Sprinting in Football - Lessons to be Learned.

Sprinting in Football - Lessons to be Learned.

‘Young athletes will come to us 12 years of age and they will already be suffering from groin strains, abductor strains and hamstring strains’ says Ranell Hobson, Director of Sport Speed & Agility Australia ‘which once upon a time would just not have occurred’.

'In football we find players run on their toes, however for speed it is all about force application'

'To maximise the amount of force that you can apply into the ground you need to be applying a much large portion of the foot than just the ball of the foot'

‘Kids are not coming through with basic hopping, running, jumping skills that we would think would be automatic’

‘I think early specialisation is killing us, if young athletes were still encouraged to play 3,4 or 5 sports they would have more motor neuron control and they would be more well-rounded as athletes’

Just back from a month long tour of the United Kingdom, Ranell presented talks on sprinting in football at the Youth Academies of Arsenal, Leicester and Crystal Palace.

‘There is a big strong push in the academies about building the athleticism of the players’
‘Increasing the strength of young players’

‘In one of the Premier League academies, they have their under 11s already learning Olympic lifting, because they want them to have that explosive strength’

‘The one thing all academies agreed on was the game of football was becoming faster and faster every year’

‘The job of strength and conditioning coaches in today’s sporting environment is extremely challenging’ Ranell suggests on the podcast.

‘As a strength and condition coach it is very hard to be on top of everything your athletes need’

It is often argued that when a team concedes a late goal in a game, players were not fit enough to last the ninety minutes. However Ranell suggests rather than not being fit enough it may be explained by the running mechanics of players.

‘If you have beautiful running mechanics you will use less energy to run’ by doing this ‘you are delaying the onset of fatigue’ Ranell suggests.

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