Sprint running is a key factor of performance in many sports activities, not only to reach the highest top velocity but also, and most importantly in team sports, to cover a given distance in the shortest time or, to put it another way, to reach the ball before the opponent. The acceleration depends on the athletes’ ability to generate high levels of force, apply it with effectiveness onto the ground and so develop high speeds. Force and velocity are therefore considered the underpinning features of mechanical power output in sport movements.
The ability to produce high speeds depends on the athlete’s skill level. The figure 1 below shows the time course of the speed of two subjects: the yellow one is a professional sprinter and the red one is a football player. It is possible to observe the ability of the sprinter to obtain higher accelerations (i.e. the slope of the ...
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