Monday, January 18, 2016

The 3 Factors of Speed

Hello Everyone!

Speed is science. Speed is also a skill.
And like any skill, speed can be learned and improved, especially when you understand the science.

There are 3 main factors to speed:

  1. Force Production
  2. Ground Contact Time
  3. Direction of Force

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Force Production
Force Production is why strength training is so important for athletes wanting to get faster. The stronger you are the more force you can create! This is also why male athletes will, on average, be faster than female athletes, because males can develop more strength thanks to having more testosterone. 

Ground Contact Time
Ground Contact Time is the duration of time that your foot is on the ground from the moment it hits the ground to the moment it leaves the ground. The shorter you ground contact time the more spring and energy you get out of the ground and into your movement. The longer your foot is on the ground the more energy you lose into the ground and less energy gets reciprocated back into your body. Think of wanting your feet to be like bouncy balls hitting the ground, not beach balls.

Direction of Force
Direction of Force is the direction you apply your force. It is crucial to understand Newton's Third Law, for every action there is an equal and OPPOSITE reaction. So if you want to run forward you have to attack your force behind you! Improving the efficiency of your force's angles and direction will improve your speed.

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Great athletes train to improve all 3 factors as they know that it is this science of speed that allows them to improve their skill of speed. Make sure your training is addressing all 3 Factor of Speed!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Kephart 

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