Functional strength and power training

Strength is the ability to express force to overcome resistance and power is how quickly force can be expressed (Kent, 1994). Speed is determined by how much force can be applied to the ground in order to propel forwards - so strength is a key factor.

As the foot is in contact with the ground for a very short period of time during sprinting the ability to express force quickly or power is also a key determinant of performance. Measures of strength and power have both been shown to correlate with sprint performance within the athletic population (Clark 2016; Penaililo et al, 2016).

The large forces placed on the body during sprinting make it a high-risk activity for injury. Increased strength also gives players the ability to tolerate large forces and resist unwanted movement which may be beneficial for injury avoidance during sprinting. Strength and power training are detailed further in the Conditioning for Adults online learning module.