Speed rules when it comes to most games and while many players are gifted with natural speed, there’s always a way for any player to get faster. If you want to improve your forty-yard dash time you must first improve your acceleration in the 10-yard dash. If you want to improve how fast you get to a ball or get into position to defend during a game, you must improve acceleration.
Early in the decade we learned that in order to get faster you have to apply more force into the ground. The more force applied, the more power output, the more propulsion your body will create. Makes sense! Right?
But, if that force is not increased in the right direction it won’t do you much good. You must be able to increase Horizontal Force in order to increase acceleration speed. Improved acceleration results in improved 10-yard dash time, 40-yard dash time, 60-yard dash time and on it goes.
A study done by JD Morin et al in 2011 concluded, “The direction of the force applied into the ground is more important than the amount of force applied into the ground”. Another study done by Weyland et al in 2014 concluded, “Elite sprinters have over an 80% differential in force orientation when it comes to directional power than the average sprinter.” In order to run faster, you must be able to apply maximal amount of force into the ground in the right direction. Horizontally!!!
If you watch the first few minutes of this video, you will see Asafa Powel, former world record holder in the 100m dash, starting in slow motion. His horizontal push is so strong, his posture and power line is on point that his first step comes down 1.5 meters from the starting line. Most high school athletes are 6-12 inches across the start line in one step. By improving just the start most athletes can take .15 – .20 seconds off of their 40 time.
How do we improve our athletes Horizontal Force Application?
- Use video analysis to breakdown the phases of the start to help our athletes understand where they can improve
- Focus on improving running mechanics (forward body lean, knee drive, shin angles, toes up, ankle stiffness)
- Utilize tools such as super bands and weighted sleds and harnesses to reinforce horizontal force production
- Improve body composition (less body fat = more efficiency = faster athlete)
- Increase core strength (better posture = more leverage = better force production)
- Increase lower body strength (more horsepower = greater force production)
- Increase mobility and flexibility (increase knee drive = longer strides)
There are a many aspects to making an athlete faster, and by focusing on them twice a week, amazing results can be achieved!
In March we’re introducing a new program designed specifically to improve acceleration for all field and court sport athletes and to prepare athletes for combines, prospect camps, coach’s evaluations and tryouts. If you’re interested in getting faster we have the right formula! We stand by our methods with a money back guarantee that we’ll take .15 – .20 seconds off of your forty-yard dash time.
Morin, J.B., P., & Samozino, P. (2011). Technical ability of force application as a determinant factor of sprint performance.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(9), 1680-1688. doi10.1249/MSS.0b013e318216ea37