This article is what hopes to be part one of a two part series on the topic of acceleration. Part one will discuss testing methods for evaluating an athletes acceleration and if your training methods are getting the desired results. After reading the material I hope that its presents some material that will help your athletes and stir up interest and thoughts on how you approach training speed for your teams and athletes. Any feedback, thoughts and or suggestions are welcome.
DEFINITION OF ACCELERATION:
- is the rate at which the velocity of an object changes over time
Acceleration is a key component when developing speed required to be successful in sports. This is not about how to improve linear speed such as a 100 meter sprinter or the technique that is used when starting a 40 yard sprint for time. Both of these are specific to the event being run and may have little carryover on the court or field. Many studies and discussions have taken place that reveal that establish 30-60 meters and or 4-5 seconds as the time and distance needed to reach top speeds when sprinting. So when training for acceleration, distances and times spent need to spend a large amount of time working in the 5-15 yard distance and 1-2 second parameters.
As with any physical trait you are training for and developing, you want to have a tool to evaluate the players technique, performance and as a tool to see if your methods are working. We purchased a $2,000 electronic device so that we could be accurate, reliable and objective in timing. Another reason for using this device was to time 10 yard splits when running the 40 yard dash. We had mixed results as far as how well and easy the machine was to work. In hindsight I would recommend purchasing the $4.99 coacheseye app. It is much more user friendly and allows you to coach technique. Some of the still shots below help show how you can look at an athletes angles, distance of steps and technique. You can also purchase a timing device that can enable you to time splits at 5,10... yards. In theory you could time 10 yard sprints with the ipad and coacheseye app and not even need a stopwatch or method of writing down results during testing.
COACHES EYE - 1ST STEP
COACHES EYE - 2ND STEP
COACHES EYE - AT 5 YARDS
COACHES EYE - AT 10 YARDS
2 GREAT RESOURCES ON ACCELERATION:
Michael Boyle does an excellent job in one of his chapters describing the act of pushing to accelerate, great read overall - but really loved the part on acceleration
All of Defrancos material is great, this one is full of easy to understand and implement concepts in regards to acceleration
DRILLS TO HELP DEVELOP ACCELERATION:
ACCELERATION WITH NO EQUIPMENT:
ACCELERATION WITH MEDICINE BALLS
ACCELERATION - PLYOMETRIC COMBINATIONS