In the previous post I argued that speed is Newtonian. In fact, I proposed a new speed formula:
Speed = Ground Contact Force/Ground Contact Time.
The variables of this formula deal with force vectors and very small time differentials. In this context it seems then to maximize force and minimize time strength and quickness are necessary.
This article by Boo Schexnayder on the mechanics of the jump approach has influenced how I think about developing quickness in my athletes. As I outline below, developing quickness isn't as easy as you think.
If at any time the voluntary contractions are improperly timed, or too much voluntary involvement by any muscle group exists, the elastic energy generation of the entire system is diminished and efficiency is reduced. -Boo Schexnayder
The above passage is focuses on neural functioning. It says that timing movements is critical to energy conservation. This passage screams COORDINATION.
Coordination is the ability to perform movements of various degrees of difficulty very quickly and with efficiency and accuracy.
The problem is that of the 5 bio-motor abilities, I find coordination the most complicated to develop. The challenge is that coordination is neural. The brain has a major influence in movement. Without signals from the brain our muscles don't know what to do.
In order to control movement (time the voluntary contractions properly) the brain has to send a signal to the muscles involved. This signal has to be sent at exactly the right time for maximum energy efficiency. Not only does a signal have to be sent, but it has to be sent before the movement takes place. Therefore, the timing of this signal is a critical component to proper movement patterns.
Not only is timing of the signals important, but the athlete must be able to send the correct signals to the correct muscles. You can watch this develop as athletes "get a feel" for the drill, movement, skill, etc.
In the video of the athlete below, you can almost measure the time it takes the signals to travel from the brain to the correct muscles. At the same time you can almost see these signals formulated in the brain before they are sent.
As a coach and a teacher this is one of the most a beautiful and amazing things to watch.