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Can you make a person faster?

One question that sparks debate amongst coaches is: can you make a person faster? The debate is whether a person can be made faster or is just born fast or slow. Those with a genetic predisposition to fast simply need to be taken care of so speed can develop over time. Others must work harder to pull all of their genetic potentials out of a less naturally fast body.

With that said, each person can improve their speed.

Improving speed is about applying strength, technique and explosive training. Almost every activity and every person can benefit from the growing knowledge and more sophisticated techniques in sprint training.


Making a person faster is a combination of internal and external factors.

Internally, it is the natural growth and maturation process. From there, training stimuli imprinted through practice and repetition help genetic code reach its outer limits. Genetics determine athleticism, nerve impulse rates, muscle fiber types and combinations of muscular firing patterns. Thus, training should influence all of those factors as much as possible.

Over the years, various speed training programs have used many different methods, but fail to connect the dots. Remember that all of the training components are linked together.

Speed training techniques are important because of the multitude of stressors the body experience.  Simply running as fast as you can, may cause negative feedback.  Technical or developmental deficiencies may cause imbalances in the body that may lead to injury and or other setbacks.

Avoiding setbacks is key to any progression, especially with athletic development.

Part of making a person faster is building on a progression of training.  If you are developing a youth athlete, the technique is the first and only thing you should be concerned with.  Their bodies are more worried about growing and developing rather than competition, so don’t worry about setting records prior to puberty.  Teaching basic fundamentals prepares your youth athletes for training when they have reached proper maturity and are ready for physical development.

To a degree, this same concept can be applied to athletes that are getting a late start or have never been exposed to proper training techniques.

We always say never go back to basics, because you should never leave the basics in the first place.

One step further; when you take a sprinter with decent ability but has terrible technique, there is a great opportunity to improve speed immediately.  Putting the body in the correct running posture, you are able to recruit the necessary muscle fibers to develop those external factors I mentioned.

Just like you add weight in the gym, we add resistance to sprints, thus developing the explosion needed to be faster.  By increasing your power and explosion, you gain the ability to accelerate and run faster than you previously were capable.  This can be with resisted sprints as well as over-speed training using a cable with drills, for example.

While some athletes are born with a gift of speed, there is without a doubt an ability to get faster through proper training.

You have every day to prepare.

- Coach King


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