How to Teach Kids to Lean When They Accelerate

Help Young Athletes to Learn to Lean During Acceleration

Outlined below are some of my favourite introductory activities that I use when teaching young athletes how to accelerate.

The aim of the sequence of activities is for young athletes to learn the body position and forward lean that is so important to effective acceleration.

A fence, wall or other solid, stable object can be used to support the athlete’s weight.

1. Lean Against Fence

Acceleration lean against fence

  • Try to achieve a straight line from ankles to ears.
  • Arms extended, weight on the hands.
  • Head and eyes in neutral position.
  • Hold and adjust this position as required.

2. Lean Against Fence with Knee Drive

Acceleration Lean With Knee Drive Against Fence

  • Begin in the position described above.
  • Lift one knee up and forward until parallel with the ground. The toes should be “pushed to the top of the shoe” (i.e. dorsiflexed).
  • The support leg should be extended, heel off the ground.
  • Hold this position.
  • Change legs and hold.
  • Repeat.

3. Lean Against Fence With Fast Leg Change

  • Begin in the position described above.
  • On a signal, such as a whistle, quickly switch legs and hold this position. Maintain the forward lean, the neutral head position and the weight on the hands against the fence.
  • Land the foot of the support leg back in the same spot each time. Don’t let the feet creep forward closer to the fence.

4. Lean Against Fence With Fast Leg Change x 3

  • As above, but on a signal, perform three quick leg changes.
  • Lean into the fence with the hands as if trying to push the fence over.
  • Imagine all power is being directed through the top of the head.
  • Don’t let the feet creep forward closer to the fence.

I believe that teaching the above activities assists young athletes to learn a good acceleration position. I find that the skills learnt in the above drills are transferable to performing acceleration activities out on a field or track and therefore serve as an excellent introductory activity.

Acceleration from a standing start

Let me know your thoughts!

What do you think of these drills? Have you used them before? Have they been successful? Do you have any other coaching cues that you use with these activities? Let me know by leaving a reply/comment or by using the below contact details.

Further reading

What Is A 3-Point Start & How Can It Help Young Athletes?

15 Simple Tips You Need to Know for a Standing Sprint Start

20150614_154020-1Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin or via email.

Subscribe for FREE to the Coaching Young Athletes newsletter HERE.

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One thought on “How to Teach Kids to Lean When They Accelerate

  1. […] How to Teach Kids to Lean When They Accelerate […]

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