Coaches Ed Follow-Up

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Sorry for the delayed follow-up.

Harrisonburg, VA- What a bummer. The USATF Coaches Ed school sure was a waste of time. Here I was expecting big things and the whole thing turned out to be a dud. JUST KIDDING!!! The school in general and the Level 3 in particular lived up to all the hype. How could it not?

Here are some notes I took from two of the lectures Dan gave at the Level 3 school:

DAN PFAFF on the 200m sprint start:

  • It is better to examine the start and subsequent acceleration phases as apart of the whole race rather than a race unto itself. That is, rather than solely judging the effectiveness of the start on how fast the athlete gets to 10/20/30m it may be better to examine it based on how it effects a variety of other things like the running position they get in to and how it affects their race distribution.
  • Dan suggested that as an athlete departs the blocks:
    • Strides should get longer
    • Strides should get faster
    • Body angle should get slightly more vertical
  • Dan used a picture sequence of Carl Lewis and discussed the objectives that Coach Tellez had for Carl:
    • Uniform acceleration
    • Get the hips upright as fast as possible
    • Ground contact should get shorter
  • Ready position:
    • Both toes should be on the ground. This helps to set up tension within the foot and posterior leg through myofascial meridians.
    • Foot position is very important, dorsiflexion of ankle and toe flexion help to load the ankle and foot like a spring.
    • Block spacing should be determined by individual anthropometric and physcial capacities.
  • Set position:
    • Smaller knee angles of the front leg should be reserved for stronger individuals.
    • Shoulder-width hand spacing is recommended.
    • Head should be dropped or in-line with the spine.
    • Roundingthrough the spine and shoulder/chest area in the set position can allowathletes to apply more force because of myofascial meridians.
    • Shins should be pretty much parallel to each other.
    • Hip axis should be higher than head.
    • Femur to chest angle is also important. Being too low may make it difficult to open up the chest
    • Locking out arms may create undue tension.
    • Whenan athlete comes to the set position, the weight should be primarily onthe front leg hip. Pretension in the glute, tensor fascia latae, etc.
    • The more tension you put on the gastroc-soleus complex the better the reflex off the pedals will be.
    • Too much weight on the hands may make departure angle too low.
  • Block Clearance:
    • Projection angles that are too low will cause lateral stepping.
    • Shank angle should be very acute in the first couple steps.
    • On the first step, the head should move up, the COM should push ahead of the line.
    • Staying low causes force to be applied outside of the body.
    • One of the goals is to overcome inertia.
  • Race Considerations:
    • For 4-6 steps should be piston like after which the stride becomes gradually more cyclic.
    • Whenever the foot leaves the ground athletes should MAXIMALLY dorsiflex the foot.
    • Body angle should get more upright by 4-6 degrees with each ground contact.
    • The last thing you want to do is hit maxV at 40m and have to hang on for 60m.
    • By spreading out acceleration curve, maxV can be delayed until 60-62m.
DAN PFAFF on training in general:
  • Lifting is very important in his program.
  • Olympiclifts are prescribed on an individual basis. That is, the workout mayjust call for 6 sets of 2 reps of Olympic lifts and Dan and / or the athlete woulddecide which Olympic lift is most appropriate for the day based on anumber of factors.
  • Multi-throws “reboot” the CNS
  • Volumefor weight room and track work is somewhat prescriptive in natureand is somewhat determined by how the athlete feels.
  • Jump squat depths are dependent on injuries, timing, etc. Sprinters use 50% bw for jump squats; throwers up to 70%.
  • Much of tapering cycle training should be specific to the specific needs of the athlete.
  • Cool down techniques include biking, jogging, or skipping.
  • General fitness work stresses the glycogen system and can result in a monster rebound.
  • Multi-jumps(rudiment) are used to restore fascial trains following specialendurance (because special endurance in spikes tends to causeproblems in the foot).
  • Grass runs or endurance bounding at lower intensities can be used for therapy and enhancing work capacity.
  • All sprint drills and plyos are done full / flat footed.
  • Sprint drills are used to open the posterior chain.
  • Hurdle mobility after special endurance runs helps to train postural injures and awareness.
  • Danuses a 3 day rollover cycle during tapering cycles especially for thoseathlete travelling abroad. The 3 day rollover consists of 3 days ofwork which are to be done to maintain fitness while allowing forflexibility so that the athlete can train more according to how theyfeel with a less strict observance of a rigid program. In the 3 dayrollover, three days of prescribed training are given which can besplit up by rest or therapy days. The following 3 day setup isprescribed to maintain previously developed capacities:
    • Day 1: Explosive emphasis
    • Day 2: Elastic and metabolic emphasis
    • Day 3: Endurance emphasis
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