13 hours ago
Want to know a sure-fire way to improve the acceleration of you or your athletes?
confidence in the resilience of the hamstrings is crucial to acceleration performance.
as i've stated before, there's a myriad of activity going on in the hamstring group during sprinting, and this is particularly tricky during acceleration.
the hamstrings eccentrically lengthen during the forward swing of the leg, reach a point of high isometric forces, then return back toward the ground with a blend of ecc./iso./concentric activity depending on which muscle you look at.
the fastest athletes handle this complex set of inter and intramuscular activity, and they do it with confidence and aggression.
ever notice that once an athlete has been injured a few times, their acceleration days either feature slow times or phantom pains that seem to hang around for much longer than the injury itself?
these are signs that the brain has yet to get over the injury, and as such has turned on protective mechanisms to prevent injury. an unfortunate consequence of this is poor acceleration performance and lowered confidence for the athlete, since they feel pain (despite it not necessarily indicative of current physical damage). that fastest sprinters know how to commit, and know how to throw all the power and speed that they have into the ground, even in positions that are fairly precarious for the hamstring group. how can they do this?
they have the physical and mental strength to attack the ground, and the skill to orient this attack properly.
by selecting and applying certain exercises directed at the hamstrings, athletes can become more confident in their ability to apply horizontal forces, and this confidence is extremely important during acceleration.
you must re-train the brain in order to be able to attack the ground with the proper intensity and orientation of force. much of this can be achieved with the proper selection of exercises which develop strength and confidence in the athlete in the specific joint-relative positions where they lack these force application related qualities.