Adam Menner on the Role of Speed Development in Basketball

Adam Menner started his college career as a psychology major, but when he interned at Defrancos Training Systems, where he did rehab work and contributed to coaching and programming, he discovered his passion for the world of physical preparation.

Though the internship inspired Adam to change his major to Kinesiology & Exercise Science, he saw the important role his experience with studying psychology played in building relationships with athletes, as well as how forging great rapport impacts athletes’ development.

Today, as the Director of Sports Performance at Varsity House Gym, Adam is dedicated to helping athletes of all levels achieve their highest potential by developing and optimizing performance plans for Varsity House.

Adam joins me today to discuss speed development and its role in basketball. He describes the three pillars of speed and how developing acceleration impacts lower body strength.

He discusses how training for speed and velocity can enhance an athlete’s cognitive abilities during a game and underscores the importance of deceleration.

And last but not least, he explains what it means to treat youth athletes like professionals and professionals like youth athletes as well as highlights the role of the coach as a community leader and relationship-builder.


Building technical ability is how you get athletes to express force at top speed. – Adam Menner


This week on the Physical Preparation Podcast:

  • How Adam got introduced to the world of physical preparation
  • Adam’s role and daily duties at Varsity House
  • His philosophy and big rocks in developing speed in basketball players
  • A holistic look at speed and its three pillars
  • Improving linear speed and how improving acceleration develops lower body strength
  • How Adam designs his programs and breaks speed down into three components
  • Assessing max velocity among basketball players
  • How consistent exposure to velocity helps with cognitive processes during a game
  • The importance of developing deceleration and how Adam fits deceleration training into their programs
  • Why most athletes don’t have the neurological ability or coordination to stop on a dime
  • Ground contact time and its relationship with speed, deceleration, and change of direction
  • Understanding asymmetry in the body and how they impact movement
  • The role of strength training in speed development
  • How Adam’s speed training differs between clients at the developmental and professional levels
  • Staying focused on your own development and lessons Adam learned from making mistakes as a coach


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