Why are some athletes faster than others? And how do we make athletes faster? In their new book Dan Cleather and Jon Goodwin argue that the answer begins and ends with a consideration of force production. Both of them join this week’s podcast to discuss key drivers in sprint performance, what factors are modifiable, and how we often get distracted from what really matters.
Jon Goodwin and Dan Cleather are co-authors of the book The Biomechanics of Sprinting: Force 2. Goodwin is currently the director of performance services for the Saudi Olympic Training Centre and previously worked at Fulham FC in the English Premier League and St. Mary’s University. Cleather is a professor and course lead of the Masters in strength and conditioning program at St. Mary’s University and previously worked at the English Institute of Sport.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- The GAINcast is sponsored by GAIN. We are also sponsored by HMMR Media. Join HMMR Media to get access to a vast library of online training resources, video, articles, podcasts, and more.
- You can follow them both on Twitter: Cleather (@dr_jump_uk) and Goodwin (@Jonnie_Mechanic). Their latest book is The Biomechanics of Sprinting: Force 2. Cleather has also written Force: The biomechanics of training and The Little Black Book of Training Wisdom.
- Here’s a full overview of all the sprinting resources on HMMR Media.
- On GAINcast 89 Professor Peter Weyand discussed the difference makers in speed and his lab’s research. Former lab member Ken Clark was also a guest on GAINcast 21 talking about linear speed, and HMMR Podcast 94 talking about multi-directional speed. Recent graduate Emily McClelland was also on GAINcast 262.
- On the topic on evaluating science, Peter Weyand also contributed a lecture on the topic in the HMMR Classroom. Vern has also shared some tips you can use to define your filter. This was also a topic we discussed on GAINcast 74. And Craig Pickering provided a great introduction to sports science in a series of articles for the site on understanding science for coaches, what makes for good research, critical elements for effective sports science, and becoming an better consumer of sports science. For more from Pickering browse the Sports Science Monthly where he breaks down the latest research in terms coaches can use.
Key quotes and topics
- 0:00 – Introduction.
- 2:45 – Goodwin and Cleather’s backgrounds
- 7:00 – Understanding force and Newtonian mechanics: “We have these words that we use in everyday life and we assume that meaning is the same as what’s spit out by a device that says here’s the force. And the problem is that the calculations aren’t the same as what we think these words are.”
- 9:30 – Kinematics vs. kinetics: “The kinematics is how the movement looks and kinetics is what’s causing changes in how that movement looks . . . What we need to do is work on the forces, but we can’t see those.”
- 12:30 – Misunderstanding how to run faster: “Helping an individual running faster within their current capability is a totally different thing to enabling them to run faster.”
- 15:30 – Air time.
- 19:45 – Contact length: “We tend to put more importance into the things that we can measure. And my then coaching interpretation of that is like you can only coach what you can see. And those aren’t necessarily the things that are most interesting.”
- 25:00 – Rhythm in sport: “In the S&C environment coaches generally don’t like you doing things that aren’t clearly developing something obviously relating to force.”
- 31:00 – Force-velocity profiling.
- 36:30 – Fighting misinformation.
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