The Law of Athleticism
Running fast is the direct result of the athletes stride rate and stride length. Now, the question is how do one maximizes both of these to achieve top–level performances in the sprints, or fastest runs on the court. One cannot have a maximum stride length and stride rate and be their fastest; what is needed is a maximum stride rate with an optimal stride length. Maximal stride rate is how fast one can produce one stride, or about 10 of them in 20 meters. Stride rate is dependent upon a number of factors including, strength and mechanics. In order to produce greater stride rates one must be able to execute the correct stride cycle as fast as possible and with optimal length. Optimal stride length is one that allows the athlete to execute the correct stride pattern in as short a time frame as possible.
On the other hand, ground time is the largest contributor to stride rate. It is known that almost all athletes spend approximately the same amount of time in the air during the sprint stride. The big difference comes in the amount of time spent on the ground. The goal of all sprinters and fast-legged tennis players should be to spend as little time on the ground as possible. In order to achieve this, they need the necessary plyometric strength (explained later) to get them through the correct cycle.
Also, during the short sprints on the court, at each leg joint the musculo-tendinous units absorb force by stretching (eccentric) just before they shorten (concentric) to generate the take–off force.
KeywordsStride Length Tennis Player Strength Exercise Plyometric Training Tennis Racket
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