What is the Number 1 Reason that athletes do not get any faster?(Coach Jimmy Lamour with Lamour Training Systems)

What is the Number 1 Reason that athletes do not get any faster?
from Coach Jimmy Lamour( Certified Youth Fitness Specialist with Lamour Training Systems)

This is a reoccurring theme with many of the athletes we train. We often ask them what they have been doing for speed training and the usual reply is gassers or 40 yard sprints. However, they do not understand why they have not seen their 40 yard time’s decrease. Coaches we consult with often do not understand why their sled sprints, multiple sprints, and laps are not translating to faster teams. The biggest problem is they are not training for speed at all. Speed training must be about running at your fastest speed, recovering fully, and running again.

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Many athletes or coaches usually run their athletes in a state of fatigue for fear that the athletes will just be standing around. Also, they think that is what will make them tough. The problem is they create well-conditioned teams that are not very fast. We ensure that our athletes get the required rest periods in between sprints to ensure every effort is their fastest effort. There are guidelines of how much rest an athlete should get depending on the distance of the sprint. The purpose of the rest period is for the energy reserves to be replenished so the athlete can give their fastest effort on the following sprint.

Our program also ensures that each athlete individualizes their workout within a group setting. We do this by electronically timing each sprint. This is a great tool to make the athlete sprint their fastest and be ready to compete. Also, it ensures that our timing is accurate and efficient. We know these athletes are being timed the same way every time and there is not as much room for error as with a stop watch. How many athletes have coaches told that they run 4.4 40 yard dashes until to run 4.7 at a football camp? Furthermore, when an athlete’s time decreases passed their 95% threshold we stop them from continuing. This ensures we are sprinting and not conditioning. Our aim is to run quality efforts by maximally sprinting every time.

We also emphasize that the athletes take the time out to stretch muscles that need to be stretched. Our goal is to individualize the stretching as well as some athletes are more flexible than others. Also, some are flexible in the wrong areas. Stretching is as important as any other part of the program and we ask that athletes perform it daily. The difference you can make in stretching can be significant for many athletes. For instance, if your muscle has elongated to a point where you can finish your sprint in 23 steps instead of 25 this can make a difference in your time. We hope these blogs are helping athletes educate themselves on the process of developing as an athlete. Also, if you have any topics you would like to see discussed please suggest them in the comment box.

Jimmy Lamour is a former Guilford College in Greensboro, NC All South Defensive Back. He set the record for interception return yards at the school. Upon Graduation, he tested numerous philosophies on strength and speed through seminars, self-study, conversation with renowned strength coaches, and training of hundreds of athletes. This led him to develop the 4.30 40 Speed System a system that helped him improve his 40 yard dash from a 4.66 to a 4.30, which gave way to many professional football workouts. He later developed Lamour Training Systems with the help of his lovely wife Charlene to help athletes improve their performance and receive knowledge he missed out on as a child. He continues to consult with several division 1, prep schools, and high school coaches. LTS has helped many football athletes play at the D1, D2, and D3 levels. He believes that his passion to see young men become all God intended them to be and provide knowledge of the defensive back position which will allow young athletes under the tutelage of Pick 6 Academy to flourish. He is currently certified as a Youth Fitness specialist, 7on7 Performance Director, and High School Strength & Conditioning Specialist. Also, Coach Lamour is a devout Christian and enjoys being a part of Harvest Church. He has two children Camdon (19) and Micah (12).Sign up for his newsletter to receive his free speed report at http://fastyouthathlete.blogspot.com/ on For more information, call 336-257-9151

10 thoughts on “What is the Number 1 Reason that athletes do not get any faster?(Coach Jimmy Lamour with Lamour Training Systems)

  1. Jimmy, understand that with coaches in HS not having the personnel to 2 platoon as well as coaching the varsity and JV’s in the same day, there is very little time to devote to extra things like speed development each day. It is all we have time to do to do a warm up period (stretching & agility), individual, group and team along with individual specialist drills and the kicking game team time. Running is incorporated in many activities during practice to keep our kids in shape. Plus we keep our practice time to a 2 hour limit. It is important to us to see that they get home as early as possible to have time to do their home work and study as well as time to eat and have social time. We do spend a lot of time during the day during Weight Training Class doing this but if for some reason a kid is not able to take this class then he loses out on this phase which is not a good situation for him or us. Unlike college HS players have a lot less time to spend on this during the day because of many reasons.

  2. Hello Coach Goss,

    Yes sir. I am well aware of the small staffs that are typical of HS football. I used to coach HS ball and the best plan of action for us was to enforce technical proficiency during warm ups. Also, we educated the captains on what proper mechanics entailed and the goals of each speed session. This way we maximized our coaching ability on the field. My thought process was if a coach was still running gassers in season they were in trouble as that means that their off season program was not sufficient. We teach the importance of quality over quantity in our training methods and often finish our speed portion of our training within 25-30 minutes. This includes our collegiate as well as HS athlete. Our thought process is that speed development is not an extra piece but critical component of the program. Also, the pace of practice often kept us in the condition necessary for each athlete to play their positions effectively. I also am a big proponent of high academics and building yourself outside of football. My final thoughts, are to prioritize what needs to be improved. I believe in season practice is most important, but speed development must not be completely discarded. The off season is when you can really see some improvements in the speed department. But, you will begin to see a yo-yo affect if coaches are bringing speed development in and taking it out during the season. We prepared our system with that in mind. Coach, I really appreciate your feedback as it has been very helpful.

  3. Thanks Jimmy. I appreciate what you are doing. I enjoy reading your columns and learning new things. I have been a HS FB coach for a long time (this is my 49th year) and I know you can identify with the fact that when I first started weight training on any sort was frowned upon. I did it anyway. I remember the legendary Paul Anderson coming to my college FCA campus wide program telling the story of when he was playing FB at the University Of Georgia when he and another teammate started lifting weights in secret. His coaches would hold them up as an example of how much more physical they were than their other linemen teammates. When their coaches found out about them lifting weights they kicked them off. They thought that lifting would slow them down and make them MUSCLE BOUND. I have never understood that term or what it actually meant. I have a ton of stories that I have experienced with non FB athletes in my weight classes over the years and my interaction with their coaches. I am happy to say that every encounter turned out positive. My point is we have come a long way since the early sixties. Keep up the good work. I am a fan.

  4. Coach Goss,
    I really enjoyed your story and would love to invite you to our December 10th orientation to tell the HS guys how far we have come and share some success habits with them. If you are interested we would love to have you. Congrats on the success you are having this year at Eastern.

  5. Coach Lamour,

    I appreciate the information you provide to HS coaches, very informative. I am interested in the 12/10 Orientation that you are offering. Is there anyway you could email me the information.

  6. Hello Ball Coach,

    I am thankful that the information is helpful. Please send me an email at strengthchamber@gmail.com and I will be happy to send you the information. Please feel free to suggest any topics you would like to hear more about as I want to help as many people as possible. Thank you again.

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