Sprint speed is everything in most sports. If you were the fastest man (or woman) alive and decided to change sports, the skill of being able to run down a cheetah would transfer over from say, football to hockey.
When it comes to rugby players, they simply need to be heavy, strong (deadlift, squat, bench) and able to run fast. It doesn’t matter how big their arms are or what colour their boots are. Satisfy the heavy/strong/fast trinity and you will destroy your opposition!
But how do you get fast? Well I’ve written about this before, so you should READ THIS first…..and then read the following.
3 unconventional cues for super sprint speed
I teach my athletes to be AGGRESSIVE over each 10m sprint that they do. For this I use the following cues (the first one is great fun);
- Knee people in the head
Imagine that you’re being tackled round the legs by someone on every step of your sprint. Now knee those people in the head whilst you run. This differs from the common ‘high knees’ drill as it actually teaches your knees to drive horizontally, not vertically, thus creating more power.
- Try to fall on your face
Have you ever been ‘ankle tapped’ whilst sprinting? Or run just a little bit too fast down a hill? You become out of control and you usually land on your face. But what happens is that for 4-5 steps, you increase speed! This is because your centre of gravity is in front of your feet.
To accelerate you need to lean forward, to slow down you need to lean back. Overemphasis the leaning forward by almost losing control and you will gain more control at a more extreme lean angle which means more speed!
- Start with a headbutt
On your first step, try to throw a crazy headbutt into someone’s stomach. This dropping of the head helps due to the centre of gravity being thrown in front of your feet quickly (see previous point). So now, as well as leaning forward you are learning to quickly get into a leaning position from the start.
Try these sprint tips at a slower speed, have some fun with them and then test your 10m time. They may sound silly but they work every time for me and my athletes!