Long to Short for team sport athletes?

Can a long to short program be implimented (ectomorph built athletes) for team sport athletes, eventhough they are involved in short acceleration sports?
I have athletes who are very poor off the start (taller leaner) but come on well at the end of the 40 or 60. Very little improvement in short work, however, good improvement in finish.

I guess you first need to decide how far they are going to run for in thier game. 60m in soccer or rugby is absolutely miles! When i think long to short i think special endurance… does that apply to thier sport?

Have you tried lots and lots of medball?

Yes, we use medi balls for 3-extension and mediball hops/acceleration, along with explosive medi ball throws.

Maybe a better question to ask would be why do you use a long to short program in sprint training, and would the reason, and not the distance of the runs, be the important factor?

These athletes are young 14-16 and not as developed as shorter thiker athletes. I am not sure of the value of running 10’s and 20’s at this stage for these athletes? They do not have the qualities neccessary to show much improvement at this stage.

In that age group the best improvements in starting speed I’ve seen have come from hill sprints.


They are pretty young, so dont specialize to quiclky - in other word longer sprints 60-80m can also be done…
Dont forget hills as stated by seanjos, and maybe the most important flys and EFE and FEF (E-easy, F-fast) for developing relaxation and running form and ability to accelerate when allready running fast (rhythm change). Also do some starts from various positions (lying, falling, side) and from varoious drills (skiping - start, ankilng - start, lateral hops - start, agility leadder - start)! Teach many movements and ability to “feel” the difference and smooth transition between them!

Umm tricky situation. Although I don’t work with atheltes this young I can understand where you are coming from. I don’t have any answers but i have a few ideas…

How about ins and outs (20m easy, 20m fast, 20m easy)? Is it that they have problem achieving the angles required because of strength? In which case perhaps working on acceleration but not from a standing start might be an option (hence ins and outs)? Have you tried “reaction” drills such as lying on the floor and when you clap jumping up and running to marker? These games are fun and they teach acceleration indirectly.