The other day, while catching up on some late-night TV, in the midst of all the terrible commercials, one caught my attention. It was an ad for a 2013 luxury car. The car was swerving in and out of sharp turns at high speeds while never skipping a beat in terms of performance. Throughout the 30 second spot, while the voice over was boasting about all of the new features the car had and how it’s better than every other car in it’s class, I remembered one line.
The ultimate expression of power is control.
If you think about it, this not only applies to cars, but athletes as well. What’s so great about a sprinter that can Power Clean 130kg when it doesn’t translate to fast times on the track?
Not much. The only upside to that athlete may be that they have a ton potential to improve the aspect of control. In the case of a sprinter, control can be considered proper sprint mechanics.
Proper sprint mechanics are one of the major determinants of race outcome – Who has the most control over their body and can apply great forces in the appropriate directions over the course of a given distance. Speed and power athletes do need high strength and power values, but if you don’t possess the coordination and control that is needed, those values don’t have a chance to shine.