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While the ability to run at high top speed has been clearly related to the ability to generate high amounts of [ground reaction force] in the vertical direction3,4, much less is known about the determinants of the acceleration phase of a sprint. Coaching practice has long considered the capability of force production as an inherent feature of acceleration and sprint capability. It is a common belief that how much force and impulse one athlete is able to produce and how hard they can ‘push the ground’ and ‘push with a forward incline’ during the entire acceleration phase are key variables.
It was found that the [decrement in ratio of force] was significantly and highly correlated to the two main 100 m performance parameters: mean and maximal 100 m velocity, as was the mean value of HF over the entire acceleration9. In contrast, neither vertical nor [ratio of the contact-averaged HF to the corresponding resultant GRF="TOTF"] averaged over the acceleration phase were significantly correlated to these performance parameters. Further, subjects’ TOTF was not significantly correlated to DRF. It was concluded that the force application technique, as opposed to the amount of total force subjects are able to apply onto the ground, is a key determinant of field 100 m sprint performance. However, one limitation of this study was that the results were obtained in low-level sprinters and in non-specialists.
[They did an experiment with very-good-to-elite sprinters]
Overall, the main and very novel results of these two studies show that the way sprinters apply force onto the ground (technical ability) seems to be more important to field sprint performance than the amount of total force they are able to produce (physical capability). In addition, these two mechanical features of the acceleration kinetics were not correlated, which means they represent two distinct skills.

interesting. article goes on to talk about practical implications.
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Makes sense.
Efficiency of power and superior technique.
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