Today I’m discussing the best way you can go about developing acceleration in athletes using three keys to success.

Accleration is that all out burst or the first 10 yard of an actual sprint. Below I’m going to walk you through some of the things I do step by step to actually work on developing better acceleration.


We’re moving or shifting over the force velocity curve focusing more on the veloctity side of things. This is where you should be focusing more on neurological drills that train the nervous system. Think low impact and low complexity but focusing on rapidly flexing and extending the hip.

A few example of good drills for this might be:

  • Piston runs
  • Band piston runs
  • High knee runs

Think about really simply movements, where the athletes can train fast to get fast. This is all about firing up the nervous system. After developing this first phase, you can begin to work on force production.

Force Production

With these drills, you’re actually focusing on pushing back into the ground create a horizontal trajectory in the position you’re going. When the foot makes contact behind the hip, this creates a positive shin angle which drives you forward.

I love working on drills like half kneeling starts where the athlete has to produce force through a full range of motion from a dead stop, with no pre-stretch. It’s also great to work on things like bounds, alternating bounds into sprints where the athlete continues to focus on driving back down into the ground and propelling themselves forward.

  • Half kneeling starts
  • Alternating bounds
  • Alternating bounds sprints

Proper Leg Mechanics

Finally we want to look at the mechanic side of things. This is where you’ll focus on getting the proper trajectory to push yourself horizontally forward. You want to work on the rapid rate and frequency, and then work the actual force by propelling against the ground.

There’s a couple things I like to focus on after we’ve established the speed and force production. Now I can teach an athlete to have proper heel recovery by focusing on stepping over the ankle. In other words, you want to be sure to recover the leg high enough so that it clears the height of your ankle. Maintain a tucked chin and tall spine and the eyes drawn down. From a physics standpoint, these small adjustments will point you in a really good position to apply force back down into the ground.

For more acceleration and leg mechanics drills, check these out:

Developing Acceleration Skills

Each of these phases builds upon each other so you need to get good at each, one at a time. This is how you can seriously begin developing acceleration.


Force Production

Leg Mechanics

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