Steps to Becoming Faster

By Lee Taft

If I were to rank the steps I use to prioritize coaching speed to my athletes it would look like this:

  1. Intensity- Run more aggressively, stop trying to look pretty, and put force into the ground when you step. Use your arms to help the length of foot contact from acceleration through top end speed. Longer arm swing is needed for acceleration and the movement of mass. Shorter arm movement gets the feet off the ground quicker.
  2. Strength- I need my guys and gals stronger, but that takes time. This is the reason I list Intensity over Strength. I can get athletes faster if I teach them how to use more effort early on.
  3. Elastic Energy- Again, this is so important for getting the foot off the ground quicker, but it take a little time to develop. We not only have to make neuro-muscular change, but we also have to increase tensile strength to handle more demand.
  4.  Mechanics- I use the teaching of mechanics from day one, however not to the point of causing confusion and over thinking the job. My first order of business is getting the athletes to move first and then I will slowly and surely clean up technique.

Goals for Athletes
I need my athletes to understand the most important task. That task is to get the job done on the field or court. I want their mindset on covering what ever distance they have to cover quicker than their opponent. Don’t think! Just go!

I see many athletes attempting to run “pretty” and it actually has slowed down their turnover, force production, and results. I don’t want this as a result. I want acceleration and speed.

This is contrary to what most will teach, however you have to understand the “art of coaching” and that sometimes getting into the mind of the athlete is most important. If my athletes think technique and form always, then they don’t “run”.

My goal is to get them RUNNING, and then I worry about the rest as we go.

It may seem simple, but it works and the kids want to get fast, quickly!

If I am training top level sprinters the story changes because their job description changes.

STOP over coaching speed!

Lee Taft, known to most simple as “The Speed Guy”, is highly respected as one of the top athletic movement specialist in the world. Since 1989, Lee has taught foundation movement to beginning youngsters and helped young amateur athletes to professional athletes become quicker, faster and stronger.Lee has been asked to speak at numerous strength and conditioning and sports performance events across the world and has produced 13 instructional videos in the area of multi-directional speed and movement training. In addition, Lee has written several eBooks specifically on movement techniques and speed development. He can be reached at


How likeable is your Sweet 16 team?

Well, everyone’s got their own opinion. However, Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports’s counts more because he writes a nationally-syndicated column. So we’re not taking any sides here, but we found Stewart’s picks interesting. Welcome back, March Madness. We missed you the first half of this week.

Calling all soccer coaches

We received an inquiry from a coach asking for advice on how to run a dribbling session for U12 boys. Of course we recommended our 13 terrific dribbling exercises in CoachDeck, but we thought we’d see if we could reach out to our vast network of coaches for some additional tips. Please send suggestions to Thanks for your help!

PHIT making progress in Washington

Our partners at PHIT, whose mission it is to promote physical activity in America are making tremendous progress in our nation’s capital. The PHIT Act is picking up momentum and dozens of celebrities and athletes have joined the movement. You don’t have to be famous to advocate for a “PHIT” America. Reach out to your congressional leaders here.


CoachDeck rep Tom Waters sent this over after finding it on one of our league client’s websites. We saw that Little League International put it on their Facebook news feed as well. Good stuff to keep in mind this season.

Little League sign

Why we love the madness

March Madness is incredible and the four consecutive days we get at the beginning of the tournament every year are the best four days in sports. Here’s to the final day of the fourth being the best.

Today and tomorrow’s NCAA tournament television schedule

It’s the best four days of the year in sports. Now, the best three. Here are the television games schedule for today, March 18 and tomorrow the 19th. Hope your bracket still looks good!

Tip (ET) Network Site Game Play-by-Play/Analyst//Reporter
12:15 p.m. CBS St. Louis  I Dayton vs. Syracuse Brian Anderson/Steve Smith//Dana Jacobson
12:40 p.m. truTV Brooklyn  I Villanova vs. UNC Asheville Verne Lundquist/Jim Spanarkel//Allie LaForce
1:30 p.m. TNT Oklahoma City  I Oregon St. vs. VCU Carter Blackburn/Mike Gminski//Jaime Maggio
2:00 p.m. TBS Spokane  I California vs. Hawaii Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb//Ros Gold-Onwude
After conc. I CBS St. Louis  II Michigan St. vs. Middle Tennessee St Anderson/Smith//Jacobson
After conc. I truTV Brooklyn  II Iowa vs. Temple Lundquist/Spanarkel//LaForce


After conc. I TNT Oklahoma City  II Oklahoma vs. CSU Bakersfield Blackburn/Gminski//Maggio
After conc. I TBS Spokane II Maryland vs. South Dakota St. Dedes/Gottlieb//Gold-Onwude

First Round Games

Friday Evening, March 18 (6:30 p.m. ET-Midnight)

(Announce Teams Same as Day Games)

Tip (ET) Network Site Game Play-by-Play/Analyst//Reporter
6:50 p.m. TNT St. Louis III Wisconsin vs. Pittsburgh Anderson/Smith//Jacobson
7:10 p.m. CBS Brooklyn III West Virginia vs. Stephen F. Austin Lundquist/Spanarkel//LaForce
7:20 p.m. TBS Oklahoma City III Texas A&M vs. UW-Green Bay Blackburn/Gminski//Maggio
7:27 p.m. truTV Spokane III Oregon vs. Holy Cross Dedes/Gottlieb//Gold-Onwude
After conc. III TNT St. Louis IV Xavier vs. Weber St. Anderson/Smith//Jacobson
After conc. III CBS Brooklyn IV Notre Dame vs. Michigan Lundquist/Spanarkel//LaForce
After conc. III TBS Oklahoma City IV Texas vs. Northern Iowa Blackburn/Gminski//Maggio
After conc. III truTV Spokane IV St. Joseph’s vs. Cincinnati Dedes/Gottlieb//Gold-Onwude

Second Round Games

Saturday Afternoon, March 19 (Noon-Midnight ET)

Tip (ET)


Site Game Play-by-Play/Analyst//Reporter
12:10 p.m. CBS Providence  I Miami vs. Wichita State Ian Eagle/Chris Webber/Len Elmore//Evan Washburn
After Conc. I CBS Providence  II Duke vs. Yale Eagle/Webber/Elmore//Washburn
5:15 p.m. CBS Des Moines I Kentucky vs. Indiana Jim Nantz/Grant Hill/Bill Raftery//Tracy Wolfson
6:10 p.m. TNT Denver  I Iowa State vs. Arkansas-Little Rock Andrew Catalon/Steve Lappas//Jamie Erdahl
7:10 p.m. TBS Raleigh  I Virginia vs. Butler Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner//Lewis Johnson
After Conc. I CBS Des Moines II Kansas vs. Connecticut Nantz/ Hill/ Raftery//Wolfson
After Conc. I TNT Denver II Utah vs. Seton Hall/Gonzaga Catalon/Lappas//Erdahl
After Conc. I TBS Raleigh  II North Carolina vs. Providence Harlan/Miller/Bonner//Johnson