prove to those teams that didn’t offer me that they made a mistake.
To Growing In College
Q: So you make it to Penn State, but you weren’t the lead back right away. How were you able to stay ready for your chance and continue to grow as a player?
A: That was all about continuing to challenge myself. When I got to Penn State, I didn’t say ‘I want to be the starter right away.’ We had an established guy and I just wanted to learn from him. I just wanted to play as a freshman and I was going to do whatever I could to play. If that meant playing special teams or being on the scout team — I was going to do that. I carried that approach into the weight room. As my numbers in the weight room continued to grow, I got faster and better on the football field.
Q: Looking back on your time at Penn State, what made it the perfect spot for you?
A: I was actually originally committed to a different college. They offered me off of my JV highlight tape and based on my potential. I committed on spot, but the decision to flip to Penn State actually wasn’t just about football. Obviously, Penn State football is amazing and a great opportunity, but I also felt like Penn State gave me a better chance after football. I envisioned myself being here (in the pros), but you have to think ‘what if?’ A Penn State education takes you a long way.
To Being Ready For The Pros
Q: Now it’s time for the pro game – how have you stepped up your training to get ready for your rookie season?
A: Something I started changing about my work habits this offseason is that it’s not so much about how much you can lift, but now, it’s about longevity. You’ve got to keep your body healthy. I’ve been working on my speed and explosion, and making sure that what I’m doing in the weight room transitions onto the football field.
Q: Take us back to draft day, when you got that phone call from New York. What was that moment like?
A: A lot of people think you know where you’re going before you get that call, and you actually have no idea. When I got that call, it was special because of the people that were at the table with me – my mom and my dad on my left, my brothers and sisters, my agents, my high school coaches. These were all the people that really cared and mattered in my life. My mom and dad worked so hard to help me get to that point. Having them there made it 10 times more special.
There’s a reason so many D1 college coaches attend it. There’s a reason so many highly ranked recruits compete in it. There’s a reason celebrities stop by to catch the action year after year. The annual Fab 48 Tournament in Las Vegas is one of the summer’s hottest basketball events and it’s a showcase for many of the most talented young players in the world. Every year, it seems to get bigger — and better. Check out some of the top highlights from this year’s Fab 48 Tournament below:
If you’re a serious hoops fan, you know all about Bigfoot Hoops’ The Eight Tournament. With some of the biggest stars in basketball in the building and some of the best high school recruits squaring off in Las Vegas, you know it’s got to be appointment viewing, and this year may have been the best one yet. Check out the highlights below:
The Under Armour Association Finals in Vegas were crazy and Eastbay was there to capture it all. Some of basketball’s biggest rising stars came to take in the action and watch the future of basketball go to work. We captured some of the best highlights and got exclusive interviews with Dennis Smith Jr., Will Barton, Josh Jackson, and Terrance Ferguson below: