Stages in Learning Drills for Sprinting
*Enzo Williams is a Level 3 Athletics Australia Sprints and Hurdles Coach. Who works with Filipino Athletes. He was the Head Coach of the Zamboanga Del Sur Sports Academy. And is currently working with Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation mainly with the sprinters.
(This Article was first compiled in 2020, and has several edits)
Today, I will write about the importance of warmup drills for sprinting and teaching correct and efficient movement for athletes, in particular sprinters.
When Teaching Warmup Drills for sprinting, the athlete goes through different learning competency Levels.
- Beginners being shown how to do the warmup Drills for Sprinting
- Can do the warmup Drills for Sprinting when supervised by a coach in training
- Do the warmup Drills for Sprinting unsupervised in training.
- Can apply the movements of the warmup Drills for Sprinting in a specific event in training
- Apply warmup Drills for Sprinting’ movements in a specific event in the competition
This is why it’s essential when a coach is coaching athletes.
They do not let the athlete begin the warm-up unsupervised and monitor and make corrections using various teaching methods.
- Briefing explaining how the warmup Drills for Sprinting are to be performed
- Demonstrating the warmup Drills for Sprinting to the athlete and getting them to watch. From front back and side-on views.
- Manipulating movement by positioning leg and arms incorrect positions.
- Breaking the warmup Drills for Sprinting down into smaller steps.
- Taking a video of the athlete and showing them how they do the drill and showing another video of how you want them to do the drill by other athletes on video are good examples.
- Remember to always give positive praise to athletes in front of the group to perform speed Drills for Sprinting correctly. It helps motivate them and inspires them to learn more.
Feedback should always be positive or constructive.
The Importance of Speed Drills for Sprinting
A. An athlete who has better movements moves more efficiently and wastes less energy moving forward, generating more efficient turnover. Stride length and force are being delivered correctly to the ground; hence the athlete, in this case, the sprinter, runs faster.
B. As an athlete is exerting a force into the ground greater than their body weight, it’s important that this force is being directed in an efficient and balanced manner.
Motions such as over striding and butt kicks can cause tears and overstrain the muscles. This is usually a product of incorrect teaching of speed Drills for Sprinting.
Speed Drills for Sprinting must be conducted in a manner as suggested.
1. Coach explains to the athlete about the drill if beginner, if not advises the athlete to do the drill, remembering from last time what they may need to fix.
2. The athlete performs the drill. Coach observes. If you have an Ipad or video recording device can be useful here.
3. The athlete walks back. Again, this is important that this is done and the athlete is given time between.
A. Drills is a technical and neurological learning process, not conditioning exercises.
Exercises to Increase Your Running Speed
drills for track sprinters
John Smith and the Importance of Rhythm
When it comes to sprinting, John Smith of HSI needs no introduction. I’ve covered some of his philosophies and concepts plenty of times in the past 9 years.
We all know of John Smith’s 7 phases to a 100m race:
- Reaction Time
- Block Clearance
- Drive Phase
- Maximum Velocity
- Negative Acceleration
Tom Tellez broke down what he thought were the5 phases of a 100-meter sprint:
- Reaction Time
- Block Clearance
- Speed of Efficient Acceleration
- Maintenance of Maximum Velocity
- Lessened Degree of Deceleration
But one of the most important concepts is Rhythm… it’s often ignored or forgotten!
In this video, fast forward to 2:20, and hear what Smith has to say about rhythm in training Tyson Gay:
How to Improve your Arm Swings in Sprints 4 Tips on a Free Video
Provided below is a video given to my group on Arm Swings Instructions.
Several runners have technical fixes to allow more efficient arm swings.
Arm swing is essential as the faster and more efficient the arms are moving, the quicker the legs will turn over.
Teaching Arm Swings in Sprints
3. Hands to eye level for 100 and 200. For 400, just below chin level.
4. Fingers should be pointing forward like arrows.
Teaching Arm Swings More Tips
- Moving your arms correctly while running helps propel your body forward.
- Train your arms in the proper movement by standing with your feet together and alternating your arms forward and backwards as if you were running.
- Focus on appropriate positioning; hold your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
- Start with your right arm ahead, swinging it forward until the biceps are nearly level with your shoulder and your relaxed fist about eye level.
- At the same time, swing your left arm back so that the biceps are almost parallel to the ground and your forearm points straight down.
- Try this exercise seated to add intensity and train your arms to move at the right level, making sure your hands don’t brush the floor as they move.
- Add light weights to work the shoulders.
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A Kinematic Comparison of the Running A and B Drills with Sprinting. (2007). (n.p.): (n.p.).
Development of Speed in Sprinters. (n.d.). (n.p.): Archers & Elevators Publishing House.
Doscher, W. (2009). The Art of Sprinting: Techniques for Speed and Performance. United Kingdom: McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers.
Husbands, C. (2013). Sprinting: Training, Techniques and Improving Performance. United Kingdom: Crowood Press.
Jeffreys, I. (2013). Developing Speed. United States: Human Kinetics.
Smith, J. (2018). Speed Strength: A Comprehensive Guide to Biomechanics, Demands and Training Methodology for Linear Speed. United States: Just fly sports.
Whitfield, J., Lee, E. S. (2010). Fundamentals of Sprinting: A Guide for High School Sprinters. United Kingdom: Xlibris US.
Winter, B. (1973). So You Want to be a Sprinter. United States: Winter Enterprises.
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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]
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