Training for deceleration or the stopping movement in a sport, is a crucial component that needs to be addressed as early as possible in an athletes' career. Athletic movements such as these include: the landing phase of a jump, a linear sprint then sudden stop and then linear sprint again, a quick, stop and start angled or reverse direction run or even checking a swing in baseball requires a quick and powerful "braking" movement.
For this article, I will briefly go over some simple decelerating drills that NEEDS to be implemented at the youth level. Yes, kids eventually have to be taught sprint mechanics and acceleration drills, however, in a game situation, it is more important to learn HOW to stop your movement correctly and THEN transition smoothly into acceleration.
Why? Because if you cannot stop your movement well: 1. Chances are you may be more susceptible to an injury such as an ankle sprain or more severe one like a torn ACL.
2. You are really limiting yourself as a one dimensional athlete. Example: you may FAST but you have NO AGILITY.
As you can see, it can really inhibit your athleticism.
Easy deceleration drills to teach at the youth level or to an older inexperienced athlete is the Drop Jump and the hop and hold. I had mentioned these exercises previously on another page but will go over them again.
For the Drop Jump, have athlete stand on a small box or bench (preferably about 6 inches high) then drop not jump off and land low and soft into your quads (thighs). Make sure feetare together not one forward one back. Knees should not be touching each other. Primarily,you should be in an athletic stance position. Hold for a second or two.
For the hop and hold, the athlete is now standing on one foot and proceeds to hop up and forward. Next land low and soft. Absorb your weight into your thigh and hold for a second or two.
These drills may be performed for 1-2 sets to begin with and work in the 6-8 rep range.
Proceed for approximately a month or until form is perfect.
From there, I will go over braking drills and exercises for linear speed and the same for agility.
These Drills Can Be Performed On A Speed And Agility Ladder
From Deceleration To Agility