Acquisition Of Speed

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The Acquisition Of Speed
The Thoughts Behind The Speed Training Methodology to Attain Speed, Strength, Endurance and Flexibility  
by Mick Clegg

Basically Seed is "How To Produce A Superpower Brain For Athletic Performance". Seed is the beginning point, that we need to start at. To develop speed, it lies deep within the brain and needs to be encouraged into action by careful deliberate coaxing with skill and artistic talent. Seed of Speed is a precise understanding of the need for speed in sport, that is controlled and allows the brain to maximize its full cognitive processing whilst engaged in the heat of the battle of athletic performance under intense pressure. To further look into the relationship between the brain and athletics, Mick and his eldest son Michael went to America to increase their knowledge of brain use in sport, especially in the area of speed.

After analysing baseball, basketball, NLF, they attended some lectures by Dr Joe Dispenza who is a brain specialist as well as having a big interest in quantum physics. Afterwards he and Michael put their minds together and focused the direction of their research as looking for the seed of speed. It was working with Cognitive ideas that formed the basis for the concept behind the Seed of Speed training methodology to attain speed, strength, endurance and flexibility. Once they had found the area where the seeds were planted then they embarked on a journey of stimulating the growth of the seeds to the present study entitled “how to produce a super powered brain for athletic performance”, the basis of Seed of Speed.

Producing A Superpower Brain For Athletic Performance

Brain EnergyFirst we need to understand what a superpower brain for athletic performance is. The Cerebellum and Vestibular System are both important to achieving the super power we are looking at. The cerebellum processes input from other areas of the brain, spinal cord and sensory receptors to provide precise timing for coordinated smooth movements of the  skeletal muscular system as well as the coordination of voluntary motor movement, muscle tone, balance and equilibrium. It is located just above the brain stem and towards the back of the brain where it is relatively well protected from trauma compared to the brain stem itself along with the frontal and temporal lobes which  are less protected and more prone to damage. Training the cerebellum leads to increased coordination of motor movement.

This encompasses the abilities to judge distance, control and stop as well as the advanced abilities to perform rapid alternating movements while stabilizing eye movements. This increases accuracy whilst involved in rapid movements or under stress from strength required activities requiring speed and/or fast changes in direction. It increases movement control and strength capacity while also strengthening the skeletal muscles with fine motor control to aid staying upright in balance during these processes.

The vestibular system helps us to stand upright and maintain balance while moving through space. It coordinates information from the vestibular organs. These consist of the inner ear, eyes, joints, muscles, fingertips, palms, soles of feet, heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tone, limb position, immune responses, arousal and balance. Cognitive processing and other brain functions such as emotional channeling can be trained to empower the brain and body to a higher degree which will ultimately lead to a super power brain for peak athletic performance .Understanding the needs of an athlete to perform more effectively and efficiently takes years and years of study and research. The difference in needs of a child, youth and adult are seen as the athlete progresses from fun skill activation at the start to high pressure intense world class performance at the top. There has to be a starting point in creative learning and skill acquisition for athletes. Along its wide and twisting path it is now well know that revisiting the past and visualizing the future must become regular visits in the imagination of the skilled athlete.

Body in  Flight - Olympic Weightlifting, High Jump & Long Jump

Shaun Clegg -  Long jumpShaun Clegg - Long jumpShaun Clegg - High JumpShaun Clegg - High JumpWeightlifting is a brief exposition of sheer strength, speed and power. To achieve superfast actions on all the body’s joints we use the most powerful explosive exercises carried out with weights. We use the Olympic Lifts, Snatch and Clean & Jerk. These movements are actually jumps in different directions; they allow maximum speed of movement to be achieved. But, also direct massive control by the athlete to finish the lifts.

Every active force used to propel the  body forward, upward or both then has to be brought under control to allow the fine motor fibre units to perform on the ball. Using these exercises we work lower limbs, core and upper body in superb unity along with developing speed, strength, flexibility and balance. 


Double foot high jump, single and double foot plyometric long jump along with the heavier Olympic lifts, we now need to propel the body on  its own at the fastest speed. (try jumping slowly, you cannot !!! but you can jump FASTER). We again use multiple directions. To build the foundations, we use double foot high jump also single leg and double foot plyometric long jumps. 

We use these for performance, but also for injury prevention capabilities. These exercises allow maximum speed attainable but also focused controlled finishing and flexibility on joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Body balance being another major asset from the work.

Tom Martin (World Deadlift Record Holder) shows what power can achieve


Unlocking the doors to SPEED POTENTIAL!!! 

Example of Agility Training

Agility training as explained by the scientists:

1) Agility is a key attribute to attain for many sports. However, little research has substantiated how this should best be trained.

2) Young, (2001) when comparing sprint and agility training methods suggested that specificity is key and that sprint training would not transfer to agility performance.

3) Young (2006) also states that planned changes of direction in sports are rare (eg softball) and specificity thus suggests that performing agility training in a structured and planned movement fashion may not be advantageous to most sports.

4)  Bisier et, al, (2001) also suggested that unplanned athletic movements increase the likelihood of injury and thus it could be that using predetermined agility training patterns may leave an athlete at increased risk of injury.

5) Novices however should potentially perform single movement skills and progress to multiple agility movements. These closed skill movements are useful to build correct movement patterns in novice athletes (Jeffreys, 2006). Once a high level of technical proficiency is acquired it is suggested that closed skill movements may not be beneficial, as in most sports an athlete’s movement is initiated in response to the circumstances of the game and the opposition.

6) Skilled athletes have regularly been shown to produce more accurate and rapid responses because of their ability to pick up ‘task relevant cues’ from their environment (Savelsbergh, 2002, Savelsbergh 2004, Williams and Davids, 1998). These studies have also shown athletes to demonstrate superior visual search strategies.

7) Savelsbergh 2004 states that because perceptual information and movement patterns are interlinked, training drills should replicate game situations where possible.

8) Reactive agility training that replicate game situations are best suited for skilled athlete training where they are forced to response to visual cues and enhance anticipatory abilities (Young, 2006).

9) Training drills can be manipulated for variation to include visual or auditory cues, the inclusion of equipment (eg resistance equipment) and the inclusion of relevant sports equipment eg ball dribbling in soccer drills (Williams and Davids, 1998).

10) Agility sessions can be performed after main training to replicate a fatigued state and end of match conditions or if technical proficiency is required, performed pre training. 

The Science Behind Agility Training - Bibliography  
Patrick M. Holmberg. Agility Training for Experienced Athletes: A Dynamical Systems Approach, Strength and Conditioning Journal, 31,5, 2009.
Young, WB, McDowell, MH and Scarlett. Specificity of sprint and agility training methods. J Strength Cond Res 15: 315-319 (2001).
Young WB and Farrow, D. A review of agility. Practical applications for strength and conditioning. Strength Cond J 28: 24-29, (2006).
Besier TF, Lloyd DG, Cochrane JL, and Ackland TR. External loading of the knee joint during running and cutting maneuvers, Med Sci Sports Exerc 33: 1168-1175, 2001.
Jeffreys L. Motor Learning Applications for agility. Part 1. Strength Cond J 28: 72-76, 2006.
Savelsbergh, GJP, van der Kamp J, Oudejana RRD and Scott MA. Perceptual learning in mastering perceptual degrees of freedom. In: Skill Acquisition in Sport: Research, Theory and Practice. Williams AM and Hodges NJ, eds, London, England, Routledge, 2004, p374-389.
Savelsbergh GJP, Williams AM, van der Kamp J, and Ward, P. Visual search anticipation and expertise in soccer goalkeepers. J Sports Sci 20: 279-287, 2002.
Williams AM, and Davids K. Visual search strategy, selective search strategy and expertise in soccer. Res Q Exerc Sport, 69: 111-129, 1998.

5 Engines Of The Physical Body

SPEED ...Daniel spoke of the 5 Engines Of The Physical Body, speed comes from all these engines working together in unity.
Reactive impulses and the 5 speed engines ignited in unison was the idea that sprang to my mind. Think fast, act fast, initiate movement, accelerate through the neuro-muscular planes and the athlete takes flight. Daniel felt this when he ran and so with experience he was able to control and open the throttle to race the best and become the fastest in the world: an awesome feat to achieve!

We as humans need to break things down into small units, work on all the units individually for speed quickness and agility; then connect each unit for a universal whole. The united separate modalities become a spectacular whole when in practice (perfect practice that is!), amounting to the acquisition of a skill is then placed under pressure and ultimately transfers to the sports field and arena.

We are going to uncover the secrets of speed production. When you understand the practice of isolation, then association, you can move onto the next crucial phase – Speed under control. To become a top team athlete, this is often the stumbling block to many fast, quick, agile athletes. Speed under Control is an essential skill that is almost as important as the game skill with the ball. All team sports which need high performance under pressure such as football, basketball, rugby, lacrosse, netball, hockey etc will understand the principle of this.

Daniel CainesDaniel CainesMick Clegg on Daniel Caines

I met Daniel Caines at Manchester United academy gym. My first impression was "what a lovely soul with a beaming smile" We talked about his athletic past, successes and failures. It was so good to hear a real honest man! We talked of his coaching in the USA and I spoke to him about speed and its application in the football arena. 

Well for once I got an insight from a man who really understood the necessary type of work needed by team players chasing after a bag of wind! Daniel showed me some of his concepts in training methodology and it fitted neatly into my philosophy. I responded by meeting him in Birmingham with my son Shaun and we did a talk and practical demonstration for one of his boxers, it was a really enjoyable day.

Sport Nutrition For Coaches

About the author - Leslie J. Bonci, MPH, RD, CSSD, LDN is the director of sport nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She is a certified specialist of sport dietetics, and she has been working in the areas of sport nutrition and general nutrition for over 20 years.
About the book - As a coach, you want your athletes to perform at their best. To do that, you not only need to teach them how to train properly, but you also need to tell them how to eat and drink properly.

You need to have the right information when it comes to nutrition for your athletes. Sport Nutrition for Coaches is the essential tool for coaches and fitness specialists. With this text, you will be able to maximize your athletes’ performance through proper nutrition. Subjects covered include...

Sport Nutrition For CoachesSport Nutrition For CoachesPart 1 - Essential Concepts
Chapter 1 Sport Performance and Energy Systems
Getting Energy for Exercise
Matching Energy Systems to Sports

Chapter 2 - Foods That Fuel
Fat (Lipids)
Striking a Nutrient Balance

Chapter 3 - Eating Timed for Top Performance
Pre-Exercise Eating
Pre-Event Eating
Postexercise Eating
Getting Athletes to Eat

Chapter 4 - Hydrating for Top Performance
Why Do Athletes Become Dehydrated?
What Should Athletes Drink?
How Much Should Athletes Drink?
What Are Salty Sweaters?
What About Caffeine and Alcohol?
How Can You Get Athletes to Hydrate?

Chapter 5 - Reducing Body Fat
Assess Where the Athlete Is
Consider Diet Options
Create an Action Plan
Seek Referrals

Chapter 6 - Increasing Muscle Mass
How Can Athletes Add Muscle Mass?
Determine a Starting Point
Set Up an Exercise Regimen
Implement an Action Plan
Decide What and When Your Athlete Should Eat

Chapter 7 - Sizing Up Supplements
Vitamins and Minerals
Other Common Supplements
Supplement Safety
Anabolic Steroids
Supplement Legality
Supplement Education


Daniel Wolpert:
The Real Reason for Brains

Neuroscientist and engineer, Daniel Wolpert studies how the brain controls the body. Neuroscientist Daniel Wolpert starts from a surprising premise: the brain evolved, not to think or feel, but to control movement.

In this entertaining, data-rich talk he gives us a glimpse into how the brain creates the grace and agility of human motion.

Find out more on - Daniel Wolpert

Using Visualization & Sleep for Healing & Stress Reduction in Athletes

What Is Visualization?

After much reading and researching it appeared to me that mankind has always used visualization, in the form of prayer, magic spells, offerings to the gods, meditation, alchemy etc, etc to be the initial force to set the sights of our desire to ultimately achieve.
Although it can happen that we stumble over things it is far more often that we have a thought, turn it into desire and go and find or use our creative imagination to obtain it, This sets the scene for SEED OF SPEED.

The Different Stages of SleepThe Different Stages of SleepAttaining Sleep for Healing, Recovery & Recuperation: We are always searching for new methods for recovery after Athletic training and competition, well I think it is time we concentrated on the method of Healing and Recuperation that was given to us as a natural gift for the last few million years!

People imagine that sleep is the bodies way of switching off for a period of time then switching back on after a (rest) SLEEP is way beyond that and there is a system of sleep that provides ALL that is necessary for Healing, Stress Reduction and Recovery A lot of people wake up in a rush in the morning, they start the day without having a proper breakfast or often later than they should. When they get to work, they work all day, manual/mind = work. Stress (leading to depressions).  Put on TV when they get home or the computer, watch and play till going to bed, perhaps OVER EAT and Drink excessive amounts of Alcohol. When they go to bed, they worry about their problems and their sleep is erratic.   

Wake in the morning slowly. Have a good Nutritional breakfast. Get to work ‘ON TIME’. Work through the day, 1 job at a time, eat and drink small amounts regularly; Return home and begin to relax! Watch some television, use computer but sparingly. As the sky changes to darkness the Pineal Gland which is Photo Sensitive begins to secrete the two neurotransmitters Melatonin and Serotonin. Allow the body to relax naturally, turn OFF the TV and computer early, reduce the light brightness, either use a dimmer switch or light candles to allow more secretion of the Neurotransmitters. Finally go to bed in the darkest room possible on a comfortable bed.

As you begin to fall toEffects of Sleep DeprivitionEffects of Sleep Deprivition sleep the neurotransmitters are transported to the Pituitary Gland which itself secretes neurotransmitters into the whole of the body. It opens up the gateway for the body’s natural healing and recovery, recuperation properties to be fully utilized. The Pineal Gland of many people has been damaged due to excessive stress (depression), too much light at night and bad diet.

To help the Pineal Gland recover, initially take small amounts of L’Tryptophon and 5 Htp about 30  minutes before going to bed which are converted into Melatonin and Serotonin. This will aid recovery not only of the gland but also the whole body in general because GOOD sleep is generated. One element that destroys the Pineal Gland is Fluoride and must be eliminated from the diet.

2 herbs that help regenerate the Pineal Gland are Gotu Kola and Parsley. Small amounts of these should be added to the diet whilst fluoride is taken out and a correct strategy is installed for sleep.

The best preparation for sleep is to turn off televisions and computers early, do not take caffeine, relax in candle light prior to sleep and sleep in the darkest room possible.

The very beginning - The seed of thought from Mick that began his exploration of Speed

The beginning, the start, the potential for creativity, even life.
Without the seed we have nothing, emptiness, just a void.
With seed we have the chance to expand the mind into reality, the capability to imagine, the possibility to create.
What will we create?
That depends on what type of seed we plant, what it contains to begin with, but also, just has important is what will we feed it, what will we use to sustain it. 
Will we create it or kill it? Will it live or die.. 
All that potential for whatever the mind is capable of creating is the seed.
Let Us Begin...

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