What Makes Walcott So Fast?

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desire10
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What Makes Walcott So Fast?

Post by desire10 » 08 Apr 2011, 08:02

If you were t just look at him, not knowing who he is, or what he's capable of, you wouldn't think of him as arguably the fastest (popular) player in football. I'm talking about off-the ball, sprinting pace, he is just so quick! I mean sure, his legs would be strong, but nothing superior to other players. He's physique isn't even comparable to an Olympic sprinter. Is it all just genetics for him? Is he gifted with an insanely effective stride? Flexibility? What is is for gods sake?

Something I've noticed with footballers, is that the fastest players are fairly small, muscular and height wise. None of them are as tall, or buff' as a top sprinter like Usain Bolt.
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nick117
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Post by nick117 » 08 Apr 2011, 15:59

genetics leg strength lots of different explosive power training. Theres a lot of different things. As you mentioned none of them are like usian which is why he has a full second on most of them.

klc123
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Post by klc123 » 08 Apr 2011, 16:15

Well the Brazilian Ronaldo supposedly could run a 100m in 10.50 at his peak, which is unbelievably phenomenal, and he is 6 foot tall, with legs as thick as tree trunks.

An interesting read from Fourfourtwo was that Cristiano Ronaldo is the fastest "top" player in the world on and off the ball, when using game tape analyse and 100m timings. He is much more comparable to the physique of Bolt as well. I can't remember what issue number it was, but it stated that in the 2008-2009 season, Ronaldo was the fastest player, Ablongahor(however you spell it) was second fastest, Walcott third, and interestingly Rooney 4th. So the two fastest were what you might consider a traditional sprinter build, were as Walcott and Rooney are more short.

The main point the article raised was that, Walcott looks like the fastest player in the world, because he is short. When he is running, his shorter stride length means he must take many more strides to be running the same speed as a taller player. The other point was Ronaldo and Abonlahor don't necessarily look like they are burning the pitch, but their stride length and power is so great that they are covering ridiculous distances in only a short amount of strides.

Basically, the taller you are, the more naturally inclined you are to have a slower stride rate, but a greater stride distance, and the opposite is true for shorter players. In theory, a medium sized person of around 5'8-6'0 would be the faster sprinter build, because they would have the perfect formulae for stride length and frequency as their natural running style. Coincidently the likes of Rooney, david villa, fat Ronaldo, Cruyff, and Pele all fall into that height bracket.

Also there is the fact that when a player becomes too tall (6'0) + they begin to have a reduced acceleration ability. This probably explains why some of the names listed above were/are such great dribblers, and why players like Messi and Maradona who are considered short were still such brilliant dribblers, even if they probably wouldn't win 100m races against their team mates.

IMO Acceleration is worth a lot more in football, and it makes a much bigger difference to how good you are. There is no point in running 100m's a second faster than everyone else on the pitch if you only get 1 or 2 times in a game that you run long enough to reach that speed.

nick117
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Post by nick117 » 08 Apr 2011, 16:43

KLC has another point that should be re stated. the 100m is pointless in football it's very rare your going to be running from one touchline to another. Most coaches i know around me pay far more attention to the 40 yard dash than anything else.

p793
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Post by p793 » 08 Apr 2011, 16:49

Yeah what KLC said. Walcott is very fast, but because of how fast his legs move it looks as though he is faster than he is.

panchester07
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Post by panchester07 » 08 Apr 2011, 17:09

I don't know how Rooney can be faster than Shaun Wright Phillips, Kun Aguero, Lennon, Ashley Young, and half of the other profesionalls but lets leave it like that..

I would say Theo is probably flexible as fu**, trains his speed very hard, does plyometrics, and I don't know probably was born pretty fast and ate all his frosted flakes while groing up...

You can train your speed and get pretty fast, but nothing will beat your ball skills, experience and intelligence..

Look at iniesta, you can dominate football no matter your speed the ball is round and if you have the pause, the ball control, the touch and are as familiar with the ball as some pro's are, u can do anything..... That being said its good to have some speed it is a plus
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klc123
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Post by klc123 » 09 Apr 2011, 19:41

I forgot to mention that study was only looking at the EPL, so Kun may be faster than Rooney, but I doubt it to be honest. Again it is one of those deceiving effects of his running style, as he takes pretty large strides for a man of his height.

40 yard dash is important in American Football, and in "soccer", but in "soccer" the most important distance time would be your 20 metres. When you look at professional games, it is a players change of pace over 20 metres that makes the difference between scoring a one on one and getting munched by a defender.

Luckily, your acceleration can me improved greatly by technique. In terms of running technique, a 100m dash demonstrates all of the technique you need to accelerate quickly and to have a large top speed. I would recommend therefore to start researching on sprinting forums about specific technique tips and pointers.

Some of the main points for Acceleration are to:
-Lean forward, you're entire body, not just from the hips up.

-Take shorter strides at an increased frequency.

-Although during acceleration your foot contact times will be at their greatest, you should always be thinking of running on hot coals. Very sort ground contact times insure that you are efficiently striding and maximising your stride frequency. This is a sprinting technique that can make massive differences to your 100m time and speed in general.

-Yes you should be driving your knees forwards, but the main point of driving your legs forwards is actually so that you can drive your feet backwards at a greater velocity and therefore accelerate much faster.

-A mistake many people make in sprinting/running in general, is having their foot travelling forwards or stationary at the time of impact. This is the same as driving a car with the brakes partially on. You want to be contacting the ground below your centre of gravity, or slightly behind if you're accelerating, and your foot should be moving backwards at the point of contact.

Zlatan5
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Post by Zlatan5 » 09 Apr 2011, 21:05

klc123 wrote:I forgot to mention that study was only looking at the EPL, so Kun may be faster than Rooney, but I doubt it to be honest. Again it is one of those deceiving effects of his running style, as he takes pretty large strides for a man of his height.

40 yard dash is important in American Football, and in "soccer", but in "soccer" the most important distance time would be your 20 metres. When you look at professional games, it is a players change of pace over 20 metres that makes the difference between scoring a one on one and getting munched by a defender.

Luckily, your acceleration can me improved greatly by technique. In terms of running technique, a 100m dash demonstrates all of the technique you need to accelerate quickly and to have a large top speed. I would recommend therefore to start researching on sprinting forums about specific technique tips and pointers.

Some of the main points for Acceleration are to:
-Lean forward, you're entire body, not just from the hips up.

-Take shorter strides at an increased frequency.

-Although during acceleration your foot contact times will be at their greatest, you should always be thinking of running on hot coals. Very sort ground contact times insure that you are efficiently striding and maximising your stride frequency. This is a sprinting technique that can make massive differences to your 100m time and speed in general.

-Yes you should be driving your knees forwards, but the main point of driving your legs forwards is actually so that you can drive your feet backwards at a greater velocity and therefore accelerate much faster.

-A mistake many people make in sprinting/running in general, is having their foot travelling forwards or stationary at the time of impact. This is the same as driving a car with the brakes partially on. You want to be contacting the ground below your centre of gravity, or slightly behind if you're accelerating, and your foot should be moving backwards at the point of contact.
You may also want to add KLC, that once you are about to reach your peak speed, you want to lift your upper body up. Watch sprinters, they start off leaning forward as they accelerate, but once they hit their cruising speed, they will return to a straighter posture.

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Post by ajc » 10 Apr 2011, 00:37

klc123 wrote:40 yard dash is important in American Football, and in "soccer", but in "soccer" the most important distance time would be your 20 metres. When you look at professional games, it is a players change of pace over 20 metres that makes the difference between scoring a one on one and getting munched by a defender.
A couple years ago my team played in a nike sponsored tournament and there was one day designated for nike to do different physical tests for the players on each of the teams so that the results could be printed off and given to scouts at the tourney. For the sprint test nike chose 30 meters as the most telling distance in how much it applies to soccer... but the important point is that you are right and your time on a 100 yard dash is far less important in a game situation than your ability to accelerate over 20-30 meters.
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panchester07
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Post by panchester07 » 10 Apr 2011, 00:51

I ran track and field 2 years and inspite of me running long distances, I saw the trainer tell the sprinters, to run 10 steps with their head down, and then stand tall when they have fully accelerated ..
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