One of the most effective skills an athlete can learn is how to accelerate effectively.  Learn more about how we view and analyze acceleration in our athletes here.

Acceleration is the process of going from not moving – or moving slowly – to moving fast.  Athletes either go from a complete standstill – such as a baserunner in baseball, or sprinter in track and field – or from a jog or slow run – as in soccer or lacrosse – to running extremely quickly.  Most sports require the ability to accelerate.

Elite athletes can usually get up to about 60% of their maximum velocity within 3 or 4 steps.  Athletes typically take about 6 or 7 steps to reach 10 yards, and within that time, can reach up to 90% of their maximum speed when accelerating effectively.  In our experience, improving acceleration in developing athletes can be one of the most rewarding investments, as it translates to players wide open on the field who then have more time to allow their sports-specific skills to take place.

In order to accelerate effectively, athletes need to orient themselves horizontally – with a forward lean of the torso – and apply force down and backwards against the ground. Sometimes cues like “tear the grass up behind you” or “rip your upper leg bone back into your hip” can help athletes understand the goal – be aggressive about forcefully launching yourself forward, by propelling your legs backward from the hip.

Our acceleration movement achievements – called Jet-Starter LV I – are designed to help athletes start to gain the fundamental abilities that go into accelerating well.  Here are the movement achievements athletes can earn that unlock better acceleration ability on the field and on the track: