A question I often get from athletes and coaches is "How often can I train for speed and agility using quickness training drills?"
Now, if only the answer as straightforward as the question! Here we go…
First of all, when I hear "quickness training drills", I think of a very specific type of training that is focusing specifically on an athlete's quickness, that is their ability to move rapidly in the absence of a lot of force and in short spaces or distances.
Some good examples of quickness are a Nate Robinson crossover, a Darren Sproles cutback or Derek Jeter reacting to a line drive hit near him.
All of these things require that you move really, really fast, but like I said before, when there's not a lot of force present (which is mainly a byproduct of keeping all these movements in a short distance).
So, the drills we are talking about are focusing on these kinds of movements. If you're look to increase your longer-distance, straight-ahead speed, you're going to want to look into something a little different…this here is for athletes who want to get quicker and faster for chaotic sports, like basketball, football and baseball.
So, now that we got that all straightened out, let's answer your question, "How often can I train for speed and agility using quickness training drills?"
Here are some general guidelines you can follow. Just note that if you are able to understand exactly how to manipulate training variables like frequency, intensity and duration like we do in The Truth About Quickness, these guidelines don't apply quite as much.
If you're a beginner athlete, you can train using your quickness training drills roughly 3-5 times a week (of course depending on how much you do). You'll also notice that you'll gain speed and quickness a lot easier in this stage.
Once you move out of thise stage and on to the next level, you'll need to look at these guidelines:
If you're an intermediate athlete, you can train your quickness 3 times a week, and you'll also look to increase the intensity of the drills you're doing, as you'll need more stimulation to continue to push your body to adapt and GET QUICKER.
And if you're an advanced athlete, you can train your quickness 2-3 times a week. You'll also want to take advantage of a principle called "planned overtraining" where you can training up to 5 times a week for a couple weeks, then do no quickness training for a week.
Be judicious with that though, only use it when you notice that you haven't made any speed or quickness gains in a while (I'll write about this in more detail soon).