Individual training with Mendo Fitness: Speed Drills to improve acceleration

Athletes wearing STATSports Apex Athlete Series during training

Individual training with Mendo Fitness: Speed Drills to improve acceleration

With all team sport cancelled for the foreseeable future, athletes all over the world are finding it tough to exercise and retain their sharpness.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way – and with our players, there’s always a will. So we’re giving you a way. One of our favourite strength and conditioning coaches, Dave Mendonca of Mendo Fitness, has put together some drills for you to complete while you’re training in isolation for that one hour every day.

Working on your own can be tough physically and mentally, but these short sharp drills, won’t take you long and will give you maximum results, as Mendo will have you working at match speed and 100% effort.

All you need is some cones and a small stretch of ground to cover. If you’ve got your Apex tracker, even better as you’ll be able to see how much faster you’re getting by tracking your max speeds.

So, let’s go…

1: Max speed sprints with change of direction

Sprint from 18 yard box to in line with half way D. Make a sharp cut around the cones and sprint back to the 18-yard box. 30 secs recovery, 6 sets.

This drill will benefit not only acceleration, but also stamina and speed endurance, as you are working for longer than 10 seconds.

2: Shuttle sprints

Three cones, marked out at 5m, 10m and 15m apart. Take ball to first cone, leave ball and sprint back. Sprint and take ball to second cone, leave and sprint back. And finally sprint leave ball and sprint back turn and sprint to 18 yard box. 1 minute recovery. 6 sets.

3: Speed and Deceleration

Sprint from the 18 yard box, to two cones placed 15/20m in front. Decelerate through cones and sprint forward to in the line with the halfway D. Sprint around the cone, across the D, and sprint back to start. 6 sprints, 1 min recovery.

4: Change of Direction

Sprint from goal line to 18 yard line, start to back pedal for 2/3 secs, then turn sharply and accelerate to finish. 6 reps, 20 secs recovery. Another great drill for improving change of direction and building strength in the hamstrings.

5: Zig Zag

Place 5/6 cones, 5 metres apart in a zig zag, slalom style. Accelerate to each cone, concentrating on the sharp turns, driving off the balls of the feet, with each cut. 6 reps, 30 secs recovery.