September is upon us and the kick-off of football season is here. When you watch these athletes on the field, you will see individuals that reach top speeds quickly, change directions even quicker and look under control while doing both. So, I sat down with Scott Chamberlin, aka Coach Scott to his clients, who is THE Speed & Agility (S&A) expert at Poston’s Fitness. What follow below here are Coach Scott’s responses to the questions I posed to him. I believe it is some great information for both the athlete and the trainee looking for an edge.
Bob: What is your definition of S&A?
Coach Scott: To me, S&A is your ability to get your center of mass moving quickly and efficiently. It is as simple as that. Or so it sounds. Your center of mass (COM) is the point in which your body’s mass is equally balanced top to bottom and left to right. The goal with my S&A athletes is to get them to understand the paths in which their COMs should move and what their bodies are doing around their COM. If they can control their COM and the momentum your body produces through movement, then they will move more efficiently and ultimately faster.
Bob: What ages do you think benefit the most from this training?
Coach Scott: As you can imagine, this can be tough for young kids who are constantly growing. As they grow taller and their weight increases, their COM changes too requiring them to constantly change the way they move. With consistent S&A training, we can help them understand how to control their body, feel more comfortable with their movements, and essentially move more efficiently. We have seen drastic improvements in kids as young as 8 years old. The older and more advanced the client, the more we can add complicated movements to challenge their abilities. Typically, our programs are geared at athletes ages 8-18.
Bob: Is this for young athletes only?
Coach Scott: Definitely not! New clients often request to work on things like balance, body control, and coordination so I love to challenge them with S&A drills! I have incorporated ladder drills in fitness programs for autistic clients, weight loss clients, and even clients with Parkinson’s Disease who struggle with balance and coordination. It is truly rewarding to see their progress.
Bob: How do you measure it or baseline it to track improvement?
Coach Scott: For our S&A clients, we always baseline test them on a couple drills that we feel are good indicators of their speed, agility, foot quickness, and body control. Our first test is the line drill – this tests the athlete’s foot quickness and ability to control their center of mass as they jump over a line, side-to-side for 30 seconds. Our next test is the Pro Agility Drill – this 5-10-5 cone drill has the client sprinting 5 yards left, 10 yards right, then 5 yards left again through the center cone. This drill tests one’s agility, or their ability to explosively start, accelerate, decelerate, change direction, and then explosively start again all with good body control. The Pro Agility Drill, or shuttle run, is something that is used at most professional combines and colleges across the country. Third, we will do two rounds of Dot Drills. The first is jumping jack feet forwards and backwards and next is jumping jack feet with a twist. These dot drills are a great indicator of body control and foot quickness. Finally, we will do some sprints. Usually, we will conduct a 15-yard sprint inside and then a 40-yard dash outside to test their reactivity, explosive starts, acceleration, and speed.
Bob: What is the average time period you see in your athletes to make noticeable improvements?
Coach Scott: Most of our S&A programs run twice a week for six weeks. With this type of frequency, we tend to see drastic improvements in the tests we conduct, often times adding 10 or more hops to the line drill, dropping 0.5-1.5 seconds in the pro agility drill, 2-5 seconds on dot drills, and almost a second on the sprints. Keep in mind that these are very quick drills covering short distances, so these numbers might seem small, but their impact is quite substantial.
Bob: Do you have any programs starting up for the fall season?
Coach Scott: Yes. We just finished our S&A summer program so our next fall session will start on Monday, September 12th and will run for 6-weeks on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4pm. If you think you could benefit from this type of training, or you know someone that could, please don’t hesitate to call us at 301-327-5246. For more information, email Coach Scott at coachchamberlinFFL@gmail.com.
Great information Coach and thanks for sharing your expertise on the subject. If you have an athlete in the family (or even yourself) looking for an edge, please give Coach Scott a call or drop him a note at the email above. Got to go, it’s kickoff time, wishing you great health.