No Budget Speed Training

Aaron King (00:00):
Everyone welcome back to the podcast. I'm Aaron King with Coach Bob King. We are King Sports and we are gonna be talking today about speed training if you have no resources. This is something that, you know, we try to provide as much value as we can on, on social media and at One thing that we like to explain is that even though we use a lot of gear, like we use mini hurdles, agility ladders, medicine balls, all that stuff in the speed programs, not to mention a whole weight room for the weight side; you can do a lot of this, if not majority of the speed stuff, without any gear. I even did, in the 40 yard dash challenge video on my YouTube channel @DeepSnap–I don't think I used an agility ladder or anything with that equipment.

I drew out markers on a track and I did have an agility ladder actually, now I think about it. There's days I didn't have any cones. I used trash, you know, to mark out drills. I just wanted to go through today with Coach King and talk about what someone can do to get the best return from an equipment-less training program. BK, if I'm starting out and I have nothing and I go to the track or shoot, I don't even have access to a track, I'm in a field or a street or an alley. What’s the first thing you start thinking about when it comes to developing speed training for an athlete?

Coach King (01:27):
I'm sorry. I couldn't hold the laughter back because you're talking about guys in my generation and all; we started with nothing. The gear wasn't even in existence yet. The ladder and hurdles didn't exist. And nowadays, even today I will tell people anything that marks a distance is a cone. So if I'm working out and I've got cones, but if I don't have it right there with me, I'll set my clipboard down. I go to the athlete, I go run to the cone. What cone? I go, the clipboard. Anything that marks the distance is a cone. You got a Coke bottle, a Gatorade bottle, your clipboard, you have a cone. So that if I have to do a change of direction, like the 5-10-5 Shuttle, you got cones–you're set. So I'm gonna pick up cone drills you can't do, but that's all you need. Anything that marks a distance is a cone. Previously we talked about if you do have cones and a paint stick, you can build hurdles. If you have paint sticks or anything that's straight and outta the way and not bent in the space, you can use those as ladder markers.

Aaron King (02:35):
Sidewalk chalk for ladder.

Coach King (02:35):
That's all you need. Any type of incline is always wonderful. I was at a facility and I gradually added stuff and we had a facility where the major building, the locker room, were up and it went downhill on steps, and we had huge steps and all of a sudden cleared people out and said, here we come. Cause we just run up these pedestrian steps; that's what they were for. And then out on the street, we had the beautiful incline; I marked off 150 yard uphill incline on the street. I'm saying this because here's the deal. When you run uphill on a concrete street, it doesn't sound like a good knee-ankle safe thing to do for shins on concrete.

But let me just tell you what happens. When you run uphill, it's almost as if the ground is coming to meet you. I really am hesitant to getting on a flat parking lot and running flat on concrete because that's a bigger impact. And I'm just gonna be very careful with that because if that's all you got, that's all you got. But just look around first.

Now, you mentioned a field. If you've got a field, here's what you have to do. If you're starting a program or you say, Hey, look, let's go out and run in this field–walk it. Get your cone, whatever it is, and mark your straight away or whatever you're running and either jog it or walk it so you can look for uneven ground. You don't want ankles and things to be shot out on an uneven field.

Now we're telling you all these precautions, not because anything is dangerous, but just a simple check will prevent a simple mistake from ruining an athlete's off season. So uneven ground you'll wanna look for that.

Otherwise coaches are resourceful. And so anything that you can come up with will be useful. So if you're training athletes and you don't have any gear, couple of things you can do. We are big on resistance training. I like the resistance type of running. If you don't have a medicine ball to provide the resistance that we talk about, anything to take the hands out of the equation would be good–a volleyball, a basketball, even a football long ways. Something that will take your hands and arms out of your assisting you to run is useful because then you get a contrast that you run.

We have a drill we call No Arms. We just hold our arms behind our backs, and it teaches a particular mechanic more than just the ball, but you want to find ways to do the principles we teach with whatever you've got. So a basketball, volleyball, football, hold it, no arms. You're good. And then you do the contrast.

If you've got a good set of kids that you're working with, you can do a couple resistance moves. First of all, we do it on a regular basis where I have athletes facing each other and the runner is obviously going down the track. The other individual has his hands or her hands on the outside edge of the other athlete's shoulders and provides resistance for probably about 10 yards. That's about all they can maintain because it gets to be, you know, a little bit foot tangling.

But what you do is, you just learn how to teach that the runner is running and the resistance or what we call the anchor is, is jogging back. They're not trying to stop 'em and wrestle with them. If the runner’s running and the anchor is jogging, then the resistance is about right. That keeps you from overpowering each other.

By the same token, anything around the waist, like a belt for football pants, or just anything you can tie to make an anchor in the back, you can hold from the rear. That way, the arms get a fear run than they do with somebody in the front. So there's ways to modify all this, to get what you want. With the anchor in the back, holding a rope or a belt, you can run and do releases. And that's where you run resistance for about 10 yards, let go and sprint 10 yards. That's like the athlete running uphill, and then the ground becomes flat. So you're getting a bunch of stuff done for speed training that doesn't require anything, but some imagination and creativity.

Aaron King (06:59):
You know, there was a period of time when I was training for the bobsled deal, like 10 years ago, and the most effective thing that I did is sprinting this really steep hill. I don't know, it’s 15, 20 yards, but it is steep. So it's one of those inclines that is under a railroad and some grass on the side of the road. So there's traffic going by, but I would go and sprint this thing twice a week and I would do 8 to 10 reps or something, and that's the fastest I've ever gotten. And like I said, it was steep. It was very steep. It was a hard uphill climb for about 15, 20 yards–twice a week. So with that said, I'm gonna put you on the spot a little bit. Let's kinda write a speed training program.

So you're gonna give me a workout plan. This is just general athletics; let's not make it age appropriate. Let's just say hey, let's just get faster, general athletics, in kind of any level, but we're talking about someone with no resources. Let's build out Monday through Friday. So let's just go five days a week. How are you structuring this? What are you telling them to do Monday through Friday? No gear, nothing. We'll start with themes, but then let's break down some of the drills that we might use to compensate for a lack of equipment that we might otherwise do.

Coach King (08:17):
Okay. We're gonna start with zero to 10 on the first day, and that's gonna be the thing we outlined in one of the best drills is a Push Up Start. An athlete lays on the ground and is in a pushup position. I mean, they're on the ground, they're on their toes and their hands are under their armpits/shoulders. And when you say go, they run up off the ground and that means they don't just jump up in place and take off running. They get their feet churning and run up off the ground. That's called a Push Up Start. We will do that and to help accent our action of that, I will tell them, when I say go, do five good pushups, and then go. So, what you're seeing is now the arms, to a certain degree, have a little blood pump and their arms are kind of heavy and they can feel their arms as they run. We're just teaching that first step or teaching that initial acceleration. So that's, that's a great drill to do on that day.

Then, as we mentioned before, just kind of keep this in mind. There are degrees of resistance. So your hill you were talking about, is a high degree of resistance, and that's a good thing. But what we will do is, we have a drill where, if we can, a Triple Resistance is what we call it. So, if you're by yourself, you get one resistance and that would be you, a hill, or bleachers; you may have to go down to the local high school stadium and anything in your arms, again, to take the arms away. But if you have a partner or anything, we do a triple resist where we have something in our hands, somebody in front on the shoulders and somebody resisting from the back; everybody's gotta keep moving. We're doing a seven to 10 yard power driving move.

Then we take all that away and off they go. The cool thing about that is you always tell the athlete, now get ready on the first step because you're getting ready to launch and you'll see them stumble while they're trying to learn this, but it will launch them enough that their first step length, their first stride length, is extremely improved over what they used to do. So we tell them, capture that, memorize that, and we'll do the contrast. One point on these things, when you do the contrast, the first step or the first run through is way out of sync because they're not used to it. So we tell them, alright, let's come back and do it again, but memorize that first-step feeling and capture it and make it your own. That's one of the things to do with resistance and partners and so forth. But the push up starts a good one. Anything you put in your hands, we're gonna do that. And it's based on that theme.

The speed breaks are going to be right at 15 to 20 yards. Because we want to go fast and not have the luxury of running further and picking up speed thinking you're fast. We need to be fast right now. So 10 to 15 yard speed breaks are what we use. So we want to practice that and we will have athletes, as much as possible, do some of the speed breaks in their sports stance. So whether it's tennis and basketball, you're in an athletic position, your feet are apart, your knees are bent. Football player with a hand down, baseball player coming off first base, anything like that. So we will do those to help teach the first step without any equipment. Just do your thing with your sport as you are.

Aaron King (11:46):
All right. So, we have zero to 10 on Monday. Without going into too many drills, because I think people are gonna get lost. So, high level of the types of drills on the day. So zero to 10, we're gonna look for some Push Up Starts, some resistance and some contrast to get outta that resistance into a sprint. Now, let's go now to Tuesday through Friday, just high level, the types of drills you're gonna do and what the theme is.

Coach King (12:19):
Change of Direction is gonna be on day two, Tuesday, and it's just a big menu. You know, you would see it in normal parlance as cone drills. And so paint sticks for the ladder. Anything that marks a distance is a cone and you set up your agility drills from there. The 5-10-5, 3 cone spacing is a great universal drill because you do the 5-10-5, you move it in two steps. You do the staggered shuttle for eighth rhythmic change training. You put it back out to 5-10-5. We have a reaction drill called 1, 2, 3 Back, a package. If you have four cones, you're good. You have the four cone square. You use it for the 5-10-5. So the cone drills are super Change of Direction, super easy to set up with just four of your drills. And if you get good at it, as a coach, we learned how to cycle athletes through, so the line's not waiting. When somebody is finishing and leaving, the next person's walking out. We've done this with, I'll go into a school and set up like six rows of 5-10-5, and just have the athletes cycle through. There's very little downtime. So this stuff is really easy to learn. Once you learn, it's really easy to execute.

Aaron King (13:38):
All right. So then Wednesday, what do we got? We had zero to 10, then Change the Direction and then we're next theme.

Coach King (13:43):
Well now, we've gotta get out and sprint. So we're gonna go zero to 30. And that just means sprint. Go. So we will do anything, especially getting off the start. Now, we don't like to do so much of one thing; we get good at doing it. So for example, we don't just do our start for 10 yards all the time. We get good at running 10 yards. We want to take it on out. So whatever your athlete's starting position is, we will go out and run 30 yards, 40 at tops. And the reason for that, we don't wanna take all day recovering and walking back. So the points been made at 30 yards, the leg strides going, and the speed is built up.

Let me just say this real quick. I was doing a tennis gig one time and talking about how we run out zero to 30. I was objected because it's like we don't run 30 yards. Okay. Here's a very important point–sprint strides are like weight room reps. You put weight on a bar and you get stronger. Then you add weight to the bar and get stronger. So as you run out 15 plus yards, you're now getting close to approaching your top speed or working towards your top speed and getting sprint strides.

Sprint strides are like weight room reps. You run 'em to get faster. Then you come back and your sports posture will take over and you'll be faster in your five to seven yard sprint range, that tennis experiences. We broke down all the sports to the maximum amount of distance they can sprint before they have to change into some, either offensive or defensive posture. So we know what that is. So just go ahead and sprint 30 and get your speed reps because that's a very important part of your development.

Aaron King (15:31):
Alright, so then day four.

Coach King (15:33):
Day four's gonna be as sport specific, change of direction as possible. That opens it up. And so one of the things I like to do is I'll have the athletes line up and if they don't have any gear, what you do is you say, okay, I want you to start running forward and when you hear me clap, turn, and come back towards me. Turn and run, turn and shuffle; will do a change of direction. And so that's very common in a lot of sports, whether you're in the outfield running. You run forward and then you gotta turn and run back because you miss calculated the ball. Basketball's always in this type of change of direction. Volleyball, you name it. So we'll do that where they can back pedal. I clap, they come forward. Back pedal, clap, they come shuffling. So there's a lot of change of direction we do with that, that are really relevant to a particular sport.

Aaron King (16:28):
All right now, and then Friday or Saturday, however you wanna do it–that fifth day.

Coach King (16:33):
Fifth day, we're now just running. So, we're hopefully outside–track, field, or both. We will do longer runs because we've been doing zero to 10, change of direction, zero to 30. I tend to run, because of the track thing, I tend to run 120 yards, meters or whatever you want to call and down. Maybe 150 at most because I don't like running on the curve that long. So, we will do high speed 110s and high speed 60s. Those two drills are money. We'll get out and do high speed stuff at most, every other week and then the rest of the week, most of our stuff is fast anyway. Whether we do speed ladders, we call them, or just straight up 120s, 110s and that kind of thing.

Aaron King (17:20):
All right. So there you go. There's your overview. I know that that probably is for a lot of folks. You'll be like, I have no idea what he just said, go to and we have all these workouts and we put a lot of this stuff together. We're kind of just showing you that we can put together a training program and you just get creative on substituting equipment to do the workout. So, red solo cups are gonna be your friend. This is not sponsored by Solo, but any sort of drinking cup, you can buy those for a couple dollars and those are your cones. Those are your mini hurdles. They're gonna get you through an entire training program for the most part.

If you have any questions, go to See what free resources we have. Then we also have more specific training programs available for really age level, whatever you need. Coach Bob King is on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, putting out this content. We just wanna make sure everyone's getting as much value as possible and you're able to get as fast as possible. So thanks for tuning in and we'll talk to you next time.


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