speed development

Success in many sports can frequently be expressed in one word: speed! Do you have it? Can you get it? The answer is yes. Speed is a skill and everyone can get faster. It’s how you train! 

By Gary Nelson, Owner/President of Acceleration Indiana



Speed and the ability to create separation from your opponent are what separate top athletes from the rest of the pack. Speed in sport skills such as throwing, hitting, kicking, and shooting give the athlete an “unfair” advantage in many game situations. We know from research in exercise physiology that everyone can get faster with proper training. We also know genetics are a factor in each athlete’s potential. However, if you have the desire to get better and are willing to make a strong commitment to work hard at improvement, you can make major gains in your athletic performance. The foundation of success, multi direction movement skills, speed, power, strength, and conditioning- can all be measured and a program can be designed to address your specific needs for your sport.



Pre Test
Each athlete is tested to measure 40-60+ parameters that define your performance strengths and identify areas that need improvement

Individual Training Programs
Based on twenty plus years of research in athletic performance; the use of our 2000 proprietary training protocols, our proprietary and patented equipment (only available at acceleration sites), our staff develops a training plan specifically for you

One on One Training
Our professional training staff with BS or MS degrees in Exercise Science/Exercise Physiology and playing/coaching experiences at the youth, high school, and collegiate level and beyond ensure the one on one instruction in technique and proper performance training that yields excellent results, motivation, and instills an increase in the athlete’s confidence

Post Test Results
You don’t know how much you have improved unless you measure. Hence, we measure your performance improvements in the 40-60 metrics used in your pretest including maximum sprint speed in MPH and acceleration time for specific distances.

Maximum Sprint Speed – Female Record: 22 mph

Example of Final Evaluation Report

Female, Age 16, Volleyball Defensive Specialist


Test Pre Test Post Test Change
Vertical Jump 16.0 inches 19.0 inches +3.0 inches
Standing Long Jump 68.5 inches 77.0 inches +8.5 inches
Left Leg Hop 185.5 inches 221.0 inches +35.5 inches
Seated Med Ball Chest Pass 104.0 inches 115.0 inches +11.0 inches
Pro-agility 5.57 seconds 5.14 seconds -0.43 seconds
10 yard dash 1.94 seconds 1.75 seconds -0.19 seconds

Speed Training Elements

Warm Up
All training sessions begin with 15 minutes of active dynamic warm-up to ensure the athlete is ready for training and that the muscle tendon units are adequately warmed up to ensure elasticity to safely handle the range of motion in the exercises they will be experiencing.

Super Treadmill
(max speed capability of 28 MPH and inclines up to a 40% grade). Under the direction of your trainer, athletes perform a series of intense, short duration sprints followed by appropriate recovery time. This training method stresses all three systems (muscles, nervous system, and metabolic system) necessary to develop acceleration, speed, and stamina. The incline sprints increase the load in the propulsive muscles (hip extensor, quadriceps, and calf) to generate more power to the ground, and therefore increasing stride length (speed is defined as stride length times stride frequency). The combination of treadmill speed and percent incline determines the intensity necessary to recruit more of the muscle fibers responsible for acceleration and speed. Research confirms this approach provides 200-300% more recruitment of these muscles compared to level ground workouts. The result, you get faster. Our research based protocols provide a science based progression at each session, controlled by the trainers to ensure appropriate intensity based on the age and condition of the athlete.

Speed Records:
Male – 25.5 MPH
Female – 22.0 MPH

Sprinting/Running Mechanics
Equally important is teaching the athlete correct biomechanics. Sprint and running mechanics is a skill that has to be learned similar to shooting basketballs, kicking soccer balls, throwing baseballs, or shooting hockey pucks. This is accomplished by the athlete running on the treadmill in front of the mirror so they can see their movement mechanics while receiving instruction from the trainer who is also spotting them on the treadmill to ensure safety. Each treadmill session, the trainer provides instruction on form, so the body learns correct movement patterns and through several treadmill sessions the athlete’s body establishes a motorengram of improved mechanics. Commonly referred to as muscle memory, so you don’t have to think about it, your body automatically repeats the now improved movement pattern. The training protocol also provides an appropriate progression of intensity for each treadmill session in the program.

Metabolic Conditioning
This is a crucial component of athletic performance because it determines your ability to maintain your acceleration and speed throughout the game, particularly in the last period of game play. The buildup of lactic acid in the muscle cell results in reduction in the muscles’ speed of contraction, slowing you down. Acceleration training results in major improvement in anaerobic stamina of 40-80% in the time to fatigue and reduction in recovery time up to a factor of two. Result, you beat your opponent to the ball or puck and create separation to be able to make a winning play!

Stride Frequency
This is also a key component of speed development and we provide specific training elements to improve the power of the hip flexor to accelerate the thigh forward for the next stride. We use a combination of special exercises on the treadmill including using our patented sprint cords that allows us to increase the resistance on the hip flexors at various training speeds. Additional components include specific plyometric exercises to target hip flexor power and specific strength exercises on our Pro-Hip machines. Strength exercises include hip flexion, hip extension, hip adduction, and hip abduction to develop all the muscles in the hip girdle to enhance multi-directional movement which is so important in many team sports.

These exercises are important to develop power and quickness in the muscle groups used for multi-direction movement, agility, balance, and body control. First step quickness is important in many sports and is key in sports using small playing surfaces such as volleyball and tennis. Get to the ball quickly, so the athlete can have time to place the ball for maximum benefits. Our plyometric program has multiple levels of intensity so your plyometric pre-test will help us define the appropriate program for your age and sport. Typical results for our athletes are improvements of 20-40% in the number of repetitions completed in timed drills that are performed doing 21 different multi-direction movement patterns. Adequate recovery time is insured by your trainer so that muscle cell stores of ATP and creatine phosphate are replenished for the next training bout, so that proper mechanics/form can be maintained. Each plyometric training program is designed with appropriate increases in intensity and repetition to ensure that muscle cell energy stores are increased by 20-30% for improved performance and stamina on the field or on the court. Hockey players benefit from plyometric training by developing eccentric leg muscle power for quick hockey stops and explosive concentric leg muscle power for quick starts and initial acceleration. All the better to create separation from your opponent and get a competitive advantage.

Multi-Direction Plyometrics:


Agility, Balance, Body Control, and Quickness

Results: Increase in number of repetitions for 21 different movement patterns in a set time period


Ages Avg Percent Improvement
% Improvement in Range of Population
9-10 +27% +12% – 48%
13-14 +31% +20% – 44%
High School +26% +10% – 43%

Explosive Movement
To develop speed, one has to get moving and accelerate. To build speed, explosive first few steps are key to acceleration. Jumping sports (volleyball, basketball, high jump, long jump, soccer goalies) require explosive power for vertical height. Our proprietary Plyo Press provides a tool to develop explosive leg power for both initial starts/acceleration and higher vertical jumps. Athletes train with a special protocol specific to their age, weight, and condition to develop higher leg forces, power, and rate of power development (RPD). We also have the ability (with our 3PQ test equipment) to diagnose the athlete for left to right leg variation and therefore have the data necessary to modify their training program to reduce or eliminate that variation, or increase a specific leg capability depending on your sport/event. For a sprinter, it is very important that RPD to be equal for both legs, or the athlete will be limited in their acceleration and top speed. Plyo Press workouts also increase lower extremity eccentric power to allow the athlete to decelerate more quickly and create separation from their opponent. For athletes that have to make many starts/stops and direction changes, they will see significant improvements in game speed agility. Think hockey, soccer, volleyball, tennis, and others.

Plyo Press & 3PQ Results 

Example: 15 year old, 194 lb., Football Player, returning to play from left leg injury


Leg Power

Rate of Power Development (RPD)

Right Leg

1644 Watts

5000 Watts/sec

Left Leg

1389 Watts

2800 Watts/sec

Left vs Right

-15% Deficit

-44% Deficit


Post Test (after 8 week training program)



RPD (average)


Right Leg



12,000 W/sec


Left Leg



11,000 W/sec


Left vs Right

Essentially Equal

-8% Deficit

Conclusion: Training Protocol increased lower extremity Power and RPD for both legs and effectively eliminated the left to right leg deficit.


Sport Skill Speed
To improve sport skill speed for throwing, hitting, shooting, kicking, serving forehand, backhanded return, and others we have patented power cords and proprietary training protocols to significantly improve top speed and accuracy. Typical results are:

Sport Skill Performance 

Throwing, Kicking, Shooting, Etc.



Baseball/Softball – Throwing Velocity

+4mph to +8mph

Soccer Kicking Velocity

+4mph to +10mph

Lacrosse Shooting Velocity

+3mph to +12mph

Hockey Shooting Velocity

+4mph to +12mph

Basketball Shooting Accuracy

+12% to +23%

Volleyball Increase in Attack Height

+2” to +8”

Tennis Forehand & Backhand Return Velocity

+4mph to +10mph


Acceleration training provides today’s athletes with the tools to measure and assess their strengths and weakness and apply a training program tailored to their individual needs (their sport, position, and ability). Results provide increased performance in less time, lower cost, with increased safety for better results on the field, court, ice, or other surfaces and more fun playing your games. So, assess your needs, measure your performance to quantify your needs, then set your goals, and we’ll help you choose an acceleration program that fits your needs and goals. Then train hard, and enjoy the benefits of the unfair advantage = sport speed.