Sprint Drills

Posted In: The Classics

  • Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #21373

    I could tell he was an ex-footballer as soon as I looked at those pics: low hips, swolen lat syndrome arm swing, way too much backside motion and too much hip extension at toe off.

    ELITETRACK Founder

    Carl Valle
    Participant
    Carl Valle on #21374

    2belite? Now what to do?

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    2belite on #21375

    [i]Originally posted by Phoenix[/i]
    2belite? Now what to do?

    You tell me Phoenix, my theory seems to be wrong. I saw Coby at the Modesto meet this year and I noticed he almost walks the same way he runs. So I made the guess it was something structural.
    His "waddle" to me is not something I would focus on, I wold work on getting his hips up and let things fall into place from there( but that goes for most sprinters out there). Look at Donovan from the front, his knees do not come to the mid-line. Dwain can't seem to step over his knees, whether that has anything to do with the size of his leg I don't know. But I would guess it does.
    I don't want to explain errors away as stylistic differences, but I've seen a few athletes not reach their potential because of trying to follow a certain technical model.

    Carl Valle
    Participant
    Carl Valle on #21376

    Since you are a master of photo posting show me Dwain not landing under his center of mass (big mass) from a frontal view in the last two years.

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    2belite on #21377

    [i]Originally posted by Phoenix[/i]
    Since you are a master of photo posting show me Dwain not landing under his center of mass (big mass) from a frontal view in the last two years.

    Who ever said he did. Read my post again, I said Dwain does not step over his knee. The fact that he does land under his center of mass and has great hip height is the perfect reason why him not stepping over should be an issue. However, some coaches would spend limited practice time trying to fix this.
    Read my post carefully before attacking them. Thanks.

    Carl Valle
    Participant
    Carl Valle on #21378

    2belite,

    What are you doing now to get athletes better? Some people are here to share and learn information, and some of us actually do it!

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    Todd Lane on #21379

    2belite
    His "waddle" to me is not something I would focus on, I wold work on getting his hips up and let things fall into place from there( but that goes for most sprinters out there). Look at Donovan from the front, his knees do not come to the mid-line.

    please explain
    1) hips up is very general term, what does it mean to you?

    2) how would you address getting hips up?

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    2belite on #21380

    Phoenix, if you are asking if I am working directly with a group of sprinters, the answer is no. My involvement with track is two fold right now. I volunteer some time at a local University where my friend is the Coach, and I am doing what would be considered an internship under another coach.

    Carl Valle
    Participant
    Carl Valle on #21381

    What would you like to do to fix people? I am not making a point, but even conjectures are usefull. How do we get Coby's hips up…any drills or cues or runs to think about things?

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    Participant
    2belite on #21382

    Re Coby hips: I can't speak specifically about Coby, because I don't know what he is working with.
    I will share some of my thoughts about hip height in general. Let's assume we are working with an athlete with no injuries, no muscle imbalances, has the landmarks inplace and stength is not a limiting factor.
    I think hip hight at max vel can be affected by what happens as far back as the start. I feel unless you have super levels of strength, it is important to drive "up" out of the blocks and not foward. This may make you a little slower over the first 30, but is sets you up for the last 2/3rd. Smtc guys are a good example of this approach(look at video of them sprint and you will see they are all upright by 15m).
    Also a big contributor to low hips is pushing out the back. Some coaches advocate teaching stepping over the knees as a way to fix this problem. I disagree with this approach, I think the results are not lasting under pressure and many times it messes up an athlete's natural rhythm. The reason why most athletes push out the back, is because pushing is the natural thing to do. So we should teach an athlete the right way to push instead of giving them something different to do(step over). Don't forget we are talking about an athlete who's strength levels are sufficient.
    How do we teach pushing right at max velocity? First, it may be necessary to get your sprinter to forget about his horizontal movement and "push up" on contact with each stride. Most times they will feel as if their stride length is really suffering, but 9 out of 10 times it is not. Secondly, try to teach the sensation of pushing the knees up, at no time should you be lifting your knees. If an athlete can master pushing the knees up, pushing out the back would not be a problem anymore.
    These things are hard to explain with words, it's easier to demonstrate.

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    jjh999 on #21383

    Teaching an athlete to push at MaxV is asking for trouble. See Bruny Surin 1999 WC. Allow the athlete to let the knee lead and cue the appropriate posture (which IMHO is always key and usually the first place to look for problems), and they should be OK at MaxV.

    How do we get the hips up? As 2belite said, it could be a multifaceted problem, but …

    9 times out of 10 it actually is a strength problem. If the hips are low, the athlete does not have the ability to drive the COM upward, which is consistent with the vertical force application that is seen at MaxV. If the athlete has the requisite absolute strength levels, power may be the issue, i.e. the athlete does not have enough elastic strength to apply the forces in a short enough time frame, thus allowing the COM to drop.

    Insufficient eccentric strenght in the hamstring/hip extensors could also be a problem.

    I think we should be careful assuming he has the requisite strength levels (relative to his body mass) b/c he is so jacked. Is anyone familiar with his lifts?

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    2belite on #21384

    Forget about Coby, lets talk hip height in general. Strength plays a big part when it comes to hip height, but we can't assume that gains in the required strength go hand in hand or is dependent on gains in the weightroom. (we know carl was not squating twice his bw).
    JJ made a great point about letting the knees lead, this is something I also believe in. However, we are not talking about an athlete who is doing things right. Pushing the knee up is a corrective measure for a sprinter pushing out the back. If you are pushing out the back the knee cannot lead, your foot gets left behind(big but kick). You have to be on top of yourself if you want the knees to trully lead. When you push out the back your hip flexors are doing the work to recover the leg, not the track.
    Bruny did exactly what pushing the knees up would teach a sprinter to prevent. Maybe the word "pushing" is giving the wrong idea. Some coaches use bounce up instead. The idea is to get a feeling for the force or what ever it is, that causes your knee to lead. Do some runs on a track then do some runs on the grass, you should feel a lack of spring or bounce and your knee lift should suffer when on the grass. Well the track does not absorb you forces the same way as the grass, it pushes back sending your knees up,(knee leading) hence the term pushing the knees up.
    This is not something to be thinking about during a race. It is simply a "drill" to try and correct an athlete that has the problem pushing out the back. It is used much like any step over drill.

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    jjh999 on #21385

    True, Carl may not have had a big squat which is a indicator of absolute strength, but it was pretty obvious that his elastic strength was outstanding, and that is one of the things that allowed him to attain such great hip height. You can actually see the change in his sprinting technique if you look at very old videos of him, i.e. circa 1981-1982 and compare them with 83->92…96. I would venture a guess that the specialized jump training combined with the technical changes he learned from Coach Tellez were contributing factors.

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