How to Run Faster in Football

Speed in football is an important factor in determining the outcome of games. A running back who can get to the corner and turn upfield faster than the defense can get there has a great opportunity to make a big play. A receiver who can catch a ball in stride and turn on the speed can make a memorable touchdown. Building speed in football is a function of drills to build speed and the ability to rise to the moment so you can overpower and outrun your competition.

football player running with football (Image: Iris Nieves/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Run football shuttle drills to build explosive speed and stamina in games. Start at the goal line and sprint to the 10-yard line and back. Then turn and sprint to the 20 and back, the 30 and back, and the 40 and back. Take a one-minute break and repeat the set.

Step 2

Run hills to build speed and explosive strength in your legs. Run 60 feet uphill to build power and explosiveness and run 60 feet downhill to build a consistent stride and balance. Perform five reps of hill running per day during the offseason to become and explosive runner on the field. This was the practice of Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Walter Payton throughout their careers.

Step 3

Build explosive power in your legs by working in the weight room. The stronger you are in your legs, hips and core muscles the faster you will be able to run. To build speed with weight training, do exercises like the leg press, lunge and dead lift to build speed. Take a barbell on the back of your shoulders to perform the lunge. Place your right foot about 18 inches in front of your left foot. Lunge forward so your left leg is straight and your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Do this 10 times and then there peat the drill with your left foot in front of your right.

Step 4

Run team relays to build team speed and competitiveness. Place two footballs at midfield. Line half your team up at one 25-yard line and the other half at the opposite 25. On the coach's whistle, the first player in each line will sprint to midfield and pick up the football. They will then sprint back and hand it to the second player waiting on line at the 25-yard line. That player will sprint to midfield with the ball, lay it down at that spot and sprint back to the 25, and tag the hand of the next player in line. The drill will go on in that manner until all players have run. That team that completes the drill first with all runners going at full speed wins the exercise.

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