Sports Training Resistance: Speed Harness Shuffle Drill
In almost every sport, quick, controlled reaction times can play an essential role in the outcome of a game, and athletes who have enough agility to stay in motion and maintain top speed during direction changes will have a distinct advantage on the field or court. Quick stops, starts, and reaction times typically begin with a low center of gravity and powerful control over the muscle groups that contribute to speed. These include the muscles of the core, hips and quads. In addition to strength in these muscle groups and a low, controlled body position, athletes will need to develop a strong sense of balance in order to execute rapid direction shifts without sliding, falling, or stutter-steps.
The sports training drill demonstrated in this video is called the reactive lateral shuffle, and when executed correctly, this drill can help athletes stay on their feet and under control during rapid changes on the field. This drill relies on the resistance speed harness, The Reactive Stretch Cord, which provides both resistance and assistance as athletes move away from the anchor point and then back again at maximum velocity. Once athletes have worked the speed harness into a regular training program and developed the lateral speed and control provided by this exercise, they’ll notice the results; direction changes on the field will happen faster and athletes will stay in control and maintain better balance as game situations evolve.
This drill is especially useful for basketball players, since the lateral motions between the cones reflect the motions of offensive and defensive plays on the court, but this drill can be very useful for athletes in any sport that requires controlled direction changes.
Sports Training with the Resistance Speed Harness: Setting up the Drill
This sports training exercise will require very little equipment: Only three speed and agility cones and a resistance speed harness, or Reactive Stretch Cord, for each participant. Athletes will also need to pair up with a partner for this drill, and partners should understand how the Reactive Stretch Cord works and should take their anchoring responsibility seriously.
The three speed and agility cones can be laid in a line at equal distance. Athletes and coaches should keep in mind that 20 feet is the maximum safe stretching distance for the resistance speed harness, so when the cord is stretched between the athlete and the partner at the last cone in the line, the two partners should be standing at a distance of 20 feet or less.
The athlete can attach the band of the harness around the waist and then clip the Reactive Stretch Cord to the O-ring which can be positioned on the side. Once the band is snug and the cord is clipped to the harness, the drill can begin.
Sports Training With the Resistance Speed Harness: Executing the Drill
As this sports training drill begins, the anchoring partner will stand a few feet away from the line of cones with the end of the Anchor Strap in hand. For safety purposes, the partner should make sure the loop of the Anchor Strap is wrapped around the wrist instead of held in the hand. If the Reactive Stretch Cord slips out of the partner’s grip, the athlete can fall off balance or be injured by the Stretch Cord, or both, so coaches and players should pay attention and prevent this from happening.
The athlete wearing the speed harness should be standing behind the nearest cone in line with a lowered center of gravity, as if the athlete is sitting in a chair. The feet should be wide and the body should be ready for fast, explosive motion and sudden direction changes.
At the starting signal, the athlete will sprint laterally toward a cone chosen by the anchoring partner. Then the partner will call out another cone and send the athlete running in a different direction. The partner can use numbers to identify the cones (one, two, or three), and each call should be clear and loud.
As the athlete runs away from the anchor point, the speed harness will provide resistance. As the athlete returns to the anchor point, the harness will provide assistance. In both cases, the athlete will experience some distortion of the body’s natural sense of balance and momentum, and working to correct this distortion will build strength and control in the muscles that generate balance and lateral speed.
While executing the lateral sprints, the athlete should maintain a low body position and a wide stance; if the feet cross or click together, reaction times will be slower and balance will be harder to maintain
In addition to strength and control, this drill will help athletes maintain focus and listening skills during rapidly changing game situations. The clearer the instructions from the anchoring partner and the faster the response from the athlete, the more beneficial the drill will become. With regular repetitions, the athlete’s center of gravity will become more powerful and controlled, and the situational awareness and communication skills of both partners will increase.
To complete the drill, each partner pair should execute non-stop direction changes for two to three sets on one side, and then two to three more sets on the other side. With equal attention paid to both sides, the muscle groups that control resistance and assistance on both sides of the body will develop at the same rate. After a total of four to six sets, the partner pairs can reverse and the anchoring partner can wear the speed harness and execute the lateral sprints between each cone.
Reactive Stretch Cord | Speed Harness Drill: Final Notes
For purchasing details or more information about the benefits of the Reactive Stretch Cord, athletes and coaches can utilize the KbandsTraining.com website. The site offers a growing library of sports training tutorials and video demonstrations like this one, and many of these videos demonstrate the use and benefits of resistance and suspension training equipment. The videos on the site are both general and sports specific, and each drill can be tailored to meet the needs of both advanced and beginner athletes.