Training a great runner for the 100-meter dash is extremely challenging and requires the utmost care in each and every detail, especially during crucial phases such as the start. Gaining just one hundredth of a second there might mean a victory. A minor technical or muscular change during training is sometimes enough to turn a talented athlete into a real champion. In this video, the Belgian TV program Matière Grise (Grey Matter) takes us behind the scenes and shows us footage about the training of some high-level local athletes. Like unprotesting guinea-pigs, the athletes undergo detailed tests aimed at making their training as efficient as possible. For this reason, scientists are often called in as consultants, especially at the highest levels. From the tennis court to the track and all the way to other sports, this documentary provides many examples of how science can account for a better performance in sports and be used to increase efficiency and to support the joint efforts of the athletes and their coaches.
Can a goalkeeper guess where an attacker is going to send the ball? How can you improve your tennis serve? How crucial is the angle of the start blocks for a runner’s initial thrust? These are just some of the questions the documentary answers by illustrating the methods and tools used by biologists, physicists, biomechanics, physiologists and IT experts in sports sciences – a team of scientists in the service of sport, who try to find and duplicate the perfect gesture.