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Change of direction (COD) is a major factor in many sports and sporting events.
It is important to develop these attributes with each athlete in order to aid in the process of improving performance during game situations. The same application is utilized with nonlinear speed training as with linear speed training but the nonlinear training involves an increased amount of change of direction.
With nonlinear speed development, it is important to determine the movement specifics of the different COD associated with the sport, or activity. Attempting to mimic these movement patterns will allow for a more specific training session that can target nonlinear speed development.
These training sessions typically take place over shorter distances and at very high intensities. These shorter distances allow for a more sport-specific speed training session. Table 1 is an example of how nonlinear speed development can be trained.
This example allows for nonlinear speed to be trained over a
short distance with multiple changes of direction (shuttles at 5 m). As shown in Table 1, full recovery needs to be taken between each repetition in order to
maintain the quality of repetitions. Using this same example, a coach can
prescribe the same number of repetitions and the same volume with a different
number of cuts. The total distance covered can still be 20 m but the distance
of the shuttles can set at 10 m.
So, this 10-m shuttle would involve one cut, down
and back for a total of 20 m. Coaches can adjust the distance covered between
two fixed points (or shuttle distance) in order to target greater or lesser amounts
of COD. The variance in COD will likely depend on the athlete’s sport. For
example, a football wide receiver may be more likely to make cuts at 10 m, while
a basketball guard is more likely to cut at 5 m. As with any other type of
training, nonlinear speed and COD ability should always relate back to
Kevin Cronin, MS, CSCS,*D, USAW has worked with Collegiate, Olympic, and Professional level athletes over the last three years, working with All-Americans, All-Conference selections, NCAA National Champions, National Champions, and World Champions. Kevin has worked at Stanford University and the University of Texas as a volunteer Strength and Conditioning Coach. He currently serves as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Colorado College.