Parents and Coaches,
Speed training in Winter Garden may be the most common thing people are looking for when they reach out to Total Athlete Training. This was just as true 17 years ago when I ran my first speed and agility camp at UCF. Things in any industry change quickly and a time span of 20 years may change an industry entirely. Many clients find us via an online search, and I feel confident to say that internet searches in 1998 for "speed trainer", "speed coach", or "speed training" are probably less than 1% of those searches today. And while most of that can be attributed to the infancy of the internet in 1998, there is no doubt that awareness of specialized speed training for sports performance is exponentially higher. Furthermore, not only is the awareness of speed training higher, but there are more qualified speed coaches with better education and information as well. Unfortunately, in an expanding industry, the good comes with the bad. The bad being an overload of information (do a search for speed training drills on YouTube) and a proliferation of certifications deeming anyone a speed coach who can pass their academic test (but who have barely trained anyone)...but that mess is a topic for another blog post. So here goes a blog history of where today's speed training industry started - as I see it.
While I hate to consider myself "old', being a strength and conditioning coach for 20 years gives me some tenure to see a small snapshot of history. Going back even farther into my high school days, I had never personally been exposed to a speed coach, speed trainer, or specialized speed training of any kind; our high school track and football coaches were the closest thing. That may have been more of a product of growing up in rural western Pennsylvania, but also keep in mind that this was before the internet! Also at this time, sports performance businesses (like Total Athlete Training) were in their infancy and even many D-I athletic departments were severely understaffed in strength and conditioning, let alone at the lower levels. Nevertheless, most of the speed coaches (outside of track and field) were the college strength and conditioning coaches handling all aspects of development across speed, power, strength, agility, flexibility, nutrition, recovery, and conditioning. Then as college athletics became more commercialized with lots of money flowing, the need to be the best - and stay the best - spurred athletic departments to invest in more professional personnel to optimize the physical development of their athletes - the professionally certified and academically credentialed strength and conditioning coach. So in a 20 year span, a strength and conditioning staffing situation at a D-1 football university may have gone from a single coach who just worked with football and split his time as the film guy (don't laugh - this was UCF in the early 1990's!), to a full time coach making a 6 figure salary with 4 or more full time assistant coaches serving all the sports - from women's basketball to men's soccer to football.
So in the evolution of the modern day speed coach or speed trainer in Winter Garden and across the country, many of them came from the college strength and conditioning ranks or were educated in the academic programs that the monetization of college athletics partially spurred the growth.
We'll unwrap more of this history in subsequent posts. I hope you find it interesting!