4. Linear Speed Concepts

It goes without saying that speed is a highly trainable skill. The Parisi Speed School separates its basic speed program into two class categories: linear speed and multidirectional speed. Linear speed training is essential for the overall development of all athletes. The Parisi linear speed curriculum is centered around the development of movement efficiency for acceleration and maximum speed phases of sprinting. The foundation for all levels of developing an athletes speed centers and starts with enhancing acceleration.

Described throughout this manual are the various training techniques and applications used by the Parisi network to make athletes faster. Whether it is a Jump Starter or an Elite athlete, linear speed training centers on applying more force off the ground, in a shorter amount of time and in the right direction. We call this the “expression of force” and is the thesis for speed training.

Parisi linear speed classes are structured around the four quarters beginning with a well organized active dynamic warm up. During this section of class or quarter 1, movements must prepare the body both muscularly and neurologically for quarters two through four. Every element of the active dynamic warm for a linear speed class must be targeted towards the mechanical movements and drills being presented during class.

As a Parisi coach, your job is to consistently deliver a positive training class that is organized around the speed training goals of the day. As an athlete continues to evolve from attending Parisi classes, their mechanics will determine when they are ready for progressions. Whether you are leading a linear speed class for Jump Starters or Total Sport Performance athletes, the program structure will adhere to the four quarter system. Linear speed classes of all levels will have common mechanical and technical training themes: posture, knee/thigh drive, heel recovery and arm action.

The focal points for linear speed classes become the Parisi coach’s guide when cueing and choosing the mechanical drills for the day. These drills create the context for the athletes to understand the optimal movement . It also serves to ‘wire’ the brain for the correct default movement pattern, and enhance the athletes motor vocabulary. Linear speed curriculums are generally divided into accel- eration and maximum speed days. Focal points provide a Parisi coach with the verbal and demon- strative cues which connect to the key mechanical themes. Posture is foundational to teaching all types of speed classes. In linear speed, Parisi coaches must highlight the distinction between the posture during acceleration and maximum speed. In acceleration, the posture is expressed by cue- ing a 45 degree angle to the ground in the reference position of the core and shin. In maximum speed, or after an athlete has transitioned through their acceleration phase, the posture is upright and tall. While there are variances in the degrees of these body angles, athletes should constantly be giving this guidance throughout their training sessions. There are many common denominators between linear speed classes that focus on acceleration and maximum speed, for example, arm action, applying horizontal and vertical force into the ground, driving the front thigh forward and achieving back hip extension during each stride. However, when teaching a linear speed class that is catered towards maximum speed, coaches will feature several leg recovery drills.

Check out this Coaching Habit highlighting a quick lesson in why SPEED is the most important athletic factor.