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Sprint Acceleration Training Video

Usain Bolt’s coach Glen Mills believes in sprint training drills, “Athletes tend to reverse to their old habits when put under pressure or when running at maximum velocity. Like helping an actor learning a part, coaches have to continuously react and replay and redo the drills, getting the athlete to run over and over in order to break habits, both psychologically and physically, and get into the right running technique.”

“We set about doing drills then we took videos of his workouts and broke them down on the screen in slow motion to show him exactly what he was doing. I would draw diagrams and show him the position that we are working to achieve.”

Sprint training drills are important for warm up and teaching proper sprint mechanics, the acceleration a-run drill is one example of the drills sprinters can use to improve technical skills and increase sprint speed.

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Cross Country Summer Training

Training High School Cross Country Runners

Summer Training

Developing a cross country program at the high school level requires careful attention since governing bodies in most states limit preseason activities for a season that is invariably shorter than that of other high school sports. Books dealing with the training of world class athletes are less than helpful, not only because of the vast physical differences, but mainly due to the limited time frame given to the high school cross country coach.

While a well established program may have the athletes training in groups during the summer, many coaches are faced with a group of poorly conditioned cross country hopefuls. The great New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard would have his elite athletes run long runs over various terrains for at least ten weeks (about the length of a high school season) just to get them prepared for what he would call training. He felt that the key to cross country progress is aerobic capacity. When we were fortunate enough to get the opportunity to spend several hours alone with Lydiard a month or so before he died, we discussed this philosophy as it concerned high school athletes. He was adamant that putting in the miles is the key to success. These runs are generally done at “talking pace” which is a speed that increases as fitness increases. This long distance training forms a base upon which the real training program can be built. Opponents cry out that runners cannot learn to run fast by running slowly, but the base is merely a conditioning process to prepare the entire body to be able to handle a very intense work load. Where some coaches go wrong is they will see measurable increases in speed with the endurance phase and, therefore, neglect the faster tempo and speed work which is necessary to gain optimum performances for the championship races.

An essential ingredient, then, in building a successful high school cross country team is a summer training program. In some states coaches can be directly involved, while in others they must have no contact at all. Summer runs can be conducted by team captains. This takes the coach out of the equation and helps develop a sense of camaraderie and team unity. In most programs the athletes meet at a chosen location three to five days a week and then split into groups based on ability. The runners set out on their respective courses for a given number of miles or minutes. For developing a sense of “team,” choosing minutes works out better as everyone finishes at the same time no matter how far they have run. Finishing at the same time allows runners of all abilities to do the stretching and core strength exercises as a unit.

To reach the highest levels, top high school runners usually log between 50 and 90 miles a week during the off season with less mileage run during the weeks of higher intensity training. These athletes add mileage each year to their weekly totals. Most freshmen aren’t prepared to handle the same mileage as a senior, especially when the intensity increases. Most programs continue to include a long run each week to help maintain the aerobic development. Many of the top high school programs also include an easy team run before school each morning.

Ideally, the coach greets a group of youngsters who are fit and ready to go after having trained throughout the summer. Realistically, many still fall far from this category.  What these kids need is a bit of fairly easy distance running to prepare their systems (muscles, tendons, lungs, heart, and self confidence) for competitive training. For some kids, that means most of the season will involve getting ready to start training. For the better prepared, faster workouts will be started almost immediately. It is essential, though, that high school runners build as strong a base as possible before high intensity runs.

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Long Jump Drills Approach Video

Long jump drills for the approach can help train the athlete not foul and how to correct errors. Using a check mark system with your long jump drills will help develop the approach run.

Long Jump Drills Approach and Marks

 

Long Jump Drills: 12 Step Running Approach


Long jump drills for the approach include a 12 step running approach, six strides with each leg, the athlete should count only the step with the takeoff leg. For example, count six lefts if the jumper takes off the left leg in the long jump.

Jumpers need to practice on the track without the takeoff point to develop the proper cadence
and rhythm. After the approach is consistent, the athlete can move to the jumping area.


Next, the jumpers will practice the approach with a pop up to simulate the approach and takeoff. Other long jump drills can be used with the approach run also.

Increase the number of strides only after proper running mechanics are established and  the performance is consistent. Do not make adjustments the last practice before a major competition or at track and field meet.

Estimated Performance to Add Strides 
Long Jump 22’6″ (male) 18’0″ (female)

To learn about long jump basics, check this page

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Check Marks and Steering in the Long Jump


Check marks are used in all of the jumping events. Marks can be used by the coach and by the athlete. The first check mark is at the start of the attempt. The next check is at four steps into the approach and can be used by both the coach and the athlete. 

Athletes can make a minor adjustment to either increase speed or decrease speed at the first check mark if they miss the four step marker. The four step mark is the most common point used to adjust runway speed. Over stepping the mark indicates the athletes should focus on staying down and push more down the track, especially if the athlete misses the takeoff point by the same distance they were off the coaches mark.

Subtle adjustments are made in the approach visually by the athlete if the takeoff point is incorrect. This visual correction by the jumper is called steering. Generally, the earlier the adjustment in the approach the more likely the jumper will have a well executed attempt.

Marks and adjustments
Several variables can affect check marks during competition. Sometimes it is the athlete and sometimes it is the meet conditions or it can be both. Establishing an approach rhythm first then adjusting the check marks is recommended. Taking a few approach runs with a pop-up can determine the adjustments needed that day.


Consistency with the four step mark will solve most problems. 

In the long jump, a common error is over striding causing foul problems. The simple solution of moving the jumper back is usually not the answer. Pushing more out of the back and getting into proper maximum velocity sprint mechanics down the runway is much more productive. Long jump drills for approach can include developing proper running mechanics and acceleration training.

Long Jump Drills: Marks and Adjustments


On four stride mark and hits takeoff mark (half the takeoff board in warm ups for the long jump and triple jump).

GOOD

Short of four stride mark and hits takeoff mark (half the takeoff board in warm ups for the long jump and triple jump)

ADJUST if running speed is not maintained: move up by amount missed

GOOD if running speed is maintained: look to make check mark adjustments in training if needed.

Over four stride mark and hits takeoff mark (half the takeoff board in warm ups for the long jump and triple jump)

GOOD if running speed is maintained: look to make check mark adjustments in training if needed.

Over four stride mark and over takeoff mark by same distance (half the takeoff board in warm ups for the long jump and triple jump)

GOOD if running speed is maintained: look to make check mark adjustments in the back of the runway.

Over four stride mark and under takeoff mark by same distance (half the takeoff board in warm ups for the long jump and triple jump)

ADJUST watch the rhythm of the approach, more gradual build up in speed.

Under four stride mark and under takeoff mark by same distance (half the takeoff board in warm ups for the long jump and triple jump)

GOOD if running speed is maintained: look to make check mark adjustments in the back of the runway.

Under four stride mark and over takeoff mark by (half the takeoff board in warm ups for the long jump and triple jump)

ADJUST watch the rhythm of the approach, more drive out of the back, quicker transition into high-end speed. Watch for over striding into the last three steps.

With longer approach runs, the four step mark can be moved to the sixth stride (18-20 steps).

Long Jump great Mike Powell offers his advice:

“The thing that I try to tell coaches, get your athletes to think of the long jump as a vertical jump. It’s really not a horizontal jump. The distance comes from the speed.

“I believe that the approach is 90 percent of the jump. It sets up the rhythm, it sets up the takeoff, and that’s really the majority of the work. Once you leave the ground this whole distance that you can go is already pre-determined (by) the amount of speed you have at takeoff, your hip height, takeoff angle and the amount of force you put into the ground. All you can do when you get into the air is take away from that.”

read more from Mike Powell here

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Price: $37.00 $26.00

Huge Sale: Arkansas Long Jumpers finish 1-2-3 in the 2014 SEC Championships, buy now for only $26.00 (the distance of the winning jump).