Jamaican Sprint Success: Thanks to an American Coach Bud Winter?
By Jimson Lee
Interestingly a lot of Jamaica’s future success is owed to a pioneer American Coach Bud Winter.
In 2011, Jamaica had seven 100-meter sprinters under 10 seconds, the Holy Grail for the distance. So did the United States. While Jamaica has just 2.8 million people compared to 312 million for the U.S., its sprinters have surpassed Americans at the top levels of the premier event in track and field.
While the obvious question is, how could Jamaica, with less than 1 percent of the US’s population, dominate the 100 meters in recent years after Americans dominated it for decades?
Also, think about the history of the 4×100-meter relay. And with so much depth. While Team USA would typically win with four of their best sprinters, sometimes even with their 5th- and 6th- ranked sprinters. Not anymore.
And many people credit Jamaica’s achievements to noted American coach Bud Winter.
Bud invented the science of sprinting. He often said, “Speed is a skill; sprinting is a science.”
Born into a low-income family in San Francisco and a Cal Berkeley grad. Bud Winter coached at San Jose State University from 1940 to 1970. Most noteworthy was that SJS became known as “Speed City” in the late 1960s. In large part because its athletes held every world sprint record from the 50 through the 400. At the same time, those records included the relays with legendary sprinters Tommie Smith, Lee Evans, and John Carlos, all on the same team. One of the coaches who later followed his system was Glenn Mills.
Lloyd C. Winter, better known as Bud (June 8, 1909 – December 6, 1985), was an American track and field coach regarded as one of the world’s greatest sprint coaches.  Over a 29-year coaching career (1941–1970) at the then San Jose State College, he produced 102 All-Americans, 27 of whom became Olympians.
Training Methods used by the legendary coach Lloyd Bud Winter whose speed city team in the 1960s wreaked havoc at the Olympic Games in the 1960s by clearing up most sprint medals.
The original two versions (1956, 1973), written by Bud Winter, famous coach of the San Jose State Spartan track and field teams from 1941 to 1974, were used to train many Olympic medalists and world record holders. The new 2010 edition combines the best of both versions and includes detailed training plans for full-time, year-round athletes and one for multi-sport athletes beginning training in January.
Olympic medal winners used the training plans and techniques illustrated in this book, and World Record holders, Ray Norton, Bob Poynter, Dennis Johnson, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Lee Evans, and Ronnie Rae Smith of the 37 world record holders coached by Bud Winter.
This book offers any track coach or parent a step-by-step guide to teach anyone to sprint faster.
The “Tested, proven, techniques to teach anyone to sprint faster” includes:
- 3 ways to be a faster sprinter
- Starting technique and using blocks
- The 8 essential drills to develop optimal sprint form
- The gather and the finish lean
- Full, proven detailed training plans for the year-’round athlete
- Full, proven detailed training plans starting in January
- Lee Evans specialized training plan for the 400 meters
- Basic, proven relaxation techniques
- The 7 attributes that make a champion
This book is a must-read for any track coach or parent interested in having their athletes run faster whether they run track, play soccer, basketball, baseball, football, or lacrosse. The time-tested technique “So You Want to be a Sprinter” will help any athlete, male or female, young or old, run faster.
Many coaches used Bud’s books as field journals used on the field and scribbled their notes in the book. Thus the Coaches’ version is a special edition spiral-bound version of the paperback.
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Andrew was elected Vice President of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians in 2020 after being a member for 7 years.
He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant, and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017.
Current editor and chief of Pinoyathletics.info, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program.
Coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is working towards his Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles.
He can be contacted on [email protected]
You can find more information on Coaching here