For beginners entering the world of pickleball, speed training might seem like a daunting endeavor.
However, building a foundation for speed is a gradual process that combines specific exercises with an understanding of body mechanics.
Warm-up Routine: Begin each training session with a dynamic warm-up that targets the muscles involved in acceleration. Leg swings, high knees, and lateral shuffles are excellent warm-up exercises that prepare your body for the intensity of speed training.
Agility Drills: Incorporate agility drills into your routine to improve your footwork and coordination. Cone drills, ladder drills, and shuttle runs are effective in building the neuromuscular connections needed for quick and precise movements.
Sprint Intervals: Introduce sprint intervals into your training regimen. Short bursts of maximum effort followed by rest periods that mimic the stop-and-start nature of pickleball rallies, conditioning your body for the demands of the game.
As you progress in your pickleball journey, it's important to advance your speed training to match the increasing demands of the game.
Advanced speed training focuses on refining your acceleration technique and maximizing your speed.
Resistance Training: Incorporate resistance training to strengthen the muscles involved in acceleration. Resistance bands, sled pulls, and hill sprints add an extra challenge, helping to build power and explosiveness.
Plyometric Exercises: Plyometric exercises enhance your ability to generate force quickly. Box jumps, depth jumps, and medicine ball throws are effective in improving your reactive strength, a crucial component of rapid acceleration.
Technical Drills: Work on refining your technique through drills that properly reinforce it. Focus on the proper body positioning during the first step, proper weight distribution, and ensuring a low and explosive push-off to maximize acceleration.
To fully harness the benefits of speed training, it's essential to adopt a strategic and holistic approach.