Acceleration phase

Posted In: The Classics

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    2belite on #21700

    Maybe, we could forget about the science for a while and focus on the art of coaching this part of the dash. What sensations should a sprinter feel the first three steps, what should he feel at 15m, should the arms be the only focus? Throw out some answers and some questions.

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #21701

    I don't think the arms should be the only focus and for those of you that do can you please give me a decent explanation.

    I personally think they should initially feel long, hard (slow and complete)pushes back, large segment movements, and feet behind the body. This would progressively change to a quickening of tempo, reduction in the amplitude of segment movements and more vertical pushes.

    ELITETRACK Founder

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    jjh999 on #21702

    [i]Originally posted by 2belite[/i]
    Maybe, we could forget about the science for a while and focus on the art of coaching this part of the dash. What sensations should a sprinter feel the first three steps, what should he feel at 15m, should the arms be the only focus? Throw out some answers and some questions.

    PUSH. PUSH. PUSH. Anything else is overcuing and overthinking. Trust me, this isn't just science it's experience.

    You're moving so slow (relatively) across the ground that that should be the only thing you are feeling. Mike's answer was right on point. All this body position angle stuff is predicated by what is done on the ground. Period.

    If you see a kid "pop up" it isn't b/c he raised his torso, it's b/c he either had an incomplete push on one of his steps either by trying to be too quick or b/c of an overstride that was not mechanically effecient.

    :yawn:

    Carl Valle
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    Carl Valle on #21703

    I think it would be better to list the errors first, see why they are making the errors, then come up with cues or special exercise techniques to solve such problems.

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    scroft on #21704

    I have always struggled with what to tell athletes that have naturally quick turnover. Typically they are smaller and have shorter levers but don't always lack for power, yet seem to have difficulty applying the slower more force generating foot contacts at the beginning of a race. I am somewhat afraid to try and get them to have longer foot contact during acceleration, simply because it disrupts their natural flow, while at the same time realizing it could be causing them precious fractions of a second.

    Comments, questions, observations?

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #21705

    [i]Originally posted by Phoenix[/i]
    I think it would be better to list the errors first, see why they are making the errors, then come up with cues or special exercise techniques to solve such problems.

    Excellent point….needs analysis should always preceded program or technical development.

    ELITETRACK Founder

    Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #21706

    Scroft-
    The pushes don't necessarily have to be SLOW but they should be slower than foot contacts at MaxV. The key thing is that they are complete pushes. If not, they're just pecking at the ground and costing themselves quite a bit in momentum development.

    ELITETRACK Founder

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    2belite on #21707

    [i]Originally posted by scroft[/i]
    I have always struggled with what to tell athletes that have naturally quick turnover. Typically they are smaller and have shorter levers but don't always lack for power, yet seem to have difficulty applying the slower more force generating foot contacts at the beginning of a race. I am somewhat afraid to try and get them to have longer foot contact during acceleration, simply because it disrupts their natural flow, while at the same time realizing it could be causing them precious fractions of a second.

    Comments, questions, observations?

    This is what worked for me before; tell the athlete to push from the glutes. Have you ever noticed that if you tell an athlete to stroke their arms fast and then faster they cut the elbow drive back and start moving the elbow joint up and down. But if you make it a point to tell them swing from the shoulders they keep the full range of motion. And they always will say it feel slower. Well the same thing goes and works for the legs. The more distal the joints you get your feedback from the faster things seem and the harder it is to control.
    I hope that makes sense to you.

    Carl Valle
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    Carl Valle on #21708

    If such a drill is effective, or any drill is effective, how many runs should be drilled and how many should be raw? Any numbers per say? Experiences?

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    2belite on #21709

    [i]Originally posted by Phoenix[/i]
    If such a drill is effective, or any drill is effective, how many runs should be drilled and how many should be raw? Any numbers per say? Experiences?

    Its not so much a drill, its more something to focus on untill the right mechanics become automatic. If it helps the athlete keep it, if not throw it out.
    For example Francis cues pulling down with the hand to teach correct arm action. Tellez cues letting the knees lead(knee up knee down) Carl Lewis talks about the sweep of his elbows. The joints are good at giving feedback. For most athletes its easier to sense joint position and joint movement than it to sense streth and rate of stretch.
    All that is not important, here is something els that may work. Ato talks about driving the knees to his chest during this phase, it works because in sprinting the function of one leg is always in contrast with the function of the other. So if one is going up the other has to be pushing back. I personally would not use this method, I think its hard to transition out of.

    Carl Valle
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    Carl Valle on #21710

    Call it a drill or exercise, any frontal lobe training will be skill development. What ratios doe people find effective?

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    2belite on #21711

    [i]Originally posted by Phoenix[/i]
    Call it a drill or exercise, any frontal lobe training will be skill development. What ratios doe people find effective?

    I see drills as something done to teach a skill, not something done (cue) to keep the skill on task.
    From your above statement I am guessing you believe sprinting is all hind brain. There is a lot of truth to that view, but its not totally right. If you ask a beginner what he/she felt during a sprint they would not be able to tell you much. Ask an elite sprinter the same question they can tell you where they made a mistake or what every step felt like. When you are really good, you have time to think. I am not saying you should be thinking about proper mechanics eg full extension or something of that nature, but you can cue yourself during a race(eg keep shoulder down). Top sprinters do it all the time, they don't respond to the person that caught a flyer in the lane over, they don't try to keep accelerating after 60m, they know their peripheral vision can play tricks on them (make things look closer than they really are) but they dont't respond to the illusion. It takes a lot of frontal lobe work to stay on task during a race and not fall victim to your natural instincts.

    Carl Valle
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    Carl Valle on #21712

    What are your experiences with such methodology with elite sprinters or personal performance thoughts? I am not an all or none hindbrain guy, but after listening to the Audio CD (available this fall on Rlab!) The interviews with some huge names will be very enlightening. Of course I am not a purist since Carl decided to raise his hands in celebration during his famous 200 race years ago. But any cues, directions, will have some shift to decision work.

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    2belite on #21713

    [i]Originally posted by Phoenix[/i]
    What are your experiences with such methodology with elite sprinters or personal performance thoughts? I am not an all or none hindbrain guy, but after listening to the Audio CD (available this fall on Rlab!) The interviews with some huge names will be very enlightening. Of course I am not a purist since Carl decided to raise his hands in celebration during his famous 200 race years ago. But any cues, directions, will have some shift to decision work.

    check your u2u

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    jjh999 on #21714

    [i]Originally posted by 2belite[/i]

    I see drills as something done to teach a skill, not something done (cue) to keep the skill on task.
    From your above statement I am guessing you believe sprinting is all hind brain. There is a lot of truth to that view, but its not totally right. If you ask a beginner what he/she felt during a sprint they would not be able to tell you much. Ask an elite sprinter the same question they can tell you where they made a mistake or what every step felt like. When you are really good, you have time to think. I am not saying you should be thinking about proper mechanics eg full extension or something of that nature, but you can cue yourself during a race(eg keep shoulder down). Top sprinters do it all the time, they don't respond to the person that caught a flyer in the lane over, they don't try to keep accelerating after 60m, they know their peripheral vision can play tricks on them (make things look closer than they really are) but they dont't respond to the illusion. It takes a lot of frontal lobe work to stay on task during a race and not fall victim to your natural instincts.

    Wrong.

    Regardless of how good you are, time to think is not the issue. The reason the great ones can tell you what is going on is because the error-correction mechanism in the cerebellum is much more supple and sensitive and able to detect the discrete changes in technique that the beginner cannot. Whatever an elite is "feeling" is certainly not cognition, it is simply increased quality of feedback from the cerebellum.

    Your contention that the frontal lobe work that occurs in response to distractions may or may not be true. However, the primary determining factor for how a person will 'react' to those things is established long before the gun fires. The state of mind that the sprinter is able to get himself into prior to the race beginning is much more important than thinking, "oh gee, the guy in lane 5 got out fast"

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