HIGH KNEE | SPEED TRAINING
TRAIN TO RUN
Football players must train outside of competition to become faster and more mobile. Whether it be offense or defense, football players must be agile and quick. Speed and agility training will help football players gain the quickness needed to get to the next level. By stimulating muscle growth and improving footwork, football players will improve their level of athleticism with every training session.
AGILITY | FOOTWORK
The Linear High Knee Bag Drill can be set up in many different ways. Generally the 6-bag position is always the same, we use cones sometimes in place of football bags. We always suggest completing drills with whatever items available. Cones are always an easy choice and affordable at most local stores. When placing the cones, give roughly 2 to 3 feet of distance in between the simulated bags. The Linear High Knee Bag Drill has a little more to it than just the 6 rows. Place one cone 8 to 10 yards downfield from the six bags. The third part of the High Knee Bag Drill is another cone placed 45° back to the right of the second cone section. This cone will be placed 8 to 10 yards from the second cone. This section of cone placement can also be modified by placing the third cone 45° back to the right of the second cone section. Finally, the forth section of the drill is two cones placed down field, the same direction as the bags are faced, for the football player to sprint through as he finishes the drill. The forth section should be placed another 8 to 10 yards downfield from the third cone section. This drill is great for building agility and speed out of a change of direction.
FOOTBALL PLAYER’S APPROACH
The football player completes high knees through the 6-bag section. The football player should be driving his arms up to eye level with a 90° angle in his arm. The football player must be conscious not to waste any momentum from side to side with his arms. Drive the arms forward and straight back with no extra lateral movement. Also, when completing the high knee section, football players must utilize resistance to strengthen their legs and build speed. High knees with resistance bands stimulate the thighs, hips flexors, and glutes with every stride. It is important when completing high knees with resistance bands, football players must remember to drive their knees up. They must not be lackadaisical and let the bands control their movements. By pushing through the resistance, football players will strengthen their legs and improve their sprint speed, in turn, making them run faster.
Next, the football player will sprint to a cone that is roughly 8 to 10 yards downfield. As the football player reaches this cone he will lower his center of gravity, maintain balance, and hug the cone as tight as possible to ensure no wasted movements. On each turn, it is important for the football player works to keep his feet close to his center. By leaving the outside leg wide, football players will find themselves moving slowly through the bag drill. Stay centered, close to the cone, and explode to the next portion of the drill.
When the football player rounds the second cone, the football coach should be ready to deliver the football. Football coaches should be standing next to cone 3 ready to throw the football either overhand or underhand. The ball must be delivered as soon as the football player rounds the cone. The ball must not be late. It is important when training agility and footwork, athletes begin to build ball awareness even when they cannot see the ball. As the player rounds the cone his vision may not be on the coach ready for the football. This should not stop the football coach from throwing the ball. Deliver the football as soon as the football player changes direction. Next, the football player will receive the football, tuck the football in a strong holding position and sprint to the 3rd cone. To finish the drill, the football player must make a football move at the 3rd cone and quickly sprint up-field 8 to 10 yards. A good way to stay motivated through any bag drill, is to set the bags or cones next to the end zone. Make the finishing sprint-out at the line of the end zone. This simple tip will keep football players motivated and excited to finish out each and every drill.
The resistance bands wrapped around the football player’s legs are an excellent speed training tool. To use them correctly, athletes must train with and without the resistance. Strength building reps should be completed with resistance bands combined with immediate un-resisted reps to improve fast twitch muscle response. The overload resistance bands give to athletes’ muscles enable the body to adjust and grow. resistance bands will increase power and quickness with every training session.
The Linear High Knee Bag Drill is best completed with 6 to 8 resisted reps immediately followed by 4 to 6 un-resisted reps. Each rep should be completed at 100% intensity. Muscles do not change unless they are overloaded. Slow twitch muscle fibers do not become fast twitch muscle
fibers unless they are trained to do so. 100% intensity will increase fast twitch muscle response, in turn, changing each athlete’s fiber type. Building speed takes time, but with dedication and smart training, athletes can begin running faster. Take time in between sets to ensure this intensity level. Rest should not be longer than 2 minutes, and no shorter than 30 seconds. After the resisted reps are completed, the football player must immediately jump in to the un-resisted sets. No long breaks, no relaxing. Promptly begin the first un-resisted rep and work for quickness. The football player’s legs will feel light and free, so it is very important to overload the muscles with quickness.
A great way to build speed and agility is to combine this drill with several other bag drills. Completing a training session with 4 to 6 separate drills will increase football players speed and agility greatly. (Wall High Knees, Lateral Shuffle Sprint, Linear Shuffle) Also, football players who are looking for a complete program; one that includes core strength training, sprint work, footwork training, and agility training, Athlete Performance Pack. Our 5-week training program has been helping athletes around the world improve their 40 yard times, footwork, and strength levels. Train like you compete.
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