Want to be quicker off the line, or be able to burst out of the pack, or beat their opponent to the ball? All 3 scenarios are talking about acceleration.
Acceleration is all about how quickly we can increase our speed. The quicker we can build up our speed, the more chance we have beating our opponent.
There are 3 big components of acceleration and we are going to give you 3 drills that you can use to target each component.
1. Ball of the foot contact – Wall Drill Progressions
When we are accelerating, we are going to get the most power out of each step when we land with and push into the ground with the front part of our foot (commonly called the ball of the foot). The drill demonstrated below is a great drill to learn that.
One of the focuses of this drill is to have a quick swap of the legs, causing you to push hard into the ground with the ball of your foot.
2. Body position – Lean/Fall Start
This drill may seem silly based on the video but it has a meaningful purpose. The idea of this drill is to let your body fall until you get to the point where you need to put your leg out to stop yourself.
This is your acceleration body position. Body leaning forward but not too far forward. Now the next time you do this drill, instead of putting your foot out to just stop yourself, you push hard into the ground.
3. Pushing hard with each step – Sled Run (or resistance run)
This one does require some equipment but can be a valuable tool to get that edge in the first few steps. If you look at the video below you will see all 3 of the components we have talked about but we are going to just focus on one.
When sprint training, if you are drag a weight or getting pulled from behind be a band/harness, simple logic would dictate that you need to push harder with each step to move the same distance as normal. That is the goal of this drill, we want to be pushing into the ground with maximal effort, so that when we try to run without the sled it feels even easier.
If we now combine these 3 drills into a sprint training program we are going to see some big changes in our ability to get that super-fast burst off the line and get a head start on the competition.
If you want to improve your acceleration, join the ACE Performance tribe now!