I am not talking about the UConn women’s basketball that just won their 100th straight game or the New England Patriots. I am talking about two of the greatest athletes ever! Who are they? You know them because you compete with them all day everyday. One is invisible but beats you every time. The other is always underfoot, but because it is so familiar we fail to recognize it. I am talking about gravity and the ground.
In sporting and everyday movement they dictate everything we do. At best we can learn to cheat gravity. We learn to manage its effects to jump higher, run faster or throw faster or farther but eventually it wins. It is gravity that tears ACLs and pulls hamstrings, but as great an athlete as gravity is it needs help. That help comes from the ground. The ground comes in many permutations, grass real and artificial, sand, finely tuned tracks, roads or rough trails but it is always there. Our movement is dependent on the how we negotiate the ground; actually it depends on how well we apply force into the ground to propel us in the intended direction. To get to the essence of training it is essentially to learn how to use and cheat gravity and to apply optimum force to the ground to propel you in the desired direction. It is all very simple in concept but actually quite complicated in application.