Archive for “Foot Placement” Tag

Training Young Athletes Where It All Begins

 

 

Foot Strike: The most obvious but most overlooked component of training young athletes.

 

 

About eight years ago, one of my high school high jumpers, Danielle, came running down to me at a track meet to tell me the news. As the coach of the long, triple and high jumps I was making the rounds at a meet trying to miss as few competitive attempts as possible, in a facility that spread the jump areas out. Needless to say, I missed her high jumps attempts. She was about to fill me in.

 

Between spurts of laughter, Danielle, whose athleticism is best described as “she is a really nice girl”, managed to tell me that during her approach she fell, crashed into the standard, caused a ruckus but rather enjoyed the experience. She then bounded off.  Momentarily, I was relieved to have missed it. Days later I scrounged up the video to see what I expected. Poor foot placement in the latter steps of the approach and some other factors caused the wipeout.

 

Her problem was caused by the same part of athleticism that also led to many of the great performances that day: the” foot strike.”  “Foot strike,” refers to the foot contacting the ground while running. That instant is vital to the success or failure of nearly every sporting endeavor, yet it is rarely emphasized, coached, taught or even discussed. It definitely should be. Since then, the other co-head coach of the track team and I have focused many hours upon this very topic. Here are some things to think about:

 

(more…)

Exercise Programs For Kids and The Art Of Teaching Speed

Exercise Programs For Kids Speed Training

One of my favorite things to teach, both to young athletes as well as
Coaches, is the mechanics of speed.

 

Deceleration techniques specifically.

 

And that’s because speed is seldom taught as a skill at all.

 

Usually, the ‘speed work’ of a training session consists of some hurdles,
cones, sprinting and ‘plyo’ exercises with little attention being paid to
form or function.

 

Simply put, we don’t often TEACH speed and respect it in the way we
should.

 

Young athletes can (and should) be taught how to become faster and
more efficient from a movement perspective.

 

And in order to do that correctly, you must have a progressive system
in place that allows them to learn.

 

I always teach speed by instructing on the skill of deceleration first –
and I teach that from both a lateral and linear perspective.

 

Here’s my overview for teaching the skill of lateral deceleration for Exercise Programs For Kids:

 

(more…)