February 25th we started our outdoor high school track and field season. As a coach I cannot tell you how excited I am about the possibilities for this upcoming year as we have a talent in a number of different events. However, as I previously blogged the weather has been bad! Actually, the worst weather we have ever had in my 20 years as a coach or athlete. Yes since 1993. Obviously, this makes practice tough on both the coaches and athletes. Bad weather can be a serious grind to motivate your athletes to push in training. For sprinters to hit expected times is difficult both physically and mentally when the weather is bad. I have tried to get my athletes motivated with inspirational quotes and positive thoughts how training in bad weather gives us an edge over the teams who are choosing to avoid the bad weather entirely. Needless to say as a coach I was looking for something to give me an addition tool to help pump the kids up to train hard when conditions are not perfect. My search was a short one as I came along the Freelap timing system. When you strap kids up to the timing system they have increased arousal and easily hit their times. Sometimes we have to cue them to stay under control or they might reach to cover the distance quickly. I rather be injury free then break a record in a flying 30meter.
Another arousal problem we have at our practices come when training our relay exchanges. One of the biggest issues we have training relays is getting our athletes to run all the way through the zone after handing off the baton. Once you strap on the Freelap system the athletes are more than willing to blast through the zone chasing a faster time. Obviously, increased arousal brings about more positive adaptation for sprinting and makes the practice simulate more race like conditions. The Freelap system is user friendly and definitely worth the cost as the kids benefit from increased arousal to maintain the expect level of intensity required for a quality training session. Just make sure you rotate the timing systems to give all your kids a chance to have the increased arousal necessary for a worthwhile practice. I cannot wait to keep experimenting with the system to enhance our practices. I am currently experimenting with using the pods to time our runs or time trials without the uses of the hand timer. Stay tuned!