Archive for “40 Yard Dash” Tag

Acceleration Mechanics – Jim Kielbaso

Acceleration mechanics are incredibly important to address with athletes who need to improve their speed.  This is a “behind-the-scenes” video of Jim Kielbaso teaching acceleration mechanics to a group of athletes preparing for the NFL Combine.

Jim has done other videos and written articles on acceleration mechanics, but rather than just talking about it, this video shows him actually teaching athletes so you get to see exactly how he explains things.

Some of the main points covered in this video include what Jim calls the Power Position, stride length, body lean, knee drive, head position and an explanation about WHY all of these things will increase an athlete’s speed.

Being able to teach these concepts in a cohesive way is important for any coach responsible for speed and agility training with athletes.  While this video shows how acceleration mechanics are explained to experienced athletes, the same mechanics also need to be addressed with younger athletes using different language and teaching cues.

Of course, you don’t have to use the same exact language and cues in your teaching, but this video will give you plenty of ideas for how you can teach your own athletes about acceleration mechanics.  Take the words and video demonstrations that Jim uses in the video and create your own system of teaching athletes this important concept.

We also encourage you to share this video with other coaches and even use it when teaching athletes.

The IYCA Certified Speed & Agility Specialist course and certification go into depth on acceleration mechanics, top end speed, agility mechanics & drills, programming for speed, and programming for different ages.  It includes 69 videos, several done-for-you programs and a 249-page manual that is the most comprehensive written material on speed development in the industry.

Click on the image below to learn more about the IYCA CSAS

acceleration mechanics from the IYCA

Young Athletes: Are they an Oak or a Squash?



Young Athletes Development

“It takes God a hundred years to make an oak, but it only takes Him two months to make a squash.” –President James Garfield


In our results-now, win at all costs, sports-crazed society, many athletes, coaches, parents, and professionals seem to have lost sight of the goal of sport and physical activity for growing young athletes.  What is currently widely marketed as “athletic development” by individuals across the country is, in many instances, quick-fix training designed to show immediate results.  While results are great, young athletes and their parents and coaches must be certain that such short-term improvements don’t compromise long term outcomes.  The following represents an incomplete list of potential warning signs that may indicate that programming may be too short sighted in nature to be optimally effective.


1.    Heavy emphasis on measureable assessments to demonstrate progress. Developing children will usually improve no matter what type of stimulus is introduced; the key is finding the optimal training approach.  Testing eight year olds in the 40 yard dash or in the vertical leap may be acceptable, but developing an entire training program around such testing is laughable.  Competent professionals are more interested in mechanics and the acquisition of steadily improving motor patterns rather than showing stunning improvements in “measurable” early on.


2.    Short-term programming. Six and eight week programs are popular and certainly have their place in contemporary athletic development facilities; however, the main utility of such programs should be to introduce athletes, parents, and coaches to the long-term athlete development model.  Beware any facility that does not offer long-term training plans, as it is impossible to effectively develop a young athlete with such a myopic approach.