Archive for “acceleration mechanics” 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

Incorporating Acceleration Training for Athletes into Every Workout

Simple Warm-Up Provides Acceleration Training for Athletes

Developing proper acceleration mechanics in young athletes is essential to improving their performance. So acceleration training for athletes is important to train whenever possible. This skill should be considered no less important than learning a proper squat, jumping and landing technique, and multi-directional movement skills.

The High School Strength and Conditioning Specialist (HSSCS) typically has limited time to spend with the athletes under his or her charge. Therefore, they must take advantage of every opportunity to coach this skill.

Many times, acceleration training for athletes is neglected by placing too much emphasis on peak speed and high-speed mechanics. While being able to hit and maintain high top-end speed can be a positive quality for an athlete, very rarely does an athlete hit and maintain top-end speed during play.

As a result, being able to accelerate properly (often out of a change of direction) can be much more beneficial to the athlete’s performance.

One of the most effective ways to incorporate acceleration training for athletes into programming is to build it into the warm-up. Here is an example of how to incorporate acceleration mechanics into the warm-up:

1. Movement Prep

Cradle walks and other movement prep is crucial for incorporating acceleration training for athletes5-10 yards of the following:

– Stiff legged leg march
– Single leg walking dead lift
– Leg cradle
– Walking quadriceps stretch
– Elbow to instep
– Backward lunge to twist
– Knee hug to a lunge

2. Linear Progressions

Measure out 40 yards with a cone at the 10, 20, 30, and 40-yard marks. If space is limited you can shorten the distance or use a gymnasium. The only consistency needs to be 4 equal-distance phases. Perform the following:

– Linear march 0-10 yard mark
– Linear skips (A-Skips) 10-20 yard mark
– High knee trot 20-30 yard mark
– Accelerate through the 40

3. Linear Buildups

Acceleration training for athletes can take place outdoorsMeasure out 40 yards with a cone at the 10, 20, 30 and 40-yard mark. Perform the following:

– High knee trot 0-10 yard mark
– Accelerate “1st gear” 10-20 yard mark
– Accelerate “2nd gear” 20-30 yard mark
– Accelerate “full speed” through the 40

The amount of time spent on this will be determined by how much time is available in the workout. If time is limited, the athlete should perform only a single set of progressions and build-ups. Often, if acceleration is the focus of the workout or if more time is needed working on the skill, it is typical to perform four sets of each.

With proper setup and instruction, the warm-up can be narrowed to 10-15 minutes from onset. After this, the athlete may transition into a strength workout or continue into more linear training like resisted starts, sled sprints, or wall drills.

To get the most out of this warm-up, we suggest teaching it to the sports coaches and explaining to them the benefits of this warm-up prior to practice. You can also incorporate some of these drills into a full pre-game warm-up and add in some multi-directional specific warm-ups.

Like most skills, acceleration training for athletes requires repetition to build proficiency. With practice and in combination with an appropriate strength program, any athlete can learn to improve their acceleration, and the entire team will enjoy improved performance!

Josh Ortegon


About the Author: Josh Ortegon

Josh Ortegon - 5 Tips to a Healthy Football SeasonJoshua Ortegon is co-founder and the Director of Sports Performance Enhancement at Athlete’s Arena in Irmo, SC. Joshua earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Western Michigan University in 2000.

As an IYCA-certified High School Strength and Conditioning Specialist, speaker, and writer, Joshua has helped establish Athlete’s Arena as the premier high-performance center in South Carolina since 2005.

Joshua has worked with a wide range of athletes from youth to professionals specializing in the areas of injury prevention, return to play and performance enhancement.


Want to Develop Speed and Agility in Your Athletes?

If you want to develop speed in your young athletes there is no better resource than the 15 Free Agility Drills. Learn Jim Kielbaso’s secrets to improving your athlete’s coordination, balance and speed.

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