What Athletes Can Learn From High-Performance Tires

In the early 1980’s Goodyear Tire were responsible for fitting tires to a few high performance cars, mostly, the Chevrolet Corvette. The tire’s roots were based in formula one racing — the elite of the elite in racing car performance. The tire’s design was very different than most passenger car tires and it was an overnight victory with devotees of the performance cars. The tire featured a low profile side wall, large tread blocks for good dry traction grip, a very stiff sidewall and a nylon cap over the steel belts to hold the tire together at high speeds. The tire received a unique sidewall rating and it was designated with a “V” which meant the tire had been safely tested in the laboratory to stay together at speeds as high as 149 mph. This is the first time the high performance tire was made in America.

This tire was an instant hit even though it was costly (even by today’s standards). It was not uncommon for them to cost over $200.00 each, when generic, average tires weren’t ever more than $50 each. Since then however, the high performance tire has made its way onto almost every modern car. This is because automobile manufacturers found that high performance tires helped cars handle better, corner better, stop better, steer better, were safer and worked well with anti-lock brake technology. During this time tire manufacturers began to produce a multitude of intermediate high performance tire known as “touring” tires which were designed to accede to high performance demands and lessen ride and wear issues. Within a few years, there was an entire list of high performance tire categories which include Ultra-high performance, performance, touring, cosmetic performance, touring performance, etc. As technology advanced, automobile manufacturers began to equip nearly everything with a performance tire — even the mini van — because of one simple reason: they help sell cars because they are attractive and because of the benefits they add to the cars steering and braking.

In the same way performance tires slowly made their way from F1 performance cars to the everyday driver, strength and conditioning has made it’s way down from Olympians and elite athletes to the amateur and emerging athlete. More than ever before, young, emerging and amateur athletes are buying in to the idea of a high-performance training program, even if they aren’t yet at an elite level of competition. Over time, emerging athletes realised that:

“What got me here, won’t get me there”.

This fundamental shift in thinking has meant that a choice and habit — to take strength and conditioning training seriously — that used to be exclusive to Olyympians and elite athletes, is now becoming the norm.

For you as an athlete, that means that your competition is getting better, too. They are running faster, feeling stronger, and expressing more power when they throw, shoot, kick, run and jump. If you aren’t taking your gym training seriously, it’s the equivalent to riding on bald tires… it’s only a matter of time before you crash.

So no matter what type of athlete you are — there is almost always a place for a quality strength and conditioning program to keep you injury free, feeling strong and demonstrating power and athleticism.

You could always ignore the warning signs — but ignore them long enough, and your dreams will be stopped dead in their tracks when you’ve ran out of tread and crashed on the side of the road.