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      8-Week Program
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Equipment
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      Stick With What...





Speed-Agility Program

CB Athletics By Craig Ballantyne
Owner
CB Athletics



Here are some training ideas from the 2001 version of the CB ATHLETIC CONSULTING "Groin-specific speed & agility" program. If you have questions about the drills, email cb@cbathletics.com or check out more comprehensive articles on www.sportspecific.com. All training should be performed on a dry field or baseball diamond. Even though these drills are completed on grass and dirt, many players that use these drills agree that they help on-ice performance. The outline of the program is as follows and must be kept in this precise order to prevent fatigue from interfering with "explosiveness":


Warm-Up

Athletes should go through this circuit a minimum of 3 times. These exercises comprise dynamic flexibility drills, meaning they move the limbs through a full range of motion and it also provides a progressive warm-up. Athletes should start out lightly in circuit 1 and increase the intensity of each movement with each successive circuit.

  • High-knee (10 yards)
  • High-heels/Butt-kicks (10 yards)
  • Skipping (10 yards)
  • Side-shuffle (10 yards each way)
  • Side-step & pull (10 yards each way)
  • Diagonal lunge walk (10 yards)
  • Hurdle-walk Rotate-In (10 yards)
  • Hurdle-walk Rotate-Out (10 yards)


Flexibility

Stretching and flexibility is a very controversial issue. Check out this previous newsletter for more information and guidelines for static stretching should you choose to incorporate it: http://www.cbathletics.com/issues/60.htm.


Plyometrics ("Jump Training")

Plyometric training helps develop strength and power and hopefully balance and agility, all at the same time. There really isnít any other training technique that addresses so many levels of athletic performance. Please note: Plyometric training should only be performed by an athlete that has been evaluated and cleared for "jump training" by a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

For the 3 groin specific plyometric drills listed below, perform 1-5 sets of 4-8 repetitions. Individuals with no plyometric experience should perform fewer repetitions and sets and rest for longer intervals. Advanced athletes may be able to rest as little as 15 seconds between sets. Some plyometrics that target the groin area include:

  • Wide-stance long jump
  • Split-squat (lunge) jump
  • Alternate-leg diagonal bounding


Speed Ladder

The speed ladder is an excellent training tool for helping an athlete increase foot speed, quickness, and agility. If you donít want to buy a speed ladder, you can simply draw out the squares on a baseball diamond. To purchase the ladders and find more information on speed ladder drills, check out the Ryan and Mikeís websites. You can be creative and create many drills to improve your speed, agility, and balance. Remember to stay on your toes throughout the drills, keep your knees bent, and pop up every time you land. Hereís just one of many possible drills: Lateral 2-touch (fwd & bkwd) -
Start in the "athlete" ("ready") position on the left side of the first square of the ladder. Step your right foot into the first square and land on the ball of your foot. Now step your left foot in and land on the ball of your foot. Then immediately step your right foot outside to the right side of the first square and land on the ball of your foot.

Now step your left foot out and land on the ball of your foot. Next, diagonally step forward and left with the left foot into the second square of the ladder and then bring the right foot in. Continue to move along the speed ladder in this fashion. The drill should last about 5 seconds with an emphasis on moving as fast and as correctly as possible.


Lateral Agility

Agility is a measure of acceleration, deceleration, and change of direction. These are demands placed on almost all athletes, regardless of the surface they play on. These agility drills can be done on any playing surface as well (ice, grass, court). Agility drills should last about 5 seconds with an emphasis on moving as fast and as correctly as possible. Choose 2-5 variations and do 1-5 sets of each, depending on your training experience and fitness level. Rest as necessary between sets.

  • Small box runs (shuffle; forward; backward; crossovers)
  • Star runs (from kneeling position; from push-up position)
  • Lateral shuffles or crossovers (5-yd each way)
  • Shuffle or (5-yd) and then turn into a 10-yd sprint
Box runs (Set up a 3m x 3m box) -
Start at the back left corner and sprint forward to the top left corner. Touch the ground and then shuffle to the right, touching the ground and then backpedal to the back right corner. Touch the ground and shuffle left to the starting position.

Star runs (Set up a 3m x 3m box) -
Start in middle of the box and sprint to each corner in a specific order using a pre-set movement pattern. Return to the center position after you touch each corner. Try to incorporate lateral movements such as shuffling and crossovers as much as possible. For variety, you can perform a very quick and simple sport-specific drill at each corner (i.e. vertical jump, shot, throw, etc.). You can also add another dimension of difficulty by having the athlete start from the kneeling or push-up position.


Groin Conditioning

Metabolic conditioning (intervals) should always remain at the end of a training session that incorporates "explosiveness". If you fatigue the athlete with conditioning, you canít expect the athlete to perform explosively and you may even compromise safety. Like all other aspects of the program, in order to develop "groin-specific" adaptations, you must incorporate lateral movement into the conditioning drills.

This means short, high-intensity intervals that include lateral shuffling, crossovers, and sprints into and out of lateral movement. Intervals can range from 10 to 60 seconds (or more). Rest intervals will vary, but one option is to rest an equal amount of time to the work interval.

  • 5-10-5 yard shuttle using lateral movement for a set period of time
  • 5 yard shuffle for a set period of time




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