Use the medicine ball squat jump exercise to improve your speed and power. In sports competition, it is not always the fastest player who makes the play. You will rarely reach maximum speed during a play or sequence of plays because it takes 4-5 seconds to reach maximum speed. Many times, if you accelerate faster you will usually make the play.
You can train to improve your speed acceleration and power. One great exercise to do is medicine ball squat jumps (bodyweight squat jumps should be mastered first). Just descend into your squat, jump up explosively and repeat for the required repetitions.
While sport-specific plyometric training improves power, non-specific power training should not be ignored. Researchers from Canada found that athletes who performed better with weighted squat jumps were the best accelerators at 10 meters. Therefore, concentric force development (jumping power) is critical to improve sprint acceleration. The first step from a stand-still (or near stand-still) position requires concentric muscle power.