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Sport is Primarily Chaotic
The vast majority of sport demands come from change of direction, deceleration and rapid re-acceleration. But most speed training programs just focus on linear speed.
Linear speed is a very small component of sports speed demands. If you look at American Football running during games, for example, 98% are chaotic and 2% are straight linear. With this said, how would you spend your training time with regards to getting your athletes faster and getting them ready to use that speed in the game?
It’s important for us to recognize these demands and train our athletes accordingly.
Real world sports situations place extreme demands on an athlete’s ability to decelerate under control. These types of situations are impossible to replicate in closed drills that are in typical speed training sessions. Open drills are more applicable to sports.
So what are closed drills and open drills and why do they matter?
Closed Drills are pre-determined drills. They can be linear or even change of direction drills where the athlete knows where to go and what’s going to happen. Good for teaching mechanics but less of a transfer over to game situational speed.
Open Drills are unplanned change of direction drills based on verbal, visual or physical cues. They promote real life reaction. This is the foundation of CHAOS.
Chaotic qualities can be trained and improved and then added to. They are essential for sport speed development and an athlete’s ability to react to unpredictable external stimuli, just as they would encounter in their sports.
Speed development starts with closed, structured and predictable training drills. The next stage is to add the open drills – how speed in a sports environment actually happens. It’s speed training for real sport situations.
Unpredictability needs to be addressed in your training. It’s more than just teaching a drill, it’s speed that transfers over to game situations. It gets your athletes faster and ready to be faster and more explosive in any situation (not just in a controlled environment).