I couldn’t agree more, Coach D. In fact, to piggyback on what you said, I wanted to mention the different approaches to acceleration from a dead stop that have been debated in the literature.
Think about an outfielder, tennis player, or defensive back that is standing in place, and then has to accelerate forward to catch a fly ball, reach a volley, or crush a wide receiver. What’s the first thing they do? Step BACK! While this movement - known as the false step - seems counterproductive, it’s actually been proven most effective in research settings in terms of optimizing performance.
They’ve reviewed the false step in comparison to the drop-and-go (upper body tilts forward, and there is a pseudo-counter movement “jump” from the legs) and the staggered stance (pre-position the feet in the same position that the false step seeks to establish).
The split stance position proved to be the best in terms of power output and total displacement. Unfortunately, most athletes (with the exception of wide receivers coming off the line, for example) have to accelerate in the heat of competition, so it isn’t feasible to preset the feet in such a position. Moreover, the feet must be in alignment with the direction the athlete wants to travel. As such, the false start is the next-best thing.
Scary to think that a lot of ignorant coaches have tried to rid their athletes of this “useless movement” in the past, huh?
Back to the point: use the reverse lunge to train the false start, and your first step will go through the roof!