A Fast Start

Conestoga Coaches Start a Speed School


Youth athletes are hard at work during a speed school session. Fifth through eighth graders at Conestoga are encouraged to attend sessions at the high school.

MURRAY, NEB.–This fall, High Schools Coaches Chad Schmeckpeper and Trent Clausen started Cougar Speed School. They wanted kids to get faster and improve their techniques so they could succeed in sports and activities. “We started Cougar Speed School so that we could begin working on speed with the younger kids. We wanted to give them the opportunity to learn the philosophy and be introduced to speed training before they get to high school. This is so when they do get to high school we can capitalize on our training that much more,” says Coach Clausen.

Speed School is open to all students in 5th through 8th grade. You can easily get your student involved by simply showing up to one of the hour-long sessions. Sessions are held Saturday mornings at 10 a.m. and Monday evenings at 5:30 p.m. With Covid-19 going around right now students will be required to wear masks, but the coaches say the training is not too strenuous to cause harm. Depending on the weather, students will train in the high school gym, in the hallways, or on the track.

A lot goes on in the hour that the session is open. They bring the students in and begin with RPR (reflexive performance reset) just to get them in performance state for their central nervous system. Then they do speed drill warm-ups. These include A-march, A-skip, A-run, straight leg shuffle, etc. The coaches then break the students into three groups. The first group works on jumping and landing, the second focuses on starts and technique, and the third is the timing station.

So far coaches say that attendance has been great and a lot better than they expected. Clausen says, “Now that youth sports have started up for the winter, that has kinda taken some kids away, but I think that most of the kids that aren’t in practices while sessions are happening are still coming.” According to Schmeckpeper, around eight to ten kids have had perfect attendance. There are currently 54 kids signed up, but they are hoping that the numbers continue to rise.

Students seem to be thriving in speed school so far. Jaren Asuncion has a timed 10-yard dash of 1.19 seconds, which best out of all attendance. Owen Trofholz says, “My mom sent me because I am very active and it’s helped me run a lot.” “Owen plays a lot of basketball, and he has been to a few sessions, and I can already see improvements in his running. It’s very promising,” says Neleigh Trofholz, Owen’s mother. Since this is all new it’s very exciting to the coaches to hear such things and see improvements in the kids. They hope to see your students at the upcoming sessions soon!