What differentiated the faster sprinters from the slower ones?
- First, more steps led to faster sprints. And a tiny difference went a long way. Just an extra quarter step over the 2.5-meters differentiated the fastest sprinters. I’m reminded of a coach who once told me, “You can’t move forward with your feet in the air.”
- Next, shorter step length led to faster sprints. This makes sense when paired with the first tip - more steps. For any given distance, adding more steps means each step will be shorter.
- Torso angle was the next predictor of sprint success. Leaning forward just two degrees extra made the difference between the slowest and fastest sprints.
- Finally, the actual first step of the sprint was critical. Athletes who showed less knee lift in the first step turned in faster sprints. Less knee lift means a faster step, which means more steps.
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