Relationship of Start Speed, Acceleration & Speed Performance in Soccer

Start speed, acceleration, and speed performance are critical factors affecting directly football player’s performance.

The aim of our study was to examine the relationship among these three abilities. 79 football players voluntarily participated in the study (height: 177,96 ± 5,4cm; weight 73,72 ± 7,85kg; training age: 10,59 ± 2,94 years; age: 21,90 ± 2,66 years).

Participant’s tests have been taken on non-consecutive days in RT (visual reaction test, Lafayette, Moart Reaction and Movement), Speed (Total 15m; Fusion Sport, Smart Speed), Start speed (0-5m; Fusion Sport, Smart Speed), and acceleration (5-15m; Fusion Sport, Smart Speed).

The first 5m is the start speed, 5-15m is the acceleration phase and the total 15m is speed.

What the Results Showed

A significant correlation has been found between star speed and speed (p<0,01); training age and start speed (p<0,05); height and last 5m performance.

Otherwise, an adverse correlation has been found between the second 5m and last 5m performances (p<0,01). There is no significant correlation between reaction time and 15m speed performance (p>0,05).

There is a significant correlation between acceleration and 15m speed (p<0,05), and between second 5m (p<0,01) and third 5m performances.

Sprint Diagram


The football players who have good rates of start speed times have good speed performance due to their physical capabilities. The rate of ground reaction forces is the most important factor that affects acceleration. Hence it’s recommended that activities including Olympic weightlifting be performed to increase the rate of ground reaction forces.

Salah running with the ball

Practical Application

  • In conclusion, the ability of start speed, acceleration and speed are affected by various factors.


  • To gain the capabilities of the athletes, exercises that require vertical force production such as, Olympic weightlifting and essential movement pattern including exercises squat, deadlift, improving ankle ROM and plyometric exercises.


  • These exercises that shorten the time of stretch-shortening cycle, should be added to soccer specific training programs to increase the physical profile of players.

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