Speed is our second dash point for the skill-related components of physical fitness. Speed is the rate at which something moves. Speed relates to power, as you have already learnt, and relates to the force and the mass of the object the force has acted upon. Speed is the distance an object travels in a set period of time and is usually measured in m/s or km/h.

Speed = Distance

Speed relates to movement efficiency and performance because there are many sport sin which the speed at which someone is moving is advantageous. This includes all racing sports, such as: sprinting, swimming, triathlons, marathons and much more. For these sports the faster the athlete can move, the better they will perform. In relation to efficiency, high speed will frequently require high energy consumption and result in fatigue. Furthermore, if an athlete has higher speed, it does not  mean they have a higher speed without fatigue. marathon runners, often don’t have the best speeds when it is tested, but can maintain higher speeds for longer periods of time when compared to sprinters.

The speed of a particular movement can also influence specific aspects of a sport. For example, if an athlete has fast moving feet in football (soccer) then they are more able to beat a defender by dummying, or moving the ball side-to-side too fast for the defender. Another example could be a javelin thrower having a fast arm speed for their throw, which would help them to achieve a further distance. It can also allow an athlete to rely less on their reaction time when responding to fast bowling in cricket, or a tennis serve.

Speed can be tested in a variety of ways, including: using a speed gun, doing 10m, 20m or 50m sprints, but generally you want your speed to be tested specifically to your sport, so you would usually do distance divided by time in a shorter period of time (10 sec or less) to calculate the athlete’s maximal speed for their sport.