Everyone loves speed. This is because usually in competion the person who can get there the fastest stands a better chance. Also in primative life…you didnt want to be the slowest guy being chased by a cheetah. But unfortunately the coaching of speed and the understanding of the physics behind this is poorly missunderstood. Even having working in athletics coaches and athletes still do not understand how to develop speed nor how it is created. Before we get into the missunderstood ideas of coaching lets look at the physics involved.
We can all agree that visually impressive feats on the field such as great changes of direction, blistering pace, and impressive leaps all boil down to basic physics. This is where Sir Isaac Newton comes in to play. Newtons laws of motion are classified by three laws.
1st Law: Inertia: An object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
2nd Law: Acceleration: Acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass (of the object being accelerated) the greater the amount of force needed (to accelerate the object).
3rd Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action.
As you will be able to see these laws play an extremely pivotal role in the outcomes of sports performance. With that in mind your Speed, Strength and Power training program should be put together around these three laws. Ultimately if you improve all of these qualities your time to make decisions and perform actions will increase as you will be a much more efficient and effective athlete. My main interest of this post is the thrid Law ‘3rd Law: For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action’. Now I hear all the time that ‘high knees’ will generate speed. Now this isnt entirely correct nor is it wrong. Considering the Third Law it is important to understand that a higher knee position in max velocty sprinting is a product of ground reaction forces. This is my go to coaching anology;
Coach SP: If you were to drop a bouncy ball how high would it bounce?
Athlete: Errmm… not that high
Coach SP: If you were to accelerate the ball into the ground how high would it bounce?
Athlete: Errrmm….depends how hard you thorw it into the ground?
Coach SP: BINGO!!!!
What we have managed to establish here that the knee position is a resultant effect of the effort of the ground contact.
So what the Golden Rule of Speed…..
So next time your out sprinting or training think about putting foce into the ground instead of lifting your knees. Also if you hear a coach ask for ‘high knees’ you can now drop some physics on their ass…
Want to learn more about speed? Well….this is the perfect time to introduce the ‘Sports Speed’ ebook.
Sports Speed is a full dedicated training program and educational guide as to how to develop sports specific speed and movement qualities. You are not going to want to miss this!!!
Also we currently have a great deal up on the site…you can see my rehabilitation framework for £0.99. Learn what KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS you need to be hitting through your stages of return to play. ALL FOR £0.99.