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Brian Schiff’s Blog

Injury Prevention, Sports Rehab & Performance Training Expert

Tag: speed drills

Athletes are always striving to be the best.  There are lots of great coaches out there with different approaches.  A few months back I had a trainer, Travis Hansen, approach me to see if I might be interested in reviewing his speed product.

These types of requests are commonplace in the industry, and I have several requests to review and endorse products. While I am generally hesitant to promote other products, I am always looking to expand my current knowledge base and learn something new. I was naturally very skeptical when asked to recommend this product, but I can honestly say that after reading this book that it is a great product for any coach or trainer, or even athlete looking to learn the ins and outs of speed development.

The package is purely digital which allows immediate access, and it’s currently being offered at a very reasonable “summer discount” price of just $37.  Order it here


Here are 3 reasons I like this resource:

#1- “Encyclopedia” is an accurate name for it

It takes all the different elements of speed development and condenses them into manageable chunks of content.  Sometimes I nerd out and will read a 300 page book just on special strength training.  Sometimes that’s just too much. But, if you’re having a thought or working through an idea, it’s probably covered here and it’ll give you some insight to answer your question or send you to a more detailed resource or direction.

#2- It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel

I really like that Travis isn’t trying to push some already established format of training on you and the call it a cute name and say that he invented it.  Some of the concepts you may actually know really well.  Others you’re probably aware of, but have only a passing knowledge of.  Regardless, it’s all in there.  It’s like a central hub for training topics.

“Oh man, how does Post Activation Potentiation work again?”  Just go to the book and get a Cliff’s Notes sized version on the topic.  Maybe it scratches your itch or maybe it sends you off somewhere else for a deeper look.  With so much training info in my library, sometimes I’m just looking for confirmation of my own thoughts, not a research project.

#3- It gives credit where credit is due

If the book talks about a topic, Travis cites the original author/creator.  He’s not saying this is all coming from his brain, he’s just done a lot of research and clearly cites whose idea it was originally.  Many of us who put out information have been bashed by people in the industry who took credit for other peoples’ information or ideas.  Whether or not you believe anyone who sells any information can actually take credit for inventing it (since everyone’s coaching philosophy is just a personalized interpretation/presentation of other peoples’ information) this book won’t offend.  And since it cites all its material, you can be confident it wasn’t pulled out of the others.

All in all, it is a very solid product.  It’s only $37 right now.  Considering I rarely promote other peoples’ stuff, I feel confident in telling you it is $37 well spent.

Click here to order your copy.

Eliminating the “false step” has been a personal mission of many strength coaches I have heard or worked alongside of in my 15 year career.  I used to wonder quietly why it was such a bad thing early on in my coaching.  Based on angles and observation it seemed almost reflexive for most athletes.

Then a few years ago I had the privilege of seeing Lee Taft present his theory on speed development and multi-directional speed training and it all came together for me.  Lee eloquently explained that the “false step” is really just a plyo step – a chance to load the body up for what it was meant to do.  It essentially allows the athlete to reposition the body (or center of mass) more efficiently to load and explode.  Ever wonder why sprinters use a starting block?

track  &field

Look at all like an athlete’s body position once they step back and begin to move forward?

This topic has been covered in previous point/counterpoint articles in the NSCA journals and debated on forums, blogs and seminars alike.  For me, I have been encouraging the “false step” or “plyo step” the past few years because it is ‘normal’ for athletes to move that way.  As a matter of fact, one of the first things I do is put them in an athletic parallel stance position and ask them to accelerate for 10 yards.  Not once have I seen them not step back provided I do not cue them to do so.

Keep in mind that previous research done (Kraan, GA, van Veen, J, Snijders, CJ, and Storm, J. Starting from standing: Why step backwards? J Biomech 34: 211–215, 2001.) indicates that stepping back is instinctive in up to 95% of subjects.  Pretty telling, right?  Even so, many coaches will still argue this technique slows the athletes down.

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