Lateral Sprint Running | Read And React
In the modern day of football athletes must be quicker and faster than ever. Not only do they have to be fast but they must maintain this speed endurance throughout an entire football game. Defensive players like linebackers, and in some cases edge players, are asked to perform their traditional duties of stopping the run and applying pressure to the quarterback but they are often asked to drop back into coverage and pass defend against running backs and wide receivers. Proper lateral movements and sprinting technique will aid these athletes in keeping pace with speedy and agile offensive players.
How To Build Speed Endurance
Athletes can enhance their speed endurance and ability to maintain speed late into contests by performing a combination of shorter distance maximum speed sprints (20-40 yards), longer speed endurance sprints (60-100 yards), and lower intensity cardio (light jog for 30-40 minutes). Using great running and sprinting technique during these three different levels of speed endurance training will allow the athletes’ body to adapt and maintain greater levels of speed endurance late into contests.
Athletes can also go to the Training Section to view different ways to incorporate different types of speed endurance and cardio training into workouts. Since the goal of the three different levels of cardio is to maintain different intensities athletes can use sprint running and speed endurance training equipment like the KB Duo, Speed Jump Rope, Kbands Leg Resistance Bands, or Running Parachute.
Lateral Sprint Running
Coaches and athletes will need to work together to complete the Kbands Hot Box Shuffles. This lateral sprint running drill can best be utilized in a team, small group, or circuit style work-out. Multiple sets of Speed and Agility Cones will allow for a larger number of athletes to perform the Hot Box Shuffles. Athletes can also perform a circuit workout that incorporates this speed endurance training.
To begin the Hot Box Shuffles athletes will need 7 Speed and Agility Cones, a set of Kbands Leg Resistance Bands, and a partner or coach. Athletes will place the Speed and Agility Cones in 2 rows of 3 Speed and Agility Cones each. The Speed and Agility Cones in each row will also be 5 yards apart. A final Speed and Agility Cone will be placed 5-15 yards to the rear of the Hot Box Shuffles cone set up and will act as the marker for the final sprint run out. Athletes will line up in the center of the rows of Speed and Agility Cones, securely attach the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands just above the knees, and assume a great athletic position to start the Hot Box Shuffles. Partners will stand outside of the “Hot Box” and prepare to start and direct the lateral sprint running drill.
Coaches need to control the Hot Box Shuffles Drill by directing the athlete which way to move and when it is time to finish the speed endurance drill. On a verbal cue given by the coach or partner athletes will begin to quickly shuffle in the direction the coach or partner indicates until the coach or partner indicates a different direction. Partners need to challenge the distance of the lateral shuffles as well as keep the athlete alert by consistently changing the direction in which the athlete is moving.
Athletes will perform the Kbands Hot Box Shuffles for 15-20 seconds before finishing the lateral sprint running drill with a 5-15 yard sprint run through the far Speed and Agility Cone. Athletes will perform 6-8 resisted sets of the Hot Box Shuffles before removing the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands and performing 2-4 unresisted sets of the lateral sprint running drill.
If this speed endurance drill is being performed in a circuit, athletes and coaches can have the final sprint run lead directly into the next station. Athletes can also finish the Hot Box Shuffles with a final sprint run requiring successfully catching a football. For more speed, agility, or speed endurance drills to place in a circuit with the Hot Box Shuffles, or for more training drills to create a complete workout go to the Training Section.
Great Sprinting Technique
Proper body movements are essential for athletes to have success in their particular sport. Moving properly limits or eliminates improper body movements that can slow down an athlete. Great sprinting technique forces the athlete to use every part of their body to enhance the speed at which the athlete can move. As involved as the legs are in running, great sprinting technique teaches athletes how to maximize the force which can be produced by the legs, while also teaching the athlete how to use their arms to generate more speed and power.
During the lateral shuffling portion of the Hot Box Shuffles athletes will want to keep a low chest, proper spacing between the feet, work off the balls of the feet, and keep the toes, shoulders, and hips facing forward. Athletes should not allow their feet to cross. During resisted sets of the lateral sprint runs athletes need to focus on working against the resistance from the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands by keeping the knees wide, not allowing them to collapse toward each other. During unrested sets athletes should still focus on the position of their knees and make sure they are still driving the knee out from the body.
As athletes transition into the sprint run at the end of the Hot Box Shuffles practicing proper body movements will aid athletes in performing this motion quicker, and more efficiently in a game situation. Athletes will need to plant their foot, rotate their hips and drive their elbow in the direction they are turning, keep a low chest, and drive their knees as they sprint through the end of the Hot Box Shuffles. Athletes should be decisive with their movements and avoid false steps and wasted movements with the feet. Athletes need to take time with the footwork aspect of all sprint running drills and sports specific drills. Perfecting footwork and body movements will translate into more time spent on advanced training, and greater output during competition.