Is sprinting the most difficult "sport"

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by redsoxrock930, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. redsoxrock930

    redsoxrock930 Semi-Pro

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    I can't remember where sprinting landed on ESPN's list of the toughest sports, but after boxing i think that sprinting is one of the two or three toughest sports and requires the greatest coaching. This is because during almost any sport, take tennis for examples, you can miss one or two shots and still recover just fine, unless you have bed mental strength. However, when sprinting one slight mis step can take you from first to last place.
     
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  2. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I assume that you are referring to this ESPN list of toughest sports.

    Sprinting actually did not score all that high -- #38 out of 60 sports rated. It scored very high marks for power and speed, but relatively low for endurance, hand-eye coordination, analytic aptitude, and nerves (the ability to overcome fear in risky or dangerous sports). It was rated so-so for other 4 other criteria.
     
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  3. zebano

    zebano Semi-Pro

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    Tennis was 7th out of 60. Oddly enough, they scored it high in the power compartment and low in the durability and nerve departments.

    ENDURANCE: The ability to continue to perform a skill or action for long periods of time. Example: Lance Armstrong
    STRENGTH: The ability to produce force. Example: NFL linebackers.
    POWER: The ability to produce strength in the shortest possible time. Example: Barry Bonds.
    SPEED: The ability to move quickly. Example: Marion Jones, Maurice Green.
    AGILITY: The ability to change direction quickly. Example: Derek Jeter, Mia Hamm.
    FLEXIBILITY: The ability to stretch the joints across a large range of motion. Example: Gymnasts, divers.
    NERVE: The ability to overcome fear. Example: High-board divers, race-car drivers, ski jumpers.
    DURABILITY: The ability to withstand physical punishment over a long period of time. Example: NBA/NHL players.
    HAND-EYE COORDINATION: The ability to react quickly to sensory perception. Example: A hitter reacting to a breaking pitch; a drag racer timing acceleration to the green light.
    ANALYTIC APTITUDE: The ability to evaluate and react appropriately to strategic situations. Example: Joe Montana reading a defense; basketball point guard on a fast break.
     
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  4. Katlion

    Katlion Semi-Pro

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    Sprinting wasn't even on the list.
     
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  5. chroix

    chroix Rookie

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    It is, after all, just running as fast as you can right?

    List looks pretty right to me, although football is pretty high and there are varying degrees of difficulty for differerent positions, but boxers have to be in the ultimate shape, and quick and have total command of their own wills to be successful.

    BTW water polo should be second. I played and it was hands down the hardest thing I've ever done.
     
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  6. The_Spartan

    The_Spartan New User

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    I agree; that list looks about right

    (Basketball and Tennis my two favorites to play)
     
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  7. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    :confused::confused::confused:?

    Why is that odd? What physical punishment or fears are involved in tennis????
     
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  8. Loco4Tennis

    Loco4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    i dont know how hard sprinting is, but i can tell you, learning to server is way hard,
    i hit about 270 serves yestreday, i did not know how to serve before and i left the court even more confused afterwards, and i had a soar arm to prove it, serving suckssss
    ps. just my rant, i am working on developing form on myserve
     
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  9. The_Spartan

    The_Spartan New User

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    What, do you play with old men and ladies ?

    Granted, one can play matches with 3.5 pushers who sit and wait for a shank, but then go play someone with a pair of balls who is trying to do nothing but punish you.

    Sampras/Agassi
    Capriati/Williams

    That punishing tennis.

    Obviously, the fear is the anxiety; being down break point ...
     
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  10. chroix

    chroix Rookie

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    " go play someone with a pair of balls who is trying to do nothing but punish you"

    ditto
     
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  11. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    I think you are confusing durability with endurance. Read the two definitions. Tennis does not require durability, or the ability to withstand physically punishing. Getting knocked up in football, losing teeth in hockey, boxing, etc. are examples of Durability.

    And no, we are not talking about fear as in anxiety. Every athlete faces the anxiety of performing their best. Nerve means doing this while in dangerous situations which arrouse fear. Auto racing (crash could = death), ski jumpers (crash could = death or paralysis) etc.

    Oh, and I'm quite familiar with the requirements at the high levels of the sport.
     
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  12. The_Spartan

    The_Spartan New User

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    ha ha ha

    Golf is ranked below Ping Pong; that's too funny.

    "But golf is a sport !"

    Yep. Right there next to bowling and Cheerleading.
     
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  13. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    where is poker on that list?

    BTW, I love watching poker on ESPN2.
     
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  14. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    #38

    yeah i had to look twice myself
     
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  15. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    No huge gripes with this list, but gymnastics needs to be a little lower IMO. It would be tougher to be a marathoner than a sprinter more grueling training I would think.
     
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  16. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for this buy the way. I always tell my friend how pool ( Billiards) is not a sport. Hes gonna be real happy when he notices its one notch ahead of Fishing.

    On second thought they are not giving table tennis its fair share. Agility and endurance or at a premium. I would have it up in the 30's with badminton.
     
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  17. Loco4Tennis

    Loco4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    if poker is a sport, then chess is also one, just like pool or fishing
     
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  18. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    fishing is on the list. LAST on the list above rofl
     
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  19. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    poker would score decently high on "analytics" i would think.
     
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  20. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    what about the 110 hurdles.
    The only thing that can go wrong in a sprint race (other than a muscle pull) is a slow reaction to the gun (or worse jumping it).
    Once you've got off, just run hard.

    In the 110H, you could dive on any hurdle!
     
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  21. dave333

    dave333 Hall of Fame

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    Reacting slow to the gun costs you a couple .x seconds, which is huge in sprining, especially the shorter distances. I missed states by .2 seconds on the 55m because I reacted slightly too slow. Its very easy to screw up in short distance sprints.
     
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  22. iamtennisking

    iamtennisking Rookie

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    tennis is the best
     
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  23. fps

    fps Legend

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    sprinting is so tough because it's based on one thing- you lose your speed and that's it. also, you make one mistake in the race and you're gone. it's not like you can find a way to win when you're not on your a-game, like fed serving his way outta trouble.
     
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  24. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Sprinting is tough to be World Record holder, but essentially anyone in any schoolyard can do the 100 yard dash. They might not win against excellent competition but they will look in form a lot closer to the World Record holder than a random schoolboy will look like Roger...
     
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  25. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    World class sprinters, on the average, posses some of the best reaction times of all athletes. Their auditory reaction times (RTs) can often be in the 120-150 ms range. I've heard that a rare few individuals can react to a sound stimulus in a little under 100 ms! However, 100 ms is usually set as the false start limit for sprinters. If a sprinter moves off the blocks faster than 100 ms, it is usually declared a 'false start'.

    Note that visual RTs are normally slower than auditory RTs. For most people this is something like 40-50 ms slower, Stated another way, auditory RTs are about 20-25% quicker than visual RTs. World class athletes often have a simple visual RT that is better than 180 ms. The best hitters in baseball & fast-pitch softball are sometimes clocked under 150 ms.
     
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  26. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    So you're saying that if someone was so naturally blessed or found a training technique to get their auditory rxn time well below 100ms, they would be routinely DQed and essentially have no career? What kind of "sport" is that?
     
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  27. zebano

    zebano Semi-Pro

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    Maybe it's just me and my bad knees, but hard courts (the only type around) mess up my knees and give me shin splints. Nerves defined as fear I guess doesn't count, but if defined as the ability to handle big moments becomes even more important in individual sports than in team sports as you must turn the tide/finish the job on your own.
     
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  28. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    What i meant was that (in a sprint) if you've got off the blocks on time (not late) then you've only got to run hard.
    In a 110H, even after a good start you could still trip over a hurdle, sometimes you could be winning and trip over the last.

    In a response to one poster (LuckyR), I do recall some sprinter who was DQ'ed since he reacted faster than what is considered to be the acceptable reaction time. He stated that it was his response time.

    It's akin to someone having a naturally higher testosterone level than the acceptable limit. I recall an American sprinter who said his levels were higher because he had been making love all night - no kidding !

    That said there are very very few with the ability to run under 10 seconds for the 100 meters. The kind of upsets one sees in tennis are highly unlikely in sprinting.
     
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  29. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I believe that it is very rare for an individual to posses an RT that is consistently lower than 100 ms. Due, in large part, to the speed of myelinated nerve cells and the total length of the nerves involved, the theoretical limit for simple auditory RT in humans is believed to be in the neighborhood of 100-120 ms. For simple visual RT, that limit is somewhere around 120-150 ms. Not sure if these theoretical limits take (brain) processing time into account.

    Perhaps individuals who posses a simple RT faster than 120 ms are psychic:-?

    Is it possible to improve simple RT thru training? I believe that it is possible to do so. However, we might be able to improve simple RT only up to some limit -- our own individual potential perhaps. Using specialized software since the mid-90s, I've been able to improve scores for simple RT, Go/No-Go RT, and complex choice RT. I've made these improvements primarily for visual RTs (have not worked on auditory RT as much).

    Have I actually improved my RT potential or am I training my brain, nerves, (and muscles) to operate closer to my potential more often. I believe the latter to be true. If I've slept well the previous night, I find that my visual RTs are quite good in the afternoon and the early evening. However, in the morning and after 10pm, I'm finding that my various RTs (as well as other cognitive and physical performance) is measurably diminished.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
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  30. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Now, there is couple of things to do to solve this problem. One would be to let folks "anticipate" the gun, but DQ them if they guess wrong. This would add an element of strategy to a "sport" with little to none. Another would be to have the traditional gun, but have individual videos that "gate" each sprinter so they have an individual time for the race that starts the clock when they leave the blocks and ends when they hit the tape, so someone could "lose" the race but win on time, this would negate completely the "guess" factor.
     
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  31. EricW

    EricW Professional

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    How the hell can sprinting be the most difficult sport? Sprinting is just pure athleticism, sports like tennis need the same athleticism for the same level, plus the skill
     
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  32. Babb

    Babb Professional

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    ^^^^^^
    Some think that sports should be merely a measurement of pure athleticism. (I'm not one of them, but I'm just saying...)
     
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  33. rbq4h4

    rbq4h4 Rookie

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    man i do agree. I played water polo and almost drowned many times. plus getting the water up the nose etc people dunking and punching you underwater, I think its probly tougher than boxin and number 1.
     
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  34. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Don't think that first idea would fly -- it appears to add an element of luck. The 2nd one eliminates the reaction time factor. Don't think that would be popular either. The sprinters with the faster RTs should be rewarded with an advantage. Perhaps a better solution would be to set the false start limit at 80 ms rather than 100 ms.
     
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  35. fps

    fps Legend

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    What do you mean by "pure athleticism"? Everyone can gain from being coached to run more quickly, there is a large amount of technique that goes into running the 100m well.
     
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  36. Joe Average

    Joe Average Rookie

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    The NYTimes highlighted this fellow named Dallas Robinson, who describes himself as "a six foot four, 210 pound white guy from Kentucky." He's trying to qualify for the US Olympics team. At 210, he's pretty heavy for a sprinter. But he's still pretty darned fast. He's got a video ...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlNovUCov88

    Most impressive, to me, is his leaping ability. Starting at 4:33, he's pouncing on top of these tables.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008
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  37. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I guess I don't understand the fear of adding the element of "luck", which I would call strategy. Is it worth it to anticipate the gun if you get DQ'ed? The answer would be different for different runners at different situations. That might make a deathly dull "sport" worth paying attention to.
     
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  38. Rafael_Nadal_6257

    Rafael_Nadal_6257 Semi-Pro

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    wow...Dallas Robinson is now my HERO, simply amazing guys, watch the video two posts above me...
     
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  39. chroix

    chroix Rookie

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    That Dallas Robinson article was great. Thanks for that. Still don't consider sprinting that difficult, but a great story.
     
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  40. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Sprinting is not the most difficult sport. Raw strength and quickness mean a lot in sprinting, like in many other sports, but I think teaching overall sprinting technique is not as difficult as for sports like tennis.

    Sprinting is an extremely intense activity. But going full out can be trained. Unfortunately, many high school track coaches just don't get it. If you are going to train at full intensity, the training needs to be shorter with longer rest periods, or you are just wasting your time and hindering your performance.

    I always had a sprinter's mentality: I hated going slow for long periods of time. Seeing how fast I could get to a nearby point was always more thrilling and fun. I just don't get the attraction of distance running at all.
     
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