Now that the combine season has begun, I have random dudes showing up at the track asking for advice and I give simple coaches adages that others shared with me. Here are a few tips for general acceleration.
Tip 1- Don’t Disturb the Passengers! When a plane takes off the process is gradual and smooth. John Smith is simply a poet with words when he communicates with athletes and we need to get away from fascial chains and neuromatrix talk and focus on better word choices.
Tip 2- Hips high to fly, hips low is slow. The 3 point start is different than a track start, but remember that indoor track is a 100 years old and sprinters found out what ways to start on wood without blocks. Crowding the line to get close is foolish because it’s about how fast you run 40 yards, not fighting for 6 inches when it ruins the acceleration pattern of all 40 yards. The 40 is about deep acceleration, not about trying to take .02 the first step but and ruining the next 39 yards. Making the hips higher tends to keep the departure angles more aggressive.
Tip 3- Don’t Count Steps. Time and video instead. Counting steps for speed is like counting heart beats to estimate distance traveled in soccer. Time the 10s to see what feelings are matching with the times executed so athletes can feel what is fast. What you share to athletes is beyond a blog post but it’s better to reduce the information. To what is essential. 100m dash athletes need to be students of the sport, combine guys just need to pass the quiz.
Tip 4-Video each sprint so you know what the biggest time leak is and the most common error is. Remember getting into the right position in the three point start doesn’t require athleticism, it requires discipline and consistency. After a few sessions start looking at the biggest time leaks and what basic changes from ignorance (not habit) can be changed quickly. Fix what athletes do wrong with intent first, as motor skills take a long time to change. Some athletes try to do the wrong thing and they just need to be guided to do the right thing such as swinging their shoulders and hands back versus lifting their hands up.