I got an email the other day that included a link to a video clip of famous Baylor Bears coach Clyde Hart coaching his athletes as they perform "speed makers."
As you can imagine, I was thrilled.
Coach Hart has produced some really fast athletes. He's mostly known for a long to short approach to training and I was thinking that his "speed maker" workout was going to give me ideas about coaching speed. So, with great anticipation I quickly clicked the link, turned up the volume, and make the video go full screen. This is what I noticed...
The speed makers workout is done on the turf. Athletes start in one end zone and run at fast but comfortable pace the designated distance. Then decelerate into the far end zone and shuffle to the other side of the field and repeat the fast and comfortable run to the designated distance. In the clip I watched, athletes ran 60yds. Coach Hart explained that the distanced can change and so can the number of sets and reps.
This type of workout just doesn't correspond with my idea of speed training for three reasons
What Clyde Hart demonstrated to me in this video was a great conditioning or regeneration unit. This is a fantastic way to coach a monitor a bunch of athletes at the same time. It's also easy to personalize for each athletes. Depending on how they feel and look you can simply have an athlete sit out a set or rep while doing mobility exercises in the end zone. My own adaptation of this unit is called criss-crosses.
To perform criss-crosses, on a large rectangular field, athletes line up in one corner. Then they run at a fast but comfortable pace to the opposite corner, running the diagonal. Then they either walk or jog across the end zone to the other corner and repeat. The coach stands at mid-field and coaches and monitors the athletes as they pass by with each rep. When appropriate, as the athletes walk from one corner of the end zone to the other, at the goal post have them perform a mobility or bodyweight exercise. This has been my go to regeneration unit for a number of years.