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Two weeks ago I attended the Annual Summit for Athletic Revolution in Louisville. Athletic revolution is the franchise created by the IYCA, established to...

Two weeks ago I attended the Annual Summit for Athletic Revolution in Louisville. Athletic revolution is the franchise created by the IYCA, established to do exactly what the name implies, revolutionize the way we develop our young athletes.

There were a lot of great speakers at the event, and the hands-on workshops were very educational. But one stood out, and that was the presentation by Dave Schmitz (aka: the Band Man). I currently use resistance bands for speed work, but always learn new concepts when I see him. I think the biggest benefit besides performance improvement is the versatility of this training tool for parents and coaches.

Resistance bands are one tool that can be used anywhere and provide a stimulus for speed and strength that free weights just can’t do. It also provides a stimulus to speed training that really has an immediate impact your athlete’s nervous system.

Resistance bands train athletes on how to improve deceleration footwork, how to handle forces created by increased momentum, ground reaction and gravity. They help to train accelerated deceleration — which is important for injury prevention and optimally developing change of direction performance. It trains horizontal velocity, which dead weight just cannot do.  

Athletes can be linked together for partner training, which increases learning potential and teamwork as they have to stay focused while their partner is performing a skill.  Also, they need to resist the dynamic resistance by staying balanced, which increases body awareness, core strength and reinforces an optimal athletic stance.

So today I want to share how to utilize resistance bands using a lateral shuffle deceleration skill set. 

Lateral Deceleration/Acceleration Skill Set:

•  Skill Set 1: Breaking Foot or Push Foot Outside the Box (Shoulders)

  Skill Set 2: Drop the hips and bend the knees. Hips should be back, shoulders forward (eyes and chest up) and knees flexed (positive shin angles)

  Skill Set 3: Foot must be flat with emphasis on loading inset of the foot. This prevents rolling of the ankle and allows for stronger and safer push off.

  Skill Set 4: Breaking foot is pointed in (Toes are perpendicular or in slightly).

Now of course all of these skills should happen simultaneously, but it’s vital for the athlete to understand each step in the skill first, so they fully understand what is expected of them and how it will improve their change of direction performance. This is a key to the long term athletic development model.

This should be taught from static repeats to random specificity (5 Principles Of Movement Sequence). Bands can be implemented sooner in this sequence as they force athletes into optimal angles of deceleration and acceleration.  

Teaching the five-step resistance band progression using shuffling:

 Step 1: Quick one step take off (keeping amplitude short while getting used to band)

 Step 2: Acceleration stop (walk back staying low to avoid sling shot effect)

 Step 3: Two step deceleration (teaching stopping with short amplitude movement)

 Step 4: Gradual build up to full drill and whistle control (work into full drill as group control improves)

 Step 5: Do a three-repetition set. (This will demonstrate repeat speed and conditioning)

Yes, this can be done with just body weight. The band forces the athlete to be at optimal acceleration and deceleration angles, and adds an accelerated component that really trains them to be better prepared to accept and produce the forces necessary to dominate in their sport.  J


Tim Rudd is an International Youth Conditioning Association specialist in youth conditioning (level 3), speed and agility (level 2), and nutrition specialist (level 1). For more information on anything you read in Training Time, email him at

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