NWPV Speed Development 

Since many athletes have ambitions to achieve their maximum potential in my care, it is clearly essential that on the days they are not vaulting with me, they should be busy with carefully planned activity to enhance their speed.  Ideally, in addition to at least 2 vaulting days per week, athletes would spend another 2 or 3 days with an expert sprint coach or speed club in the area.  The very best is Mike Cunliffe at Seattle Speed, but there are many others who likely train near your home.  If this is not possible for you, I offer the following suggestions for work on your own at your track or on your turf field at school.  First, know you cannot get faster on a 60-110 foot runway unless you are training at maximum speed for this distance.  Do not fall into generic sprinting work at school that includes 150, 200, or 250 meter intervals.  These will improve your speed endurance but bring zero improvement to your velocity at the moment of take-off.  Notice that quality matters more than quantity.  Also notice you need to have a sliding box, 10 mini hurdles, a stopwatch and a tape measure for a champion’s development.  I would happily view video of your drills done at home if you want me to see you are doing them correctly.  

 

Here are two sample weeks that show some valuable variation with the same guiding principles:

Week One:

  • Day One

  1. mobility drills, bracing, a-skips, b-skips.

  2. 5 x 3 step falling accelerations (athlete falls forward to 45 degrees before starting the first 3 lefts of a 7- step vault run.   

  3. 8 flying 30s (stopwatch in hand ideally). 10 meter build-up to first cone, max velocity to the second cone (placing wickets 5-6’ apart beginning at the first cone would help establish great mechanics for the entire 30 meters.  3 mins recovery between each to assure quality. 

For those inclined to shin splints, doing these on turf is preferred, and barefoot recommended.

  

  • Day Two

  1. mobility drills, bracing, anklings (fast feet), single leg jog, fast leg jog.

  2. two point power starts (rock back one foot, lean, accelerate) with pole over 6 wickets placed at 2.5', 4' then 4.5'-6’ apart depending on your size and strength. Watch for dorsiflexed feet and quick contacts beneath the hips.  

  3. 10 x “full run” sliding box drills for distance (full run means 6 to 8 step run, depending upon your ideal run by state this year).  Tape measure, cone at take-off point, explosive, peak speed at impact measured by improving flight distance at touch-down.  

  4. 5 x Stadium stair hops, two at a time (3 for bigger folks) 15 – 20 hops per flight if stadium allows.  If you have no access to stairs, sequential broad jumps on turf are second best.  Try to get as far as you can in 5 separate jumps with pause (not bunny hops).  3-4 mins rest between sets.

Here again, doing speed work on turf is nearly as good and easier on the legs.  

 

Week Two:

  • Day One

  1. mobility drills, bracing, a-skips, b-skips.

  2. 3 step falling accelerations (athlete falls forward to 45 degrees before starting the first 3 lefts of a 7- step vault run.   

  3. 8 flying 30s (see above) this time with pole carry. (Stop watch is tricky. Have a partner?)  

 

  • Day Two

  1. mobility drills, bracing, anklings (fast feet), single leg jog, fast leg jog.

  2. 10 x full run sliding box drills for distance. Tape measure, cone at take-off point, explosive, peak speed at impact measured by improving flight distance at touch-down.  

  3. 6 x 40-50 meter hill sprints at maximum velocity with 4 min rest after each two. If you don’t have a hill, replace this piece with single leg stadium stair hops.  5 x 10 contacts with each leg (20 steps) with 4 mins rest between.