What is forward acceleration and how do I use it?

Forward acceleration is an athlete’s change in speed in a straight, horizontal direction (i.e. from one end of the pool to the other. It looks at how much an athlete’s speed changed down the pool in that specific window of time.

Positive acceleration, or data points above 0, means the athlete is speeding up. Negative acceleration, or data points below 0, means the athlete is slowing down.

Acceleration graph

The goal is to maximize peaks above 0 and the duration in which the athlete is at a positive acceleration. And at the same time, minimize troughs below 0 and the duration in which the athlete is at a negative acceleration.

Drag creates negative acceleration, so it’s possible to see negative acceleration for an athlete pushing forward, but not quite overcoming drag. It is also not uncommon for faster swimmers to see bigger troughs than slower swimmers because the faster they go, the more drag they’ll see.

To see forward acceleration data on the graph

  • Set the toggle to Acceleration data
  • Click the gear icon on the top right of the page and select Forward
Acceleration graph toggles

To see stats for forward acceleration, create or select a clip stat. Learn more about creating clip stats here.