Acceleration is the act of rapidly increasing movement velocity. Maximum speed in athletics is important, but the ability to quickly turn on that speed deserves just as much focus. Here are three acceleration drills that will keep you a step ahead of your opponents.
1. Push-Up Starts
Begin at the bottom position of a Push-Up with your fingers on the starting line. Explosively push yourself up and immediately transition into a 10- to 20-yard sprint. This is a great drill to reinforce low starting position and proper shin angle due to the drive out of the push-up position.
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2. Seated Starts
Start in a seated position facing away from the starting line. Quickly push yourself up, turn around, and shift into a 10- to 20-yard sprint. In addition to emphasizing low starting position, this is a good way to build acceleration out of sub-optimal positions. During competition, you're not always in an ideal position when you have to turn on your speed. There may be times when you end up on the ground but have to quickly get back up, change direction and chase down the ball. This drill mimics that situation.
3. Falling Starts
Stand up tall with your toes on the starting line. Keeping your body in a straight line, lean forward as if you were going to fall to the ground. Explode into a 10- to 20-yard sprint. Like the other drills, this one teaches proper body angle during the acceleration phase.
As with all types of sprinting, you must have proper sprint mechanics to get the most out of these acceleration drills. Proper arm drive, torso stability and correct body angle are all necessary to achieve maximum speed. It may be beneficial to start these drills at low speed to get the form down before going at it full tilt.
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