Dear Coach: I know there are many exercises I can do to improve
my strength, but are there any drills I can do to improve speed?
Dear Poke: Never fear; a lethargic time in the 40 can be
lowered. Mike Boyle, a former strength and conditioning coach
for the Boston Bruins who has also prepped about 30 players for
the NFL scouting combine, says there are three components to
improving speed. "The primary thing is lower-body strength, so
that means doing lots of squats," says Boyle. Next, you need to
increase your legs' power output, so try plyometric exercises
such as hops done from a squatting position and multidirectional
jumps. Finally, build from five- and 10-yard sprints to
full-speed 40s and 50s. "Many people think running longer
distances will help your sprinting," says Boyle. "It doesn't, so
concentrate on the dashes."
Dear Coach: I've played basketball my whole life--in high school,
college and now in a rec league three nights a week. My wife says
I play too much. How do I get her to see what sports mean to me?
Dear Hoop: "Basketball is not the issue," says Fred Crowell, a
former marriage counselor and Division I coach. "Your wife feels
she's not getting your attention and that something out there is
more important to you than she is." Show you're receptive to her
needs by indulging her interests--sacrifice a few nights at the
gym to take her to a play or a movie. "Your wife might welcome
your playing if she were getting what she wanted otherwise."
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