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Question:
How can one athlete jump higher than other athletes?



Replies:
Mike,

I can only comment with some general statements. To a large extent athletic ability is greatly controlled by genetics. The full expression of genetic limits is realized through conditioning by athletes by perfection of their 'machine'. Those who condition their bodies and know their strengths and limitations, and those who know how to best make their 'machine' perform excel. This conditioning of their 'machine' could mean anything from a good diet and sufficient sleep to inner mental strength. Some people try to short-cut this normal route by taking steroids which artificially produce strength or speed uncharacteristic of that persons 'normal' ability. It is interesting to note that perhaps what we all value and honor in our athlete 'heroes' is doing the work naturally and legitimately. Those who try to fake it fall into dishonor. As far as jumping higher---given the genetic limits placed, and given all the conditioning, and given the good diet and care of the body, frequently contests become a contest of will, where the stronger person (mentally) prevails over what seemed like the stronger competitor. There is much to be said about adrenaline on the day of competition! I do not think the wisest person could ever develop a computer program to accurately predict contest outcomes because of all the factors influencing them, along with adrenaline. Just an item of clarity/ When I mentioned genetics in my last letter, I meant to say that a person's physical structure has a large role to play in athletic ability. For example if a person has much longer or thicker leg muscles it may lend a greater degree of basic strength and jumping ability. A person wjo has shorter muscles might find they cannot compete on the same level as a person with longer muscles. This much is controlled by genetics. Beyond that, the conditioning, etc. I described above could modify strength or ability in rather unpredictable ways.

Rickru



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