Coordination, teamwork, hard work, a consistent ethical stance and of course speed. All these things are what the top sport stars in the world have and that’s just naming a few. However in some sports more than others, speed is absolutely vital. For a number of reasons, just being quicker than your opponent in certain ways will give you that yearning victory. From the outside looking in, it might not even look like you’re working particularly hard. However, to be consistently fast takes a lot of help and a lot of training. Stars are often proved on the pitch, court or track. But most will argue that true champions are born in training. Making sure they are extremely quick in whatever motion and action that is relevant to their sport. The best of the best will always be literally, one step ahead of their rivals. Speed is everything in some sports, but where is this most prominent of all?
The art of the ace
In tennis, we are wowed by amazing rallys. Players that seem to make impossible shot after impossible shot, bending, flexing and running to carry the point on and win, bring us to the edges of our seats. Players like Novak Djokovic are known to be one of those players that will more than likely return your surprise drop shot. However a player like John Isner is know to be an ace king. He can hit the ball the fastest in any tournament, consistently, and give his opponent no chance of returning his serve. This means that whenever he is serving the set, he’s more likely to get four straight points in a row. Most of all, he crucially won’t expend as much energy in doing so.
Triple digit heat
In baseball, the mother of all pitches is the fastball. The curveball may have it’s charm. The slicer may be elegant. The submarine pitch may be awkward. But, the fastball is straight and true. You’ll hear many announcers calling this pitch ‘heat’. All that’s needed to beat a batter is raw speed. This is why pitchers who have this pitch in their arsenal, will often use a radar gun to measure what their peak throwing speed is. They will then use it to work out how long they can throw at this speed during a game. Below a certain speed, the reaction time for the average pro league batter begins to work in their favor. Therefore the pitcher need to keep the ball moving above a certain speed in order for his success rate to remain consistently high.
Higher cruising speed
In the world of speed skating, maintaining a higher cruising speed will allow you to slowly open up a gap between your opponent. This is true no matter what kind of distance the event is held in. Therefore sporting figures will often push their lactic max boundaries over and over so that their bodies can cope with a higher cruising speed throughout their performances. If you are quicker for longer, you just can’t be caught.
Speed is king in many areas of life. We see this in the animal kingdom from the cheetah and the peregrine falcon. However it’s also true in many sports, particularly tennis and baseball.