What is it?
An athlete’s ability to accelerate is summed up by their ability to “push”. Objects do not speed up, slow down, or change direction unless they are acted upon in some way. Newton’s Second Law sums up this idea when it states that, “The acceleration of an object results from the application of a force. The acceleration (a) of an object with mass (m) produced by a given force (F) may be calculated using the equation F = ma. A larger force produces a greater acceleration; a larger mass results in a slower acceleration given the same force.”
Why is it best?
Newton’s third law states that, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” So, if an athlete wishes to accelerate, he needs to apply force in the opposite direction he is heading. The goal of maximizing acceleration is to have your foot make contact with the ground while moving in a backward or opposite direction you are accelerating.