Warm Ups: Ramping Up Speed of Play

In our program, warm ups for speed training sessions can be very different from day to day. This is because we are looking to progress from simple activation, mobility, stability exercises, into rhythmic movements that mimic the specific focus of the day. We want to finish off our progression with a simulated activity that enhances awareness, focus and application, all while gradually bringing the heart rate (HR) up to fairly intense levels (just under 90%). Here are some examples of 3 different types of warm ups when viewed via the Polar Team 2 System.

These warm ups began right after the player went through 5 minutes of light stretching, foam roller work, etc. Example 1 (pictured on the left) would be a warm up that consisted of started off with something easy, this could be anything from dynamic lunges, to quick skipping, to lateral hops (what some might refer to as aerobic plyometrics or low intensity, high volume, dynamic movements). We usually perform these activities in a 10-15 second on, 10-15 second off format as we bring the HR up to about 65-70%. This is immediately followed by a series of activities that last a little longer (30 seconds to 1 minute on, 30 seconds to 1 minute off), and increase in speed. In this example we used activities like shuffle down and back, shuffle down run back and run down run back, which gradually ramped up in intensity.

In Example 2 (center picture) we started off with the same quick feet, dynamic movement activity, and then put in a more continuous activity (3 minutes straight) of a 4 player passing, and continuous off ball movement drill. The intensity of this drill was moderate, but the continuous nature, and duration took the heart rate up to around 90%.

In Example 3 (pictured on the right), we performed the shuffle to run progression (30 seconds on 30 seconds off) at the beginning, and then went into 1 minute on 1 minute off of some rhythmically paced lateral/diagonally ball based agility drills. We finished with a 2v2, 2 minute continuous possession drill in a tight grid to elevate the HR up to 90%.

Each of these examples show a focus on short, quick, movement stability based drills, ramping up into some technical movement drills (that last a little longer) and finish off with some applied movement drills that take the HR up to game level. Then we back them off, explain the purpose of today’s session, allow them to do some light stretching on their own (usually 2-3 reps per muscle group, holding each stretch for no more than 2-3 seconds). By this time the group is quiet, focused, warm and ready to go. We can get right into our first drill at full pace with very little need to motivate or encourage.

To recap:

  • Break warm up into 3 categories (stretch/activate, move/teach, apply/stimulate)
  • Each category ramps up HR (60-70%, 70-80%, 80-90%)
  • Moves from stationary, to uni-directional, to multi-directional to random/chaotic
  • Players have brief opportunity to continue stretching during brief rest periods

These types of warm ups also work well before games. Because, as you will see in tomorrows post, there is a reason some teams don’t get off to fast starts in games.

Comments

3 Comments
  1. Tom, I rewrote the paragraph to explain things a little clearer. However, to answer your question… We use is warm up to coach movement (how to position the body, how to position during change of direction, how to move athletically with the ball at your feet, etc.) through repetition. This allows us to warm up the appropriate movements and skills, teach a little technique, and get the heart rate up to the desired level, while also bringing the team into a more focused state of mind.

    Warm ups need to change up daily, weekly and monthly to keep players focus. Generic warm ups tend to allow players to “go through the motions” and become disengaged from the planned activity. Each of our warm ups, specifically target the movements and technical skills needed in that particular session, but they all have the same wave like progression as we elevate the heart rate.

    Thanks for your comment, and I hope this clears it up a bit.

    Scott

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