• Chris Davy

S is for... Speed

Let’s get back to what this whole blog was about. Coaching and performance.

Specifically I’ve developed my philosophy through basketball. But in my eyes, the fundamentals are transferable to any situation or environment.

As well as basketball I have coaching qualifications in Multi-Sports, Football and British American Football. As well as that, I trained to become a driving instructor, but failed to pass my final examination. Anyway, I’ve absorbed some varied knowledge and theory based on speed. Taking into consideration all the different environments I’ve worked in, speed is definitely one of the hot topics that needs addressing in any environment.

I think the important thing to remember, and I take this largely from my driving instructor training, is that it is important to get from A to B. But it’s not always important how quickly you get there if you don’t get there in one piece.

My one instructor when I was learning to drive explained to me how he had been involved in a head on collision during his time teaching, he said he had a scar across his torso where his seatbelt had cut through him. He was basically as good as dead, but fortunately the surgeons were able to save him.

When someone tells you a story like that, you tend to sit up and pay attention.

So whilst speed is good. Being quickest is good. It’s about being under control and in control. I’ve just thought of the first track that will be on the songs to list to at the end of the blog.

The next thing I tend to think about in relation to speed is... effort.

I remember being at school. I was running the last leg in the 4x100m at sports day.

Let it go Chris, let it go!

My team was absolutely creaming it, and I choked on the final leg. We came second. But I just couldn’t make myself go any faster. In that moment I had a huge moment of self-awareness, and was basically asking myself, “What is the fucking point in this?”. I figure because I couldn’t justify it I couldn’t motivate myself, because I couldn’t motivate myself I couldn’t harness the effort I needed to perform, because of that I couldn’t go quick enough and we came second. That and I just wasn’t strong enough. I simply wasn’t prepared enough physically or mentally. But I didn’t think about it like that when I was a kid. I knew I was quick, but it wasn’t like we trained for sports day. You just rocked up, did your best and that was it. But because I was pretty good at sport, I expected a lot of myself. Probably too much.

It’s always hardest being out in front, and it’s always easiest chasing the leader. Because your objective is to get to the front of the pack. Trouble is, what do you do when you get there? How do you justify it?

There is one sport though that does flip this on its head. A friend of mine pointed this out to me, and that is rowing. Because it is one of the only sports, if not the only sport where you can be in the lead and see your opponents but they can’t see you. Psychologically this is a very different head space to exist in.

So, speed. It’s definitely something that needs addressing if you want to perform at your best or have your team perform at their best. But that raises another point, which in this day and age it would appear that a lot of people struggle with, the idea that things should be instantaneous. Things take time, so the best thing you can do in relation to speed is

Pace yourself.

There is a common fundamental denominator to becoming a successful sprinter or long-distance runner, and that is consistent commitment. The disciplines might have different physical demands but that is definitely a shared demand.

But consistent commitment isn’t just the case for sport...


Who doesn’t love a good quote?

“The major advances in speed of communication and ability to interact took place more than a century ago. The shift from sailing ships to telegraph was far more radical than that from telephone to email.” - Noam Chomsky

Songs to listen to now:

Speed Kills - Bush

Life in the fast lane - The Eagles

Speed of Sound - Coldplay

Fast Car - Tracy Chapman

Rollin’ - Limp Bizkit

©2018 S is for Something