If you've got an athlete in a sport that requires reacting to something, whether a ball, a start, or another athlete, your athlete knows the value of a quick reaction and good acceleration.
In many sports, coaching/teaching the sport's components is the practice's main concern (weird!).
While this makes total sense, it also means that athletic skills such as reaction and acceleration are qualities that athletes are simply expected to have coming into the sport.
If you have these qualities, you immediately have a leg up on another athlete who doesn't have these qualities.
The problem with this logic is that these athletic qualities are skills that can and should be learned and refined, just like running a play, taking a shot, or defending a goal.
When an athlete takes the time to practice accelerating from different positions and reacting to different stimuli, they tend to get good at those qualities. They then can come into their sport with that "leg up" on other athletes.
So to ensure our athletes have a leg up on other athletes, let's make sure that we practice these often overlooked athletic qualities that aren't all too often touched on in the sport.