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"Guohong Niu, through yesterday's observation, I found that your major problem is that you have too much of a push-off force," Dai Li said, highlighting Guohong Niu's weakness. Guohong Niu sneered in response.
"I have too much of a push-off force?" Guohong Niu asked arrogantly, "Coach Li, shouldn't a large push-off force be an advantage? The greater the push-off force is, the more sufficient the driving force will be, hence the more acceleration the athlete will obtain. Coaches always comment on the low push-off force of the athletes. This is the first time I've heard a coach complain about a large push-off force. Coach Li, why do you consider this advantage a disadvantage?"
Dai Li still had a smile on his face. Yesterday, during the detection of Guohong Niu with the advanced detector, when he had found "too much of a push-off force" in the disadvantage area, he had also thought the detector had mixed up the advantages and disadvantages. A large push-off force was supposed to be an advantage.
But later, after performing a careful analysis applying the knowledge he had acquired on the national team, Dai Li finally realized that too much of a push-off force, which Guohong Niu had, was indeed a sprinting technique deficiency.
Without sounding flustered, Dai Li began his explanation, saying, "The traditional sprinting technique states the knee joint of the supporting leg should be stretched sufficiently during push-off; therefore, a good push-off technique has always been essential for athletes, who were also requested to enhance the push-off strength and ability of their lower limbs. This should be the technique you have practiced before, right?"
Guohong Niu nodded his head. "This is indeed the technique I used when I was in junior and senior middle school. However, when I was admitted to Tsinghua University, I changed my technique to swing-style running, which should be the most common sprinting technique on the national team, right?"
"The national team is using swing-style running technique, yes. However, when athletes are running quickly, according to this technique, they don't need to stretch their knee joints to the point of lockout," Dai Li said.
"My knee joint is not stretched all the way," Guohong Niu immediately retorted.
"Take it easy, I haven't finished my explanation. When you are running, although your knee joint is not stretched completely, you exert too much strength during your push-off movement. Your technique for swing-style running is still imperfect. You subconsciously bend your knee intentionally during your push-off, which results in the relatively slow transition to the front swing that follows. Because of this, the time you spend on your supporting leg is prolonged. I don't think you need my explanation of what spending too much time on your supporting leg does to your speed, right?"
In sprinting, having a supporting leg meant contact between the human body and the ground. All kinds of contact between objects will generate resistance; therefore, the longer one spends on their supporting leg, the longer they will be facing resistance, which in turn affects how much forward resistance there will be. Sprinters try their best to shorten the time spent on their supporting leg, which reduces the amount of resistance they encounter whilst sprinting. Of course, the time spent on the supporting leg can never be zero; otherwise, the sprinter would be flying, and sprinting would become a flying competition.
As a first-class sprinter, Guohong Niu certainly knew about these theories. He was also an academic superstar, so he was good at thinking. After careful consideration, he knew that what Dai Li was saying was correct.
However, Guohong Niu still did not want to improve his technique. He was a proud person, and had gotten used to being treated as a revered leader by his peers since childhood. His self-esteem prevented him from admitting he had made a mistake.
"What you said made some sense. My push-off force could indeed prolong the time spent on my supporting leg, which could slow me down a little bit. But don't forget that a large push-off force can also generate more of a driving force and increase speed. This speed increase is large enough to offset the loss caused by more time spent on the supporting leg," Guohong Niu said calmly. He knew that if he wanted to prove his point, he should bring out the facts and reason with Dai Li calmly.
"It is true that I cannot find out which of the two had a greater impact, the driving force generated from the push-off or the resistance caused by the prolonged time spent on your supporting leg. However, what I am sure about is that your technique has to be improved," Dai Li said, spreading his hands.
"Why? If the driving force generated from the push-off is greater than the resistance caused by the time spent on my supporting leg, the technique modification will result in a decrease in my performance," Guohong Niu said arrogantly.
Dai Li continued to explain slowly, "I certainly have a basis for thinking this. Do you often experience a loose bending of your front knee, as well as a low center of gravity?"
"How did you know that?" Guohong Niu's expression was changed.
"These are also things that are caused by your extra-large push-off force, which not only prolongs the amount of time spent on your supporting leg, but also prevents the muscles from relaxing, which further impacts the transition and connecting speed of the hip flection swing. Sometimes it can even cause drawbacks, like a loose bending of the knee, as well as low center of gravity of body. This is inconsistent with the characteristics of swing-type running, which are a high center of gravity, front swing of the quad, pushing the front leg down, and rapid switching and tight bending of the knee!" Dai Li explained.
Guohong Niu was amazed. The disadvantages Dai Li had mentioned were things he had not known; nobody had told him these things before.
Technically speaking, what Dai Li had said was absolutely correct. However, a theory that sounded perfect was not enough to convince Guohong Niu. He was, however, completely impressed by the two drawbacks Dai Li had just mentioned. Guohong Niu had indeed experienced a loose bending of the knee, as well as the low center of gravity, in his daily training.
These effects did not occur all the time, but they did occasionally, especially when there was a large training volume. Guohong Niu had thought the occurrence of these drawbacks had been caused by failure to fully complete the movements of the technique when he was exhausted.
But now, the true reason for these effects should have been as Dai Li had said. His push-off force was extending the time spent on his supporting leg, and prevented the muscles from relaxing, which further influenced the transition and connecting speed of the hip flection swing.
At this moment, Guohong Niu finally realized what Dai Li had said was correct. His push-off force was indeed his weakness!
I am convinced. I am completely convinced, Guohong Li whispered to himself. He immediately lowered his guard and said sincerely, "Coach Li, please help me correct this shortcoming!"
Dai Li smiled and nodded his head. He had finally tamed Guohong Niu, who was the team leader of the Tsinghua University sprinting team. His prestige as a coach here had also now been established.
He handed an A4 paper to Guohong Niu and said, "This is the training plan I arranged for you, just have a look!"
"Thank you, Coach Li. I will perform the training seriously according to your plan." Guohong Niu took the training plan with both of his hands, expressing determination without even looking at the plan.
"Good. Later I will give you instruction on the essentials of the related technique movements personally," Dai Li smiled. The team leader, Guohong Niu, had been tamed. Now, his coaching would be free of obstacles.
Dai Li could not help but look at Sijie Yang, who was standing at the end of the line.
Only Sijie Yang is left. As a guy with A-level ability, he should be the most troublesome one!"
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