Deceleration is getting an object to slow down from it’s speed. Cars do it when they approach a stop sign or red light. Athletic balls also decelerate when they lose momentum. Human Beings do it, but with humans they need to do it correctly or they will hurt themselves or cause an injury to themselves or someone else. Most knee injuries occur during the deceleration phase of the movement.
So the question I pose to most trainers, coaches, and athletes is why do we not take time to learn how to decelerate the body correctly? We learn how to accelerate; work top end speed, explosion, power, quickness and much more but very few programs are designed with deceleration in mind.
This is the final video in the deceleration series. It focuses on coming to a stop from a sprint. When teaching this final phase to athletes or teams this is where you will see if the athlete truly understands how to get the hips low and if they progressed through each phase. If they do this correctly they should be able to come to a full stop, breaking down and not have any extra movement.
Just for you to understand how important deceleration is to me I usually spend over half of my training sessions on deceleration. Why? Because not only can it help prevent against injuries but it also sets the body up for the next phase of movement. Whether it is a sprint, backpedal, side shuffle or even a 45 degree sprint. Learn how to perform this correctly and you will see major improvements in your athletic performance.
As I continue to hear about the number of ACL tears in the NFL this preseason. I can only think that some of it has to do with deceleration training or lack there of it. Not enough emphasis is being placed on it and that needs to change or as athletes continue to get more explosive, powerful, and bigger knee injuries will become all to common.