Starting Speed: Quick Start Guide To A Faster First Step


“Football is a game of inches.”


Every sport has these small sayings in regards to what makes the difference between success and failure – almost all of them relate to speed and sprinting faster.

The ability to go from a standstill to top speed in a matter of seconds separates the haves from the have-nots in sports. So this quick guide will give you some skills and drills that can change your speed for the better fast.


Jumps create the initial context of faster speed. If you want to burst out, you need to train what that looks like. We start here, this a jump and stick because we first want to focus on the quality of the movement and make sure we have no issues.

Once an athlete can jump and stick, we want to add more speed and power like below.

Once we have shown an ability to do these jumps fast and explosively on one foot, we move back to sticking the landing on one foot. This begins to improve how well our body deals with force when we run.

We also can work on pure power in an old-fashioned way with a straight vertical jump


Just jumping can bring an athlete a long way to improved power and first step quickness, but we can get even more by understanding and working on some mechanical drills as well.

Once we have an understanding of how to move, we can step away from the wall and begin to improve performance even more by working on marching and skipping drills.

By having the hands upon our head, or straight above it, we challenge the core to handle more of the force driving into the ground. Arm action helps to counter the power the legs produce, by taking them out you increase the demand placed on the exercise and can clean up sloppy running mechanics faster.

We can finish working on our speed by bringing our arms back into the exercise and establishing mechanics that are closer to the speeds and power and coordination necessary for faster sprinting.

While exercises like this seem simple, they are highly effective at developing the foundation for a faster athlete. The more time spent hammering the basics to improve technique and power, the more speed will show up on game day.

Bill has spent over a decade coaching athletes to improve on the field including athletes in the NFL, MLB and throughout the NCAA. Today, he owns Superior Athletics where he trains his athletes while being the editor of the Performance team for Lifestyle Sports.