BOUNTIFUL – From the 40-yard dash to the shuttle run, cone drills and more, Bob Larsen and his annual Camp Speed continue to thrive.
It’s also a place where athletes go to improve their times, not just see them.
Larsen, a physical therapist at Sportsmed Physical Therapy in Bountiful, continues to run the annual speed camp due to its growing popularity and its ability to help athletes improve on even the slightest of footwork tendencies seen by the many athletes that have come to his door.
“We held our first camp in 2003 and have trained over 600 athletes in the program,” said Larsen in a press release sent to the Clipper. “A lot of our summer participants have gone on to make All-Region and All-State honors in their sports, so the athletes are seeing the results too.”
The camp now enters its 12th consecutive year, and Larsen is hoping to see a turnout similar to years past when the program first got its start in Utah.
Speed Camp started as an idea after Larsen attended a course in Arizona and met with the director of Athlete’s Performance, a well-known training facility there.
After seeing the initial success, participation in his camps has grown over the years as high school athletes have continued to walk in looking for the extra step.
The overall idea, said Larsen, is to improve a person’s foot speed, overall speed, acceleration, explosive power and quickness. This is accomplished through focusing on proper techniques and basic running skills.
“We like to progress each athlete from week to week to do some very demanding and high level training,” Larsen said. “Every one of them will see an improvement based on the training regimen, and we also preach safety and proper techniques. Those are highly emphasized throughout the program.”
The results speak for themselves, he said, because he’s seen both high school and college athletes “shave over a half-a-second on their 40 (yard) time.”
The most unique part of the entire camp is it’s done on different surfaces to accommodate what sport an athlete plays.
If they’re a football or soccer player, the athlete will train on grass to simulate a playing surface. Track and cross country runners will do their drills on a track course and so on.
“It’s real sport specific training on a real training surface,” Larsen said. “No treadmills here.”
This year the camp will run from Tuesday, June 3 to Saturday, July 5. Boys and girls ages 8 to 18 will be accepted and the cost to participate is $250.
For more information, call Sportsmed Physical Therapy at 801-295-8999.