Your arms are an extension of your core, which means they play a vital role in how fast you move. Neglecting to focus on them during speed training is a big mistake.
To develop proper arm mechanics, start with this basic drill, courtesy of renown industry S+C coach Katrin Koch, which you can perform anywhere—classroom, home, on the bus. It's so easy that we won't even provide our standard exercise description. Just sit down and move your arms as you would while walking. Once you develop a steady rhythm, pick up speed until you're moving your arms as fast you can [you should feel your hips shifting left-to-right]. If you want to get crazy, do it with a racquet in hand.
After mastering the art of arm swings, put your newfound talent to use in a Mini Hurdle Drill to increase forward and lateral change-of-direction court speed.
• Place four Mini Hurdles in a line, one foot apart
• Stand at first mini hurdle with row to right
• Without crossing feet, shuffle laterally right over each hurdle, leading with right leg so each foot touches once between hurdles
• Repeat throughout entire pattern; perform next set in opposite direction
Advanced Adaptations: Double-hops // Single-leg hops
Sets/Reps: 5x each direction
Coaching Points: Focus on cocking arms and maintaining proper arm-swing technique // Keep knees up // Minimize ground-contact time
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock