A A F / C I F

C o a c h i n g

P r o g r a m

TRACK & FIELD

A PARTNERSHIP FOR COACHING EDUCATION

AAF/CIF TRACK & FIELD COACHING MANUAL Written and Edited By
Edward Derse, AAF Special Program Consultant Skip Stolley, AAF/CIF Coaching Program Coordinator

Contributors
Don Babbit, Cal State Los Angeles, CA Bob Baker, University High School, Irvine, CA Michele Buchicchio, San Gabriel High School, CA Ann C. Grandjean, Ed.D. Dave Johnston, Magnolia High School, Anaheim, CA Rick McQuire, Ph.D., University of Missouri John Tansley, Canon del Oro High School, Tucson, AR Art Venegas, UCLA Los Angeles, CA Danny Williams, UC-Irvine, CA

Design
Jetty Graves Design

Photography
Kirby Lee Robert Miller ISBN 0-944831-32-X CIP 94-80269 © 1995 Amateur Athletic Foundation. All Rights Reserved. This manual may not, in whole or in part, be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated, or converted to any electronic or machine-readable form without prior written consent of the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles, with the exception of the sample forms and rules, which may be photocopied an unlimited number of times for use within an AAF-sanctioned Track & Field program. Printed in the USA 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: A Philosophy for Coaching High School Athletes ............ 1 The High School Coach, Someone Special ......................................... 3 Athletes Meet Sports at the Coach ................................................. 3 The Role of the Coach .............................................................. 3 It Matters Whether You Win or Lose .............................................. 4 Winning vs. Success ................................................................. 5 Building Success ..................................................................... 6 The Desire to Have Fun ............................................................ 6 Shaping Your Environment ........................................................ 7 Some Thoughts on Being a Great Communicator ............................... 8 Understanding Motivation ......................................................... 9 Advice to Help You Survive and Prosper in Coaching ........................... 9 High School Sports as an Extended Classroom ...................................1 0 Developing a Coaching Philosophy ................................................11 Determining Your Coaching Objectives ......................................... 11 Developing An Effective Coaching Style .........................................1 2 TLC: Teach•Learn•Compete ..................................................... 13 Motivating and Communicating with Young Athletes .........................1 4 Helping Athletes Reach for Their Best ........................................... 15 Find Thoughts .................................................................... 17 Chapter 2: Organizing a Track & Field Program ........................... 23 Responsibilities of a Head Track Coach ............................................ 2 4 Job Description .................................................................... 24 Throughout the Year .............................................................. 24 Pre-Season ......................................................................... 24 In-Season .......................................................................... 25 Post-Season ........................................................................ 2 6 The High School Coach’s Legal Liability .......................................... 2 6 How to Protect Your Athletes and Limit Your Liability ........................ 27

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Organizing a Track & Field Coaching Staff ....................................... Planning and Scripting Your Training Sessions ................................ Preparing for the Season .............................................................. Recruiting Team Members ........................................................ How to Build a Winning Program .................................................. How to Recruit Your Army ....................................................... How to Promote Track & Field at Your School ................................. How to Keep Your Athletes Healthy .............................................. Sample Team Guidelines ............................................................. Academic Eligibility .............................................................. Practice Attendance ............................................................... Physical Examinations and Insurance .......................................... Team Uniforms ................................................................... Shoes ............................................................................... Home-Meet Procedures ........................................................... Meet-Day Preparations ........................................................... Away-Meet Procedures ............................................................ Other Team Policies ............................................................... Chapter 3: Principles & Methods of Training ................................ Teaching Track & Field Skills ........................................................ Basic Biomechanics for Track & Field ........................................... Some Basic Biomechanical Principles for Track & Field ...................... The Law of Inertia (Newton’s First Law) ....................................... Linear Motion .................................................................... Angular Motion ................................................................... The Law of Action And Reaction (Newton’s Third Law) ...................... Transfer of Momentum ........................................................... Center of Mass ..................................................................... Curves of Flight ................................................................... Air Resistance ...................................................................... Angular Motion in the Air ....................................................... The Conservation of Angular Momentum ..................................... Centrifugal and Centripetal Force ............................................... Applying Biomechanics to the Running Events ................................. Applying Biomechanics to the Jumping Events ................................. Applying Biomechanics to the Throwing Events ................................ Universal Principles of Training ....................................................... Overload ........................................................................... Progression and Variability .......................................................

27 30 31 35 38 39 39 41 42 42 42 42 43 43 43 43 44 41 47 48 49 49 49 50 50 51 51 51 52 52 53 53 53 53 54 55 56 56 57

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61 Systematic Training ............................................................... 6 3 Planned Performance Beyond the Season ....................................... 6 4 Integrating Skill and Fitness Training ............................................... 6 5 Summary ........................................................................... 6 5 Warm-Up, Warm-Down, and Stretching .......................................... 6 6 Running Warm-Up Examples .................................................... Organizing Your Pre-Training Warm-Up ....................................... Stretching Exercises ................................................................ Running Warm-Up ............................................................... Flexibility Stretches ................................................................ Mobility Stretches ................................................................. Simple Rhythm Drills ............................................................. Warming-Down .............................................................. Chapter 4: Strength and Power Training ..................................... Strength Training ........................................................................ Weight Training Principles .............................................................. Safety in the Weight Room ............................................................. 66 66 67 68 69 70 70 71 73

Specificity ............................................................................ Recovery and Restoration ........................................................... Individuality ........................................................................ Planned Performance Training ...................................................... Periodization .......................................................................

58 59 59 60

74 74 77 The Strength and Weight Training Program ........................................ 8 0 Level I ............................................................................ 81 Level II ............................................................................. 8 3 Level III ...................................................................... 84 Periodizing Weight Training ..................................................... 8 6 Strength Training for Large Track & Field Teams .............................. 8 8 The Lifts .................................................................................... 8 9 The Squat .......................................................................... 8 9 The Power Clean .................................................................. 91 Snatch .............................................................................. 9 4 The Bench Press .................................................................... 9 5 Resources ............................................................................ 9 6 Technical Appendix ............................................................... 9 7

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Chapter 5: Plyometric Training for Speed-Strength ....................... 9 9 A Philosophy of Plyometric Training ............................................... 100 The Physiology of Plyometric Training ............................................. 100 Principles of Plyometric Training .................................................... 102 Basic Strength .................................................................... 103 Rapidity of Stretch ................................................................ 104 Rate vs. Degree of Stretch ......................................................... 104 Explosive Movement ............................................................... 104 Technique ............................................................................ 104 Fatigue ............................................................................... 104 Caution with Plyometrics .......................................................... 105 Constructing a Plyometric Training Program ..................................... 106 Types of Plyometric Exercises ...................................................... 106 Description of Individual Plyometric Exercises ................................. 109 Power Plyometric Drills ............................................................ 114 Incorporating Plyometric Training ................................................. 123 Introducing Plyometrics ............................................................ 123 Volume and Intensity ............................................................... 124 Specificity ........................................................................... 125 Periodization and Phase Transition .............................................. 125 Rest and Recovery .................................................................... 128 Constructing a Single Training Session .......................................... 128 Chapter 6: Prevention & Treatment .......................................... 133 The Coach’s Responsibility ........................................................... 134 The Most Common Injuries ........................................................ 135 Heat Problems ...................................................................... 135 Injury Classifications ............................................................... 137 Soft Tissue Injuries ................................................................. 137 Injuries By Event ................................................................... 140 Returning an Injured Athlete to Competition .................................... 146 Preparing for Injuries ................................................................... 146 Other Health Issues .................................................................... 147 Exercise-Induced Asthma .......................................................... 147 Peformance-Enhancing Drugs ................................................... 147 Chapter 7: Eating for Health & Performance .............................. 151 The Athlete’s Diet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 Calorie Requirements for Athletes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 Carbohydrates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154

XIV

Protein ........................................................................ Protein Supplements ............................................................. Fat ....................................................................................... Vitamins .......................................................................... Minerals .......................................................................... Calcium ........................................................................... Pre-Competition Meals ................................................................ Achieving Ideal Competitive Weight ............................................... Eating Disorders ........................................................................ How to Identify an Athlete with an Eating Disorder ........................ Chapter 8: Organizing a Home Track Meet ................................ How to Prepare For Your Meet ...................................................... Checklist Two Days Before Your Meet ....................................... Checklist for the Day Before the Meet ........................................... Checklist for Meet Day ............................................................ Checklist for Before the Start of the Meet ....................................... Check List for After the Meet .......................................................

156 157 157 158 159 160 162 163 163 164

167 168 168 169 169 170 170 How to Recruit and Train Adult Officials .......................................... 185 Sources of Adult Officials for Your Meet ......................................... 185 Training Your Officials ............................................................. 185 Keys to Well-Officiated Track Meets .............................................. 186 Your Meet Referees ................................................................ 187 Chapter 9: Training Sprinters ................................................... A Philosophy for Coaching the Sprint Events ..................................... Principles of Training ................................................................. Overload ............................................................................ Allowance for Recovery ............................................................ Toughening ......................................................................... Specificity ........................................................................... Methods of Training for Sprint Events ............................................. Weight Training .................................................................... Warm-Up ........................................................................... Stretching ............................................................................ Running Drills Sprinters ...................................................... Aerobic Running ................................................................... Circuit Training .................................................................... Cone Circuits. ....................................................................... Speed Enhancement Drills ........................................................ 189 190 191 191 191 191 191 192 192 192 193 193 194 194 195 195

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Repetition Training ................................................................ Speed-Endurance Training ...................................................... High-Lactate Training ............................................................. Peak Speed Training ............................................................... Coaching the Mechanics of Sprinting .............................................. Running Posture .................................................................... Arm-Action .......................................................................... Footstrike ............................................................................ Sprinting Form Drills .............................................................. Coaching the Sprint Start ............................................................. Setting the Blocks ................................................................... Positioning the Hands ............................................................. Weight Distribution ................................................................ Application of Force ................................................................ Optimal “Set” Position ............................................................ Movements Upon Commands .................................................... The First Strides from the Blocks ................................................. Practicing Sprint Starts ............................................................ Coaching the Relays .................................................................... 4 x 100 Meter Relay ................................................................ 4 x 400 Meter Relay ............................................................... Tactics and Strategy for the Sprint Events ......................................... Coaching Hints ..................................................................... Helpful Word Cues .................................................................. Applying Strategy to the Sprint Races ............................................ Other Tactical Advice for Sprinters ............................................... A Training Periodization Plan for the CIF Season ................................ Final Thoughts ...................................................................... Planning Aids for Developing Your Training System ............................ Sprinters Workout ................................................................. Sample 100m Sprinters Workout ................................................. Sample 200m Sprinters Workout ................................................. Sample 400m Sprinters Workout ................................................. Sample 4-Week 400m Training Plan ............................................ Chapter 10: Training Hurdlers .................................................. A Philosophy for Coaching the Hurdles ......................................... Teaching the Technique of Hurdling .............................................. Fundamental Mechanics ........................................................ Hurdle Technique Checklist ....................................................

196 196 197 197 198 198 198 199 199 193 200 201 202 203 203 204 205 206 207 207 214 217 217 218 218 220 221 221 222 222 223 224 225 226 229 230 231 231 231

XVI

.......................... 255 Surging Training ................................................................................................................................................................... 245 .................. 261 Distance Running Tactics .... 236 Hurdle Touch-Down Time Charts ..................................................................................................................................... 243 Summary ................... 244 Sample 100m / 100m Hurdles Workout ................................................................................ 260 Planning a Race ................................................................................................................. 252 Steady-Pace Training ............................ 254 Speed Play (“Fartlek”) Training..... Sample 300m Hurdles Workout ..... 258 Helpful Coaching Word Cues ......... 241 Training Periodization Plan for the CIF Season .................................................................... 238 Methods of Training for the Hurdle Events .. 247 Chapter 11: Training Distance Runners ................... 259 The Strategic of Front Running and Position Running .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 253 Tempo-Pace (Threshold) Training ........ 254 Interval (High-Lactate) Training ................................... 257 Putting It All Together ................................................... 244 Hurdle Workout ..... 246 Hurdle Technique Checklist ....... 252 Methods of Training for the Distance Races ......... 256 Arm-Action ........... 238 Considerations in Gaining Hurdlers........................................................................ 243 Planning Aids for Developing Your Training System .................... 250 Universal Principles of Training ................................... 252 800 meters............................................................................................Stages of Hurdling: Girls’ 100m and Boys’ 110m ...... 242 Training Hurdlers with a System ............................................... 249 A Philosophy for Coaching the Distance Events ... 259 Racing Positions ...... 235 Stages of the 300m Hurdles ......................... 1600 meters............................. 262 XVII ............................... ...................... 240 Running Hurdle Drills ......................................................................................................................................................... 3200 meters ....................................................................... 238 Stationary Hurdle Drills .... 255 Teaching Distance Running Mechanics .................................................................................. 233 Common Hurdling Mistakes and Corrective Techniques ......................................................................... 257 Breathing ......................... 258 Tactics and Strategy for the Distance Races ...................................... 253 Repetition Training .............................................................................. 255 Running Posture . 256 Footstrike ........................................

......... Training for the Long Jump and Triple Jump ... Off-Season Training for Distance Runners ............... The Long Jump .................................. Distance Runners Gaining Script . Developing Jumping Rhythm .......... Sample Long/Triple Jumpers Workout ........................................................................... Types of Training For the Long Jump & Triple Jump ..... Long Jump Mechanics ..................................................................Applying Strategy to the 800m............................................. Planning Aids for Developing Your Training System ...................................................................... Sample 4-Week Horizontal Jumps Training Plan .......................................... Sample Distance Runners Training Script ......... Specificity ............................................................................................................................................ A Training Periodization Plan for the CIF Season ............................ Recovery .................................................................... Teaching the Long and Triple Jumps ............................................ Mechanics of the Long and Triple Jumps .............. Triple Jump Mechanics .............................................................................. The Approach Run .............................................................................................. Sample Distance Runners Training Script .............................................. and 3200m Races ................................................................................... Individuality ... Jump Testing ........................................................................................ A Philosophy for Coaching Horizontal Jumps ..................... Planning Aids for Developing Your Training System ........ A Training Periodization Plan for the Season .............. Repetition ......................... Introducing the Jumps to Beginners ....... Progressive Overload .............................................................................................. Training for the Long Jump and Triple Jump .. Sample Training and Competition Plan ................................ Sample 4-Week Training Plan ................................................................................................................... 1600m................ Safety Precautions for Training Alone ...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 264 265 266 267 268 269 269 270 271 272 273 275 276 276 276 276 277 277 277 278 278 279 280 280 281 283 292 292 293 293 297 298 300 300 301 302 XVIII ............................................ Long/Triple Jumpers Workout ........... Chapter 12: Training Long & Triple Jumpers .................................. Considerations in Training ........... Training Distance Runners with a System ...........

........................................................................................................................................................... 328 High Jumpers Workout ......................................... The Transition and Take-off ..... Teaching the Flop Method of High Jumping ....... Individuality ................................................................... 335 Principles of Training .................. 336 XIX .............. 327 Mental Preparation ........... 327 Determining Opening Heights ..................................................................................................... Methods of Training For the High Jump ................................................................... 325 Tactics and Strategy for High Jump Competition ....... 321 A Training Periodization Plan for the Season .............................. Repetition ................... 336 Repetition ................................................................................................. Coaching Tips for the High Jump ...... 320 Types of Training for the High Jump ............................................ 336 Specificity .................. Philosophy for Coaching the High Jump .............. Introducing the High Jump to Beginners .................. Specificity ........................................................................... 336 Progressive Overload ...........................................Chapter 13: Training High Jumpers ......... 333 A Philosophy for Coaching the Pole Vault .................................................................. Bar Clearance ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 330 Chapter 13: Training Pole Vaulters ................................ The Approach Run ................................................................................................................................................... 305 306 306 306 306 307 307 307 308 308 309 309 310 310 312 319 320 Considerations in Training High Jumpers ....................................................................... 334 Safe Use .................................... 327 Determining Height Progressions ...... Developing Technique in the High Jump .................................... 335 Safe Training ................................... 327 Planning Aids for Developing Your Training System ......................................................................................................................................................................................................... Mechanics and Technique of High Jumping ...................................... 328 Sample High Jumpers Workout ............................ 329 Sample 4-Week High Jump Training Plan ............ Progressive Overload ........... 334 Safe Facility .................................................................................. Recovery ....................................... 326 Before the Meet ................................................ Principles of Training for the High Jump ....................................................... 334 Ensuring Safe Participation .......................................................................

....................................................... Individuality .............................................................................................................................................. February — Pre-Season Mini-Cycle #1 ... Teaching Objectives for the Coach ............................ The Hand Grip and Hand Spread on the Pole .................................................................................................................................................................................... Methods of Training ........ Coaching the Fundamentals ........................................................ Vault Training .................................................. Technique Goals for the Intermediate Vaulter ................ Determining Opening Heights ......... Mental Preparation ................................................................................................................................... Start-to-Finish (for a Right-Handed Vaulter) ....... The Approach ................ Gymnastics ........ and Swing ......... Holding the Pole ......... Weight Training ............................................................................................................Recovery ....................... The Fly-Away and Landing ................. Technique.... Approach Length /Stride Pattern / Check Marks ........................................................... The Training Cycle ...... Speed Development .......... Technique Goals for the Beginning Vaulter .................. The Pull Turn and Push .................................................................................................. Performance Objectives for the Athlete .................. 336 337 338 338 338 340 341 342 342 342 342 342 343 344 344 344 345 345 347 348 348 349 350 350 351 351 352 352 355 355 356 356 356 357 357 357 358 359 XX .............. How to Calculate Running Intensity ................... Grip Height / Take-Off Distance / 6-Stride Check Mark ............... Introducing the Pole Vault to Beginners ................................................................................................................... Before the Meet ........... The Follow-Through .............................................................................................................. Tactics and Strategy for Competition ...................................... The Pole Plant and Take-Of f ... Pole Selection ............................................. Learning to Run........ General Conditioning .................................... Penetrating the Pit .............................................................................................................................................. Vaulting Drills .............................................................................................................. A Training Periodization Plan for the Season .............................................................................................................................. Swing Speed .......................................................... Plant.......................................................................................................................................... Determining Height Progressions .................

...................................................... May — Late-Season Mini-Cycle #4 .................. Weight Training and Conditioning .................... A Periodization Plan for the Season ........................................... Training Throwers Systematically ..... Principles of Training..........................March — Early-Season Mini-Cycle #2 ............. April—Mid-Season Mini-Cycle #3 ................................................................................... Methods of Training ............. Drills for the Discus Throw ............................................... ............................. Specificity ................................................................................... The Mechanics of Throws ........................................... Recovery ................................................................ Drills for the Shot Put ...................... 359 360 360 361 361 362 365 366 366 367 367 367 367 367 367 369 370 370 375 378 378 378 380 380 381 383 384 385 386 386 387 388 XXI .............. Chapter 14: Training Shot Put & Discus Throwers ............................... Sample Shot Put and Discus Workout ........................................................................................................................... Repetition ................................ Discus Throw Technique ................................................................................................................................ Teaching the Discus Throw .................................................................................................................................................................................................... Safety Considerations in Events ...................................................................................................................................... Teaching the Shot Put .................... Pole Vaulters Gaining Script ....................... A Philosophy for Coaching Throws ......... Introducing the Throws to Beginners .. Planning Aids for Developing Your Training System .................................................................................................................. Shot Put Technique .... Progressive Overload .............................................................................................................. Individuality ........ Planning Aids for Developing Your Training System ......... Understanding the Techniques ............................................. Sample 4-Week Training Plan ............................................................... Shot Put and Discus Workout ................... Sample Pole Vaulters Training Script ....................................................................

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Head High Jump Judge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Clerk of the Course . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Head Shot Put Judge . . . . High Jump Rules . . . . . . . . . Triple Jump Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391 392 392 396 398 400 402 404 406 408 408 409 410 411 412 414 416 418 Bibliography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Head Pole Vault Judge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Head Discus Judge . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 2 0 XXII . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Discus Rules . . Head Triple Jump Judge . . . . The Rules of Competition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Appendix . . . . . . . Officials’ Instruction Sheets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shot Put Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Head Long Jump Judge . . Long Jump Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Finish Line Judges and Inspectors . . . Head Timer/Finish Judge . . . . . Pole Vault Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

End of Table of Contents XXIII .

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BIOMECHANICS. The Evolution of a Master Coach 2 . COMMUNICATE. NUTRITION AND SPORT PSYCHOLOGY COACHING KNOWLEDGE GAINED AS AN ASSISTANT OR ATHLETE IN THE CHARGE OF A MENTOR COACH POSITIVE PERSONAL EXPERIENCES AS AN ATHLETE. A LOVE FOR THE SPORT AND THE DESIRE TO ASSUME THE MANY ROLES OF A COACH IN ORDER TO HELP NEW GENERATIONS OF YOUNG ATHLETES IMPROVE.ABILITY TO ADAPT YOUR COACHING TO THE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF YOUR ATHLETES ABILITY TO ADAPT YOUR COACHING TO YOUR OWN UNIQUE SITUATION DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR OWN “TRAINING PHILOSOPHY” ABILITY TO ORGANIZE. AND MOTIVATE YOUNG ATHLETES COACHING INSIGHTS GAINED FROM WORKING WITH ATHLETES COACHING KNOWLEDGE GAINED FROM CLINICS AND PERSONAL STUDY OF TECHNIQUE AND THE SPORT SCIENCES: EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY.

spokesperson. diplomat. psychologist. There are opportunities to be part of a team while competing as an individual. For the coach. trainer. learn about oneself. promoter. expert teacher.000 high school athletes released in 1990 concluded that the quality of coaching has the greatest influence on whether participation in high school sports becomes a positive experience for the young athlete. and socially. no other sport can provide so much for so many. Someone Special ATHLETES MEET SPORTS AT THE COACH It is the coach who frames the sport experience for the athlete. administrator.The High School Coach. The collage of Track & Field events offers opportunities for athletic success to a wider variety of personalities. communications expert. All these possibilities are woven into the unique fabric of sport. There are lessons about life and reality. the greatest reward should not be the outcome of winning. The responsibility of making them an intimate part of every young athlete’s Track & Field experience rests squarely on the shoulders of the coach. There are opportunities to develop physically. and develop a new sense of competence and self-worth. parent substitute? To be a high school coach is to assume all of these diverse roles. disciplinarian. There is the motivation to pursue goals and objectives that most teenagers dismiss as being impossible. body types and natural athletic talent than any other sport. Great coaches use sport as a vehicle to enrich the lives and the futures of their athletes. 3 . personnel manager. but rather the process of training and competition that positively affects the personal development of young athletes. THE ROLE OF THE COACH What exactly is the high school coach’s role: recruiter. strategist. caring friend. emotionally. impartial judge. counselor. There are opportunities to discover hidden talents. A study of 10. Combined with its dual offering of individual and team competition.

IT MATTERS WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE While society often perceives winning as the most prized outcome of sport, a single focus on winning by the coach can subordinate every other worthy outcome of an athlete's participation in sports. There is nothing wrong with wanting to win, and given the choice, coaches would be nearly unanimous in choosing winning over the alternative. But there is a difference between being focused and being obsessed. Winning is just not the only important outcome of sport.

Factors that Determine Who Wins and Who Loses

Coaches should recognize that two factors primarily determine whether an athlete or team wins a given competition: 1. How well the athlete and/or team performs. Every individual and team is capable of a certain level of performance. How well the athletes exploit that capability in competition is the chief factor in winning. Anything less than one’s best can open the door to defeat. 2. Scheduling. As obvious as it may seem, the next greatest contributor to winning is competing against individuals or teams with less talent. Inferior competitors can, and sometimes do, upset superior ones, but the powerful role that scheduling plays in winning and losing cannot be disputed. Once the schedule is set and the opponent is known, the most significant factor becomes performance. When athletes or teams perform to the best of their capability against weaker opponents, victory usually results. This is not certain, for winning is often elusive. It is the uncertainty and mystery of the outcome that gives sport much of its intrigue and magic. Winning is a challenge. At best, however, only 50 percent of the participants can be winners in any sport competition. In a sport like Track & Field, only one team among several and only one individual among many achieve victory. So, does everyone else then become losers? Is there no opportunity for achievement, fulfillment, and fun without winning? Is winning really the ultimate goal of sport, or is there a more important objective and a more attainable goal?

4

WINNING VS. SUCCESS The opportunity for success is available to everyone if it is defined as performing to one’s capability, rather than focusing solely on the outcome of a given competition. Teaching athletes to focus on success, rather than winning, nurtures the factors that ultimately lead to winning. Success = Ability + Preparation + Effort + Will Ability. Everyone has ability, but it isn’t distributed equally or predictably. This applies to coaches as well as athletes. Often ability is a gift of birth, but that doesn’t guarantee any success. The challenge isn’t to have ability, but to develop and use the ability we are given. Preparation. We gain greater use of our abilities by investing in preparation. Only through the persistent and consistent process of preparation can raw talent be transformed into greater capability. In Track & Field, we call this preparation training. Through proper training, athletes become faster, stronger, more skilled, knowledgeable, confident and mentally tough. But although developing greater capability is important, it is still no guarantee of success. Effort. Developed ability realizes its value when expressed through the challenge of competition. That expression is accomplished when physical and mental effort summon every ounce of one’s capability Still, athletes often find themselves nearing the finish of their race exhausted, having given all they think possible, but needing to find even more. In sport we call this...crunch time! Will. Crunch time is real, both in sport and life. It is that moment when you think you have given all you have, only to find out even more is required. Many athletic contests are won or lost at this moment. Some athletes are able to draw on an inner strength to summon greater effort than they know themselves to have. This is the use of one’s will, the power to go back to one’s personal reservoir again and again as needed. When athletes and teams train hard to develop their ability, give their best effort in competition, and show the will to push themselves beyond self-imposed limits, they, are successful.

5

Too often, coaches and athletes miss experiencing the pride and satisfaction of success because they are too focused on winning. More often, coaches and athletes fail to win because they first fail to become successes. BUILDING SUCCESS Unlike winning, success can be experienced by every athlete every day. It doesn’t come easily or immediately, however. Success requires that athletes be coached to develop some specific, personal attitudes. Six such attitudes have been identified by Robert Goodwin, Track & Field Coach at St. Lawrence University: 1. The desire to strive for excellence. 2. The realization that nothing of value can be achieved without hard work and dedication. 3. The desire to display self-confidence. 4. The desire to show one’s ability in competition. 5. The desire to cooperate as part of a team. 6. The desire to have fun. THE DESIRE TO HAVE FUN The desire to have fun deserves special attention. Sports should be fun for both athletes and coaches. The opportunity to have fun is consistently identified by students as the #1 incentive to participate in high school sports. But the fun we refer to is not the “fool around” fun we see in our locker rooms, on the bus, or at team parties. It is the pride, satisfaction, and fulfillment a youngster experiences from improving his or her strength, speed, and skill after hours of training and practice. It is the thrill and exhilaration of setting a new personal best in competition. This is the fun that all athletes and coaches seek. It is the fun of feeling good about oneself When athletes experience this kind of fun, they become consumed with the desire to feel more...preferably as soon as possible. Developing this desire to have fun may be the most important attitude coaches can teach. When athletes are filled with the desire to have fun, they are likely to: • Strive with all their hearts for excellence. • Dedicate themselves to consistent hard training.

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• Show the self-confidence to make the tough decisions and sacrifices it takes to train and compete at their best. • Be anxious to show their ability in competition, free of fear or self-doubt. • Gain personal strength from respecting, helping, and caring about their teammates. So, What About Winning? Where, then, should winning fit into your coaching philosophy? As noted earlier, nearly every coach would prefer to win every contest. Realistically, however, it is important for coaches to admit that it does not matter much whether or not our athletes win all those races. What does matter is that we win the battle to enhance the lives of our athletes through the experience of participating in Track & Field. For coaches, this is the most important win of all. This is the true measure of coaching success. SHAPING YOUR ENVIRONMENT Most of us believe that sports teach participants high ideals and admirable personal qualities such as pride, courage, confidence, and respect. Unfortunately, this is not always true. None of these ideals and attributes are inherent in sport. It is the coach who frames the experience of participating in sports within the environment he or she creates for the program. For every athlete who has experienced pride through sport, others have experienced relentless criticism and ridicule from their coaches. For every athlete who has gained courage from competition, others have been gripped by the fear of intense scrutiny and high expectations by their coaches. All too often, athletes develop attitudes of disrespect, hate, and vengeance for their opponents, officials, teammates, and coaches. Sport is fertile ground for learning. Coaches, both good and bad, are effective teachers. Lessons learned are learned well. Consciously or unconsciously, the coach designs and controls his or her sport environment. Every coach is encouraged to invest significant time and effort in engineering an environment that nurtures pride, confidence, courage, respect, responsibility, trust, caring, leadership, and other attributes the coach believes to be important. These must be reflected and constantly reinforced in the attitude, words, actions, and behavior of the coach.

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SOME THOUGHTS ON BEING A GREAT COMMUNICATOR Without question, the key to being a successful coach is the ability to communicate effectively. Communication is a two-way process between the sender and receiver. It takes on many forms, some overt and others subtle. Coaches communicate with their athletes by what they say, what they write, what they do, and how they behave. To communicate effectively, coaches must also receive communication from their athletes. In a word, listen. Guidelines to Improve Your Communication Skills • Understand that the burden of responsibility for any communication belongs to the sender, not the receiver. If it is important enough for you to say or write to your athletes, it must be repeated, reinforced, and reviewed to be sure the message is understood. Communication must be an ongoing process, especially with high school athletes. • Communicate with those under as you would with those above you. Some coaches are unaware that often they communicate with younger and/or lesser athletes in a condescending or demeaning fashion. Ask yourself if your choice of words, tone, and style of delivery reflects the attitude and respect you would like to receive in communication from your athletic director and principal. • Communicate with your athletes regularly, consistently, and thoroughly. Make communication easier by having at least one team meeting a week so your athletes come to anticipate and expect certain messages. Avoid just talking at your athletes. Ask for their questions and input. • Instruct Constructively. Too often, athletes are only told what they are doing wrong. It is more important, and far more effective, to tell them how to do it right by: • Reinforcing the positive. • Praising what your athletes do right, preparing them to be receptive to your next instruction.

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• Explaining the mistake and how to correct it. Be specific and keep it short. Athletes can only process a limited amount of information at one time. Be patient and careful not to show any frustration. • Reinforcing the positive. Sandwich further instruction between two positive comments to take the sting out of continued correction. UNDERSTANDING MOTIVATION Motivation is something that arises from inside an individual. Motivation cannot be given to someone; it has to be fed, nurtured, and tapped. The word motivation is derived from the word motive, which is the desire to fulfill a need. The primary need we all have is the need to feel worthy. Our sense of self-worth is enhanced most by feelings of competence, accomplishment, and acceptance. Simply put, we feel better about ourselves when we feel we are good at something. We will work hard to improve in areas where we believe we have the potential for success. The more effort we put into the process of improving, the more our feelings of increased competence enhance our feeling of self-worth. Accomplishments and recognition along the way reinforce our worthiness. We also measure our self-worth by the acceptance we get from others, especially the sense of belonging to a group of our peers. The need to feel worthy is the single most powerful element of motivation. It should be easy to see why sports are a perfect vehicle for boosting an individual’s sense of self-esteem. However, since few can be champions, there is a danger of athletes equating self-worth with the ability to win in competition. The message for the coach is this: While you cannot make every one of your athletes feel gifted, you can make them all feel more competent. While you cannot make every one of your athletes feel a sense of great accomplishment, you can see that each feels some sense of real achievement. What you can guarantee is that every one of your athletes feels important and accepted. Don’t make them earn your acceptance. Accept them unconditionally. Let them know it is OK to make a mistake. If you allow athletes the security of having your time, energy, interest, belief, and trust, you will be amazed at the great things they will dare to do. ADVICE TO HELP YOU SURVIVE AND PROSPER IN COACHING • Put your family first. Coaching is so time-intensive that the only way you can be assured of having time with your family is to make time for them before you make time for anyone else.

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• Expect success. Visualize what you want to accomplish. Winners know what will happen...losers fear what might happen. • Take the lead. Showcase the Track & Field program in your school and community. Fight for equitable funding. Take a cue from football and basketball and give Track & Field a chance to be a spectator sport by presenting your home meets as entertainment. • Project yourself. Put your personal stamp on each of your athletes, assistant coaches, and on every phase of your program. • Surround yourself with good people. You cannot coach a large group of athletes by yourself. To succeed in Track & Field, you must recruit and train assistant coaches who will adopt your philosophy, share your commitment, and join your quest for success. An assistant coach with a bad attitude can sabotage your entire program. • Know who your friends are. Anyone in a leadership role is subject to the positive or negative influence of others. Identify those who can positively influence your coaching career and make them your friends. • Cultivate an advocate. Know that you have at least one influential and valued friend that you can trust and depend on in any situation. • Be true to your values. It can be easy to compromise yourself in the quest to win. Say what you believe. Do what you say. Nothing is harder to earn and easier to lose than a good reputation. — by Dr. Rick McQuire, Head Track & Field Coach, University of Missouri

High School Sports as an Extended Classroom
Our schools have interscholastic sports programs because they provide students with unique learning experiences that are not offered in other parts of the school curriculum. Through participation in interscholastic sports, athletes improve strength, speed and endurance, and acquire the complex skills and poise needed to perform at their best in athletic competition.

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Few educators have the opportunity to affect the lives of their students more than a coach. The best coaches use their practices and competitions as extended classrooms, and strive to inspire athletes to reach for their best both athletically and academically. High school students are young adults who look to their coaches for leadership, knowledge, instruction, and direction. Many lessons can be taught and learned through participation in competitive interscholastic sports, such as how to set goals, how to compete, how to take risks, how to deal with success and failure, and how to maintain emotional self-control. Important values and attitudes such as sacrifice, dedication, accountability, and self-confidence can be learned along with such virtues as good sportsmanship, teamwork, camaraderie, respect for opponents, mental toughness, and persistence in the face of adversity. Those experiences and character traits will lead young athletes toward successful, fulfilling lives long after their high school athletic careers are over. The benefits that can be derived from participating in sports do not result from participation alone, however. Research indicates it is the quality of adult leadership that determines whether youngsters have a good or bad experience in competitive sports. An effective high school coach will be an inspirational leader, a knowledgeable teacher, and an appropriate role model. More than just a teacher of skills and strategies, the high school coach is a significant adult force in the life of a student-athlete. You will have a great impact on the psychological growth and personal development of the athletes you coach. What you say to your athletes, and how you go about saying it, will have a great impact on your athletes’ experiences in sport.

Developing a Coaching Philosophy
DETERMINING YOUR COACHING OBJECTIVES The two most important considerations in developing a personal coaching philosophy are your coaching objectives and your coaching style. Your coaching objectives could include improving your win/loss record, winning your league title, placing among the top five teams at the CIF championships, showing significant individual and team improvement, making your program fun for your athletes, or teaching your athletes to compete well.

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you permit your athletes to have in making decisions that affect them. or place in your league meet. The number of athletes you attract to your program. Here are some suggestions: • Remember that your athletes should be the center of attention. fear of failure. such as anxiety.High school coaches often believe their first responsibility is to produce winning teams. Winning is important! But for high school sports to bring out the best in young athletes. Your coaching success should be defined and measured in a variety of ways other than your state ranking. Winning the majority of your meets does not necessarily mean you are a good leader and role model for your athletes. However. if any. reduced self-esteem. and what role. You must teach respect for the rules. This is not to say that winning is not an important objective. your athletes’ enthusiasm for Track & Field. There are authoritarian. Sports were not created to glorify coaches. coaches must keep winning in proper perspective. but every coaching style is a somewhat different combination of these three approaches. As a coach. 12 . Your style of coaching must fit your personality. your actions speak louder than your words. especially during competition. It affects how you motivate and discipline. and a loss of motivation. An overemphasis on winning can cause negative responses in young athletes. winning should not be the single measure of success for you or your athletes. We encourage you to take some time to examine your coaching philosophy and consider the coaching style you wish to use to achieve your objectives. and the amount of parental/community/school interest and support you generate for your program are equally important measures of success. cooperative. your opponents. Your coaching style reflects how you choose to lead and interact with your student-athletes. and the judgment and integrity of officials by the example of your behavior. win/loss record. DEVELOPING AN EFFECTIVE COACHING STYLE This brings us to the second part of your coaching philosophy: coaching style. the improvement your team shows through the course of the season. and passive coaching styles. • The simple objective of coaching is to help athletes shorten the trialand-error process of learning and ease the trial-and-terror experiences of competing.

and competing. And you need to communicate and motivate. The lessons a coach must teach include technical skills. The philosophy advocated by the AAF and CIF is TLC: teaching. 13 . Be willing to listen to them. and technical knowledge are the most important qualities of a good coach — in that order. focus on the skills needed. and drills to practice and master them. • Your coaching style must not isolate you from your athletes. good sportsmanship. and how to maintain poise by focusing on the things they can control. psychological. • Every athlete deserves to be addressed by first name and treated with dignity. or not placing but recording a personal best. and respond by acting rather than reacting.• When coaching. a method to teach and demonstrate them. credibility. You must have a forum for open communication or you will never be in touch with your athletes. and the importance of working together to accomplish team goals and objectives. responsibility. hear criticism. the process of training. learning. • You cannot talk about winning without talking about losing. fair play. No less important are social values such as appropriate behavior. and social development. • Integrity. TLC: TEACH•LEARN•COMPETE As a high school coach. and effective tactics and strategies. self-esteem. positive attitudes about competition. Is placing second or third. considered a failure? How do you want your athletes to finish races they lose? How do you want your team to behave after a tough loss? How do you expect your athletes to bounce back after performing poorly? • Regardless of your coaching style. Teaching represents what a coach provides student-athletes by way of instruction. every decision you make should be in the best interests of your athletes’ physical. A coach must also teach athletes emotional self-discipline. and praise and discipline effectively in your role as a high school coach. you need to to command your athletes attention and respect.

Coaches should emphasize that success in sports should be measured by each athlete’s personal performance goals. They appear to be challenged. we learn quickly that others judge our worth largely by our ability to achieve. Just because every Track & Field event has only one winner doesn’t mean everyone else in that event is a loser. Sports can be threatening to young athletes when they equate achievement with self-worth. Competitive skills are essential to prosper in a society where we compete for grades. Coaches should portray the adventure of athletic competition as an opportunity for success rather than failure. MOTIVATING AND COMMUNICATING WITH YOUNG ATHLETES Sport psychologists have learned that two of the most important needs of young athletes are the need to have fun and the need to feel worthy. and security Track & Field is a sporting arena in which athletes demonstrate both their physical and competitive skills. satisfaction. Sometimes the pressures of competition can result in athletes setting goals that are unattainable. and positive about themselves. Athletes also have a need to feel competent. analyze what they do well and what they don’t do well. and enthusiasm. spouses. Learning is greatly influenced by the atmosphere a coach creates in helping athletes reach for their best. and purposeful training. 14 . Coaches must help athletes learn as much as possible from their competitive experiences. Certainly. fitness. stimulated. teamwork. it is easy to see when athletes have fun. motivation. To win is to be a success and to lose is to be a failure. As youngsters. and resume training with a new agenda and a renewed determination to improve. Competition should serve as a reference point for athletes to measure progress. They express feelings of enjoyment.Learning is your athletes’ acceptance of what you teach. happiness. excited. cooperation. and promotions to achieve success. Goals that are too high guarantee failure even when the athlete performs well. feedback. Coaches should help athletes set realistic goals. Effective learning requires communication. Competition is the essence of sport. jobs. and fun will help to ensure that athletes’ learning experiences are positive. This attitude causes tremendous anxiety in young athletes. and focused. A positive approach to practice and training that emphasizes skill development. worthy.

the greater their feelings of anxiety. and they will be the beneficiaries of such occurrences as often as they are the victims. and self-worth. HELPING ATHLETES REACH FOR THEIR BEST The ability to teach. you must help your athletes meet their need to have fun by structuring their sport experience so it challenges and excites without being threatening. The very nature of sports involves an extensive evaluation of the skills of the participants. you can help athletes meet their need to feel worthy by creating situations where everyone can experience some degree of success. provides motivation. When athletes experience a taste of success. These competitive pressures can result in youngsters setting unrealistic standards of near-perfect execution. or even themselves. and motivate athletes is the art of coaching. Any situation involving social evaluation of abilities that a youngster considers important can be threatening if he or she anticipates failing or receiving negative evaluations. or outright bad luck. Athletes who tend to worry about performance must be taught to focus on what they want to do (skill or strategy execution). communicate. Mistakes and errors which are a natural part of the learning process can be misinterpreted as failure or incompetence. When athletes worry about their opponents instead of focusing on things they can control. Athletes should also recognize that winning is sometimes sabotaged by external factors beyond their control. yet attainable. The more uncertainty athletes have. Teach your athletes to focus on things they can control: their own performance and readiness to compete. The continual process of achieving incremental goals that are challenging. Over time these things even out. instead of how they are going to do. such as an oncoming cold. competence. bad weather. Most youngsters place great value on athletic competence and are particularly sensitive to appraisal of their abilities by others. it reinforces their feelings of mastery. they limit their ability to compete well. As a coach.Social evaluation and expectations of others are also major causes of anxiety. pride. This in turn stimulates their desire to pursue new levels of personal achievement. Motivated athletes have a strong desire to master skills and demonstrate their competence. Athletes become anxious when they are uncertain about whether or not they can meet the expectations of their coaches. parents. and the more important they perceive the outcome to be. which virtually assures they will fail. peers. Similarly. 15 .

Many young athletes fear making mistakes because they have been ridiculed or punished for making mistakes in the past. goals. To be credible in the eyes of your athletes. Effective communication involves the explicit expression of instructions. A positive coaching attitude projects your desire to understand your athletes. Some athletes become so frustrated and angry at themselves when they make a mistake during competition that they lose their composure and perform far below their abilities. you must be knowledgeable about Track & Field. or yelling at your athletes will increase their anxiety over making mistakes. and positive reinforcement. sarcasm. A positive approach is characterized by the liberal use of praise. and discourage them from continued participation. expectations. encouragement. Coaches must create a supportive atmosphere in which athletes view making and correcting mistakes as a natural part of the learning process. Another important component of a positive approach is empathy. enthusiastic about coaching well. Communication is a two-way street: both coach and athlete must listen and speak up to make it work. accept them for who they are. Communicating is the most important thing you do. and treat them with respect and affection. clear speaking. It is not the same as sympathy. you must be credible in the eyes of your athletes in order to communicate with them. and consistent and positive in the way you deal with them. This fact cannot be overstated. and feelings. Coaches who are empathetic listen to their athletes and try to understand what is going on in their lives outside of athletics. 16 . Doing so enhances mutual understanding and is the first step in meeting the athlete’s and coach’s needs. It requires refined listening. Constant criticism. Empathy is being aware of the feelings and emotions of your athletes. decrease their senses of self-worth. Your credibility is the perception of the trustworthiness of what you say and do.Let your athletes know it is all right to make mistakes. As a coach. ideas. Teach your athletes that one of the things that separates champions from average athletes is the ability to let go of a mistake quickly and refocus on what needs to be done next. and the ability to give feedback and constructive criticism in a nonpersonal and instructive manner.

When coaches are not sincere. However. not just final outcomes. Attitude is the key to success. They don’t surrender their goals easily. Remember to praise deserving efforts. you endow them with a precious gift that will see them through many of life’s most difficult endeavors. They believe they will succeed and they recognize the important role that hard work and sacrifice plays in the quest for athletic excellence. and striving to do their best. skill levels. They identify their areas of weakness and work hard to eliminate them. If you can impress on your athletes that they are never losers when they give their best effort. They all have different backgrounds. giving their maximum effort. Champions focus on goals and how to achieve them. which involves working with a large number of athletes. they risk losing the respect of their athletes. the coach should be honest and acknowledge the fact that they did not perform to their potential. One of the greatest challenges in coaching a sport like Track & Field. being willing to take risks. If the athletes or team have not performed well. athletes should also be complimented for things they do well. expectations. FINAL THOUGHTS All of the athletes you coach are unique and special. They come to your program with different abilities. Athletes should be taught that the most important kind of success resides in their personal improvement. is being sensitive to individual differences and striving to make each athlete feel valued and important. and needs. They range from 13-year-old boys and girls to 18-year-old young men and women. Let your athletes know that champions expect to do well. 17 .Praise must be sincere. attitudes. It means little for athletes to hear “Good job” when in fact they know they have not done a good job. and personalities.

The coach who gets involved in school is sure to receive greater support for the Track & Field program from his or her fellow coaches. Get to know your principal. whether you are a full-time faculty member or a nonclassroom coach. support staff. Attend and ask to be part of any pep rallies or assembly programs during your season. Invite them to attend your meets and let them know you are concerned about your athletes’ performance in the classroom as well as on the track.Finally. and school administration. faculty. and fellow coaches. front-office staff. try to make yourself a part of your high school community. Write to your athletes’ teachers and tell them about the objectives you have for your program. 18 .

GET TO KNOW YOUR ATHLETES’ PARENTS AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO BECOME SUPPORTIVE VOLUNTEERS FOR YOUR PROGRAM. BE REASONABLE WHEN SCHEDULING PRACTICES AND COMPETITIONS. ALWAYS FOLLOW A PHYSICIAN’S ADVICE WHEN DECIDING WHEN INJURED ATHLETES ARE READY TO RESUME PRACTICE AND COMPETITION. YOUNG ATHLETES SHOULD BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN SPORTS WITHOUT FEAR OF FAILURE OR RIDICULE. THE RULES OF THE SPORT. POSITIVE AND GENEROUS WITH YOUR PRAISE. 2. AND ATTAINING PERSONAL GOALS. 10. AVOID PLAYING TIME. TO BE ABLE TO DEVELOP. IMPROVING. ESTABLISH USE THE WELL-BEING OF YOUR ATHLETES AS YOUR #1 GOAL.” THE COMPETITIVE SPIRIT OF YOUR ATHLETES BY ENCOURAGING THEM TO “PLAY BUT REMEMBER YOUNG ATHLETES SHOULD DERIVE PRIMARY SATISFACTION FROM THE EXPERIENCE OF PLAYING.THE USOC COACHES CREED FOR YOUTH SPORTS 1. 8. BE SURE YOUR EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES MEET SAFETY STANDARDS APPROPRIATE FOR THE AGE AND ABILITY LEVEL OF YOUR ATHLETES. AND THE ROLE AND JUDGMENT OF OFFICIALS. 19 . NEVER YELL AT YOUR ATHLETES FOR LOSING OR MAKING A MISTAKE. WHICH SHOULD NOT BE LIMITED TO WINNING. OVERPLAYING YOUR MOST TALENTED ATHLETES. DEVELOP TO WIN. REMEMBER BE THAT YOUNG ATHLETES THRIVE ON ENTHUSIASM AND ENCOURAGEMENT. ALL YOUR ATHLETES NEED 9. 5. 4. EDUCATE PARENTS AND VOLUNTEERS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING OF YOUNG ATHLETES CAN BE THREATENED BY PROGRAMS THAT INVOLVE A HIGH LEVEL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS AND OVERZEALOUS PARENTAL SUPERVISION TO WIN. YOUR SPORT TO TEACH YOUNG ATHLETES THAT VICTORY AND ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENT ARE MEANINGFUL ONLY IF ACHIEVED IN A FAIR AND SPORTSMANLIKE MANNER. OR EXPERIENCE IN COMPETITION. 3. 7. 6. YOUNG ATHLETES NEED SOME TIME TO BE ABLE TO ENJOY OTHER WORTHWHILE ACTIVITIES AND INTERESTS. TEACH YOUNG ATHLETES BY EXAMPLE TO RESPECT THEIR OPPONENTS. 11.

K DO NOT ENCOURAGE OR PERMIT YOUR ATHLETES TO USE PERFORMAN C E DRUGS. SPORTSMANSHIP. ATHLETE SAFETY AND WELFARE AS YOUR HIGHEST PRIORITY. AND BE A MODEL FOR FAIR PLAY. ENHANCING L M DO NOT RECRUIT STUDENT-ATHLETES FROM OTHER SCHOOLS. THE RULES OF BEHAVIOR AND PROCEDURES FOR CROWD CONTROL ESTABLISHED ENFORCE BY YOUR CONFERENCE AND LOCAL BOARD OF EDUCATION. NOT EXERT UNDUE INFLUENCE ON YOUR STUDENT-ATHLETES’ DECISIONS ON WHICH COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY THEY SHOULD ATTEND . G BE CONSISTENT IN REQUIRING YOUR ATHLETES TO ADHERE TO THE RULES AND STANDARDS OF YOUR SPORT. PROPER SUPERVISION OF YOUR ATHLETES AT ALL TIMES. STANDARDS. 20 . AND ESTABLISH PROPER CONDUCT. OFFICIALS. D E F ESTABLISH PROVIDE USE DISCRETION WHEN PROVIDING CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM AND WHEN DISCIPLINING YOUR ATHLETES . J AVOID INFLUENCING STUDENT-ATHLETES TO TAKE EASIER COURSE WORK IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS.CALIFORNIA STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION COACHES’ CODE A B C SHOW RESPECT OF ETHICAL CONDUCT RESPECT FOR ATHLETES. H I ALWAYS DO INSTRUCT YOUR ATHLETES IN THE SAFE USE OF EQUIPMENT. AND OTHER COACHES. THE INTEGRITY AND JUDGMENT OF YOUR OFFICIALS.

End of Chapter 21 .

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Track & Field Program Organizing a Organizing and directing a Track & Field program is an enormous coaching challenge. horizontal jumping. throwing. Track & Field is a collage of seven technical sports: sprinting. vertical jumping. and pole vaulting. 23 . hurdling. Track & Field should be the largest participation sport at your school because it accommodates an almost unlimited number of athletes with various skills and combines seven individual sports into one team sport. distance running.

Responsibilities of a Head Track Coach JOB DESCRIPTION Directs. organizes. Follow school procedures for adding students to those classes throughout the semester. • Be active in professional coaches organizations. and supervises all aspects of a high school Track & Field program in accordance with the objectives and guidelines set by the athletic department. such as the California State High School Track Coaches Alliance and Southern California USATF. • Check with your school and the CIF for any impending rule or policy changes that will affect your sport or program. Supervises assistant coaches and volunteers. • Implement a pre-season training program within CIF guidelines. • Inventory all school Track & Field equipment and materials and advise the athletic department of what needs to be repaired. THROUGHOUT THE YEAR • Set a good example. 24 . and ordered for the coming season. • Enhance and update the technical knowledge of your coaching staff by providing them with reading materials and encouraging them to join you in attending coaching clinics. and advise your coaching staff and team members. Reports to Athletic Director. • Formulate objectives for the coming season of competition. replaced. Conduct yourself as an appropriate role model for your athletes at all times. PRE-SEASON • Oversee the enrollment of all prospective team members in a sixth period PE class. • Monitor the academic eligibility of all team members.

safety guidelines. File a disciplinary action report with your athletic director and inform parents when appropriate. attitudes. • Organize all aspects of your home meets. supervise. Treat your athletes as responsible young adults and provide them with enthusiastic leadership and positive feedback • Discipline your athletes in a firm and fair manner in accordance with athletic department guidelines. IN-SEASON • Organize. Review the policies with them. and student managers. and discuss your goals. • Convey a high expectation for the individual efforts. 25 . emergency medical procedures. Introduce your coaching staff. answer any questions. staff supervision assignments (including locker rooms and awaiting buses after practice). • Review your meet schedule with your athletic director and confirm advance arrangements setting up the track for your home meets and ordering buses for your away meets. and deputize your assistant coaches. and behavior of your athletes. • Enforce safety procedures to protect the well-being of your athletes. Distribute copies of your team policies. • Submit your entries for invitational meets by the receipt deadline and requisition the required entry fees. volunteers. • Check the academic standing and eligibility of all team members after each grading period.• Hold a meeting with your coaching staff to outline procedures for issuing team uniforms and equipment. • Show genuine concern for the progress and success of every athlete. • Oversee your after-school training sessions from start to finish. preview your meet schedule. • Have a pre-season meeting with your athletes and their parents. Review your team policies. and have each athlete return one copy to you signed by the athlete and by his or her parents. and the school policy for reporting accidents. • Have regular meetings with your team and coaching staff.

and implement new objectives and procedures for the next season. and materials. • Failure to provide proper medical care to injured athletes. critique your program. • Oversee the storage of all Track & Field equipment. implements. • Failure to provide proper instruction for the use of athletic equipment. The High School Coach’s Legal Liability Because of the litigious society we now live in and the risks inherent in participating in sports. • Failure to provide proper supervision of an activity. 26 . • Failure to have or to enforce rules and procedures for safe participation. • Hold athletes financially responsible for school equipment not returned according to athletic department policy. • Submit a season summary report and a requested meet schedule for the next season to your athletic director. Today’s coaching liability lawsuits focus on these eight areas: • Failure to provide adequate advance warning of the risk of injury involved in participating in school sports activities.POST-SEASON • Oversee the systematic return of all school uniforms and equipment. • Hold a wrap-up meeting with your coaching staff to evaluate your season. • Failure to provide and maintain a safe playing area. • Failure to use proper coaching methods and provide adequate physical conditioning. • Complete the documentation required to provide school athletic letters and awards to your athletes. • Failure to provide safe transport to and from sites of competition. you as a coach have more liability exposure than any other individual in your school.

etc. • Be aware of the special medical history of each athlete you coach (diabetic. in writing.HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ATHLETES AND LIMIT YOUR LIABILITY • Advise all team members and their parents. if all the members of your staff former sprinters. allergic to bee stings. jumps and pole vault). we strongly recommend combining your staffs and dividing up event coaching responsibilities for the purposes of training your athletes. of the potential risk of injury inherent in sports participation and have them sign a consent and waiver/release form. • Inspect and test all equipment before it is issued to or used by your athletes. • Instruct your athletes in the proper use of all equipment. The best situation is to have coaches working in the event areas where they are most knowledgeable.). • Supervise potentially dangerous training activities at all times (especially practice for the throws. Even if your school has separate boys’ and girls’ coaching staffs. some of you are going to have to learn to coach some new event areas! 27 . asthmatic. • Inform your administrators immediately and in writing when you feel your equipment and facilities are unsafe or inadequate. However. • Carry National High School Federation Liability Insurance ($1 million of liability insurance coverage at an annual cost of $12 per year). Organizing a Track & Field Coaching Staff The number of assistant coaches you have available and their experience and expertise should determine your event coaching assignments. • Develop a plan for dealing with a medical emergency during a training session or home meet. • Establish training safety rules and procedures for every event area with your coaching staff and distribute them in writing to all team members. • Enforce your safety rules and procedures.

a head coach should feel an obligation to work towards becoming reasonably proficient in coaching every event area so he or she can train new assistant coaches when necessary. have them assist you in directing specific parts of several training sessions (tell them what to do and what to look for). New coaches often want to train with their athletes. give them a script prior to each day’s training and have them administer your workout. and sports psychology are constantly providing us with effective new methods of training and preparing athletes for all 19 Track & Field events. Coaches who run with their athletes lose all perspective of the performance of those running behind them and are thus unable to coach the less-advanced athletes who need their evaluation and encouragement the most. you are through. and b) no one person can effectively coach athletes in every event simultaneously. Aside from the temptation to do their own training. biomechanics. It is an educational process which will take many years. “When you are through learning. nutrition. rather than the training their athletes need. we recommend you begin by having them observe you coach their event assignment. You begin by studying one new event area at a time. observe. There is an old saying in coaching. Finally. In training novice coaches. Nevertheless. Then. you will better serve your program by choosing inexperienced coaches with enthusiasm and personality who are anxious to learn than individuals with Track & Field expertise who lack leadership and communication skills. and critique a training session. but coaching itself is an ongoing educational process. it severely limits a coach’s ability to organize. In recruiting assistants.Track & Field is a sport of coaching specialists. when they become familiar with your system of instructing and organizing athletes. It is an especially bad idea for running event coaches.) 28 . Few coaches are experts in every event area of Track & Field because: a) the coaching sciences of exercise physiology. This is not a good idea. (A sample training session script form is included in each event chapter of this manual.” Even a former decathlete who has personally experienced the science of training for all seven event areas will have to learn the art of coaching to be a coaching success.

1600m. 1600m. Relays. A Track & Field program cannot provide coacbing for athletes in 15 events with less than three coaches! Use the issues of supervision. Discus • Vault Coach — Pole Vault The next best breakdown would involve five coaches: • Sprint/Hurdle Coach — Sprints. 200m. Relays. Hurdles. and the most direct supervision to ensure safety. 29 . 3200m • Jumps Coach — Long Jump. High Jump. Pole Vault • Throws Coach — Shot Put. Relays. 400m Relay. safety. Triple Jump. 1600m.A preferred breakdown of event coaching assignments would involve a staff of six coaches. Discus And finally. 110mH. 400m. Triple Jump. and Distances • Jumps Coach — Long Jump. High Jump • Throws Coach — Shot Put. Pole Vault • Throws Coach — Shot Put. Discus • Vault Coach — Pole Vault And the next a staff of four coaches: • Sprint/Hurdle Coach — Sprints. Triple Jump. for a staff of three coaches: • Running Event Coach — Sprints. 3200m • Jumps Coach — Long Jump. and Hurdles • Distance Coach — 800m. and athletes per coach to lobby your school’s administrators to increase the number of paid assistant coaches allotted to your Track & Field program. Discus These coaching assignment breakdowns recognize that the field events are the most technical events in Track & Field and require the greatest amount of instructional time to achieve mastery. 1600m Relay • Hurdles Coach — l00mH. Triple Jump. High Jump • Throws Coach — Shot Put. as follows: • Sprint Coach — l00m. 3200m • Jumps Coach — Long Jump. High Jump. 300mH • Distance Coach — 800m. and Hurdles • Distance Coach — 800m.

Each athlete on your team should be designated as a specialist in one event. and posted for your athletes as far in advance of the meet as possible.. Multi-event athletes who go from one coach to another without a coordinated training plan are extremely vulnerable to injury and burnout. nor is it sound coaching. especially when athletes are working with more than one coach to train for multiple events. It should not have to be said that it is not reasonable. 4x100m Relay and 4x400m Relay in every meet! The following CIF Order of Events should also influence how you place key athletes in multiple events: • • • • • • • • • • 4x100m Relay 1600 Meters 100/ 110 Meter Hurdles 400 Meters 100 Meters 800 Meters 300m Hurdles 200 Meters 3200 Meters 4x400m Relay 30 . one week at a minimum..PLANNING AND SCRIPTING YOUR TRAINING SESSIONS Each daily training session should meet the needs of your athletes while making the best use of your practice time and coaching staff. each coach should be responsible for planning and scripting each day’s training for his or her respective event area. The head coach may have to be an arbitrator for the training schedule of a star athlete who competes in several events. to have your best 3200m runner race at that distance every Thursday and Saturday for 13 consecutive weeks. If you have an experienced coaching staff. Head coaches should give inexperienced coaches a script for each day’s training and have them administer the workout. The coach in charge of that event area should be responsible for coordinating that athlete’s entire training program with his or her other coaches. 200m. or to have your best sprinter run the 100m. Having your athletes in the right events is often the difference between winning or losing a close dual meet. A hard day of training should be followed by an easier day so the athlete can recover for another quality training session. Your lineups should be planned. Communication and cooperation among coaches is essential. distributed to your coaching staff.

Preparing for the Season Well before the start of a new track season. Even if you feel there is no chance your requests will be met. and new equipment must be submitted to your school district administrators at least four months in advance of your first day of practice. repairs. equipment repairs. you will never receive anything if you don’t ask for it! The following pages list items which should be assessed and inventoried before the start of the Track & Field season. You are much more likely to get the facility upgrades. it is important that you assess the condition of your facilities and equipment and inventory your implements and team uniforms. Bequests for facility improvements. and replacements you need when you provide your administrators with written documentation that what you have is unsafe or inadequate! 31 . Be sure to give a copy of your assessment to both your principal and athletic director.

T R A C K & F I E L D F A C I L I T I E S A S S E S S M E N T Key: (US) = UNSAFE/NEEDS REPAIR [US] = UNSAFE/NEEDS REPLACEMENT E = EXCELLENT CONDITION G = GOOD CONDITION P = POOR CONDITION ____Surface of track ____Drainage of track ____Curbing of track ____Surface of shot circles ____Toeboards on shot circles ____Markings on shot circles ____Surface of discus circles ____Rings on discus circles ____Markings on discus circles ____Surface of long jump/triple jump runways ____Takeoff boards on long jump/triple jump runways ____Sand in long jump/triple jump pits ____Depth of sand in long jump/triple jump pits (12” minimum) ____Approach area for high jump ____High jump landing pits ____Pads for high jump standards ____Surface of pole vault runways ____Pads for pole vault standards ____Pole vault boxes ____Pole vault landing pits Notes: 32 .

T R A C K & F I E L D E Q U I P M E N T I N V E N T O R Y Need: Have: (in good condition) Hurdles Hurdle carts Starting blocks Mallets for starting blocks (dirt track) Block cart lap counter Lane markers: ___1 ___2 ___3 ___4 ___5 ___6 ___7 ___8 Shaker cans to chalk hurdle hashmarks. (dirt track) Indicator boards (for height or distance): ____HJ ____PV ____LI/TJ ____Shotput ____Discus Pennants to rope-off shot/discus landing sectors: feet Throwing sector marking tape:___rolls Distance markers for shot/discus Rakes for LI/TJ pit Shovels for LI/TJ pit High jump crossbars (4m in length) Pole vault crossbars (4. etc.5m in length) Stopwatches Batons Track & Field scorebooks Megaphones Officials flags (red & white) Boys’ shots (12lb) Girls’ shots (4kg) Boys’ discus (1.6kg) Girls’ discus (1 kg) ___ground staples 33 .

T R A C K & F I E L D U N I F O R M I N V E N T O R Y Sizes: NEED/HAVE (in good condition) boys’ singlets boys’ shorts girls’ singlets girls’ shorts practice sweat tops practice sweat bottoms meet warm-up tops meet warm-up bottoms N SM H N MED H N LG H N XL H N XXL H Notes: Date completed: Coach’s siqnature cc: Principal Athletic Director .

the more likely you are to attract athletes to join your program. it will enable you to identify potential athletes for specific Track & Field events. ask for permission to observe those classes and to get a copy of the results of any class competition. You should begin identifying potential Track & Field athletes by scouting your school’s fall and winter athletic teams. and you should encourage your athletes to help you recruit new team members. or at least identify them for you. offer to come in and teach it for them! Your best recruiters will always be the other members of your team. They know the better-skilled athletes in your school. it will help you establish a good relationship with those coaches. in turn. Taking time to observe other sports at your school will serve two purposes. and academic standing. You know those kids want to be athletes! If any of those coaches are heartless enough to post cut lists. 35 . work habits. And you must compete with your school’s other spring sports teams for the best athletes in your school. If your school’s PE department does not have a Track & Field unit. with numbers sufficient to have team depth. you should ask the department chair for permission to talk to PE classes about participating in your Track & Field program. they will support your program by encouraging their athletes to participate in Track & Field. and. However. you should be the first one in line to record the names. to build a program and consistently field a strong Track & Field team.RECRUITING TEAM MEMBERS The more successful and visible your program is at your school. Ask your fall and winter sport coaches for a list of any athletes they cut. a coach must be able to recruit athletes into his or her program. If you are not a physical education teacher. and get them involved in your off-season conditioning program. Talk to those athletes as soon as possible about coming out for track. You must recruit athletes for all seven event areas. Second. First. If your school’s PE department has a Track & Field unit. Other coaches can also provide you with information about their athletes’ attitudes.

Pole vaulters need to have the arm strength of a wrist wrestler. Examples of a good arm include the ability to rocket a volleyball serve into the backcourt from 15 feet behind the end line. or hurdle as second events. and agility to accelerate the implement across the circle. Most important. The ability to create horizontal velocity (speed on the runway) is another important asset for long jumpers. good coordination and sense of rhythm: Being tall and thus having a high center of mass is an advantage in an event where you have to raise your center of mass several feet off the ground to snake backward over a horizontal crossbar! More than speed or explosiveness.I D E N T I F Y I N G P O T E N T I A L A T H L E T E S Event LONG AND TRIPLE JUMPERS What to Look For Long legs. You can train athletes to be strong enough to lift up one end of the weight room. Body mass and long arm and leg levers help propel the mass of the shot and discus. lean body-type. in particular. 36 . and reverse. but if they cannot post on their opposite leg. Good high jumpers can often hurdle or triple jump as second events. clearance and landing. torque-drag their arm through. while long leg levers are an obvious asset for triple jumpers. This is because you must create a great moment of force at takeoff to jump high vertically or long horizontally. THROWERS Large. But more than size and strength. to be able to run stride-for-stride with a good sprinter for 30 to 50 meters. release. Most of all. excellent vertical jumping ability. they will never develop into shot putters or discus throwers. POLE VAULTERS Aggressive athletes with all-around ability: The pole vault requires more all-around athletic ability than any other Track & Field event. pole vaulters must have a passion for catapulting themselves off the ground as high as he can onto his back! Good pole vaulters can often sprint. Good horizontal jumpers can often sprint or hurdle as second events. It is not unusual for a good shot putter. the ability to throw a football 50 yards downfield. and the ability to throw to home plate from deep center field. HIGH JUMPERS Tall. long jump. and the agility of a gymnast. athletic body-type with a “good arm”: The throws are the most technical and explosive events in Track & Field. coordination. the throws require great timing. while the universal flop technique of high jumping employs takeoff mechanics of transfer of momentum. shot putters and discus throwers must have a good arm. good speed: Vertical jumping ability is a much better indicator of long and triple jumping potential than high jumping potential. the high jump requires a rhythmic transfer of horizontal velocity into a vertical takeoff. the speed of a sprinter. lead with their hip.

“I’m a sprinter.” Good sprinters can usually long jump as a second event. Distance runners have to be selfmotivated and able to see success at the end of a long path of development. Good students usually have all of those personality traits. and mental toughness: The hurdles and distances require special athlete personalities. Hitting hurdles is part of being a hurdler. lean body-types are not well-suited for most other sports or Track & Field events. agility. the fastest will tell you. relays. Most sprinters either have muscular body-types or a predisposition to become so with training. aggressiveness. but they can develop into great aerobic athletes. but all hurdlers must have a mind-set to attack the hurdle. or compete in the jumps as second events. Sprinters have to be able to apply a great amount of force to the ground repeatedly. To run with great speed over 100 to 400 meters. In scouting other sports for potential sprinters you should realize the difference between “quickness” and track speed. DISTANCE RUNNERS Small. Introduce them to the hurdles first! You will quickly see whether they possess the personality and ballistic agility to become hurdlers. not merely negotiate it. lean body-types. SPRINTERS Strong. tenacious workers. If you ask what events they would like to try. good students: Small. good sprinting ability. dedicated training to become a good distance runner. then decelerate as little as possible over the remaining distance. sprinters must accelerate for 50 to 60 meters. If not.I D E N T I F Y I N G P O T E N T I A L A T H L E T E S Event HURDLERS What to Look For Above average height. they know from their neighborhood contests whether they have superior running speed. and athletes have to be tough and aggressive enough to ignore bruises and scrapes and an occasional fall. 37 . muscular body-types. Tall. By the time youngsters get to high school. lean athletes with league champion sprint speed can develop into state champion hurdlers. self-assertive or having a reputation for outstanding sprint speed: Sprinting is a power activity. It requires an extraordinary amount of persistent. for 10 to 50 seconds. Male 110m hurdlers should be above average height or have a high split. Running speed is probably the most easily recognized athletic skill. Good hurdlers can usually run the sprints. they can always move on to the sprint events. in very short moments of time.

.sixth or lower in League 38 . .CIF Champions General . . . . .third place in League Captain . . . . . . . . . .fourth place in League Lieutenant . .second place in League Major . . Track & Field is a battle! To win battles.League Champions Colonel . . Track & Field is not a game. fifth place in League Private . . . . . . . . . . . . . basketball and baseball. . . . . . .How to Build a Winning Program Unlike football. . . you need to have numbers and you need to be organized into effective fighting units: Rocket Corps • 100m Sprinters • 200m Sprinters • 400m Sprinters Communications Detail • 4x100m Relay Runners • 4x400m Relay Runners Ground Troops • 800m Runners • 1600m Runners • 3200m Runners Assault Troops • 100m/110m Hurdlers • 300m Hurdlers Air Force • High Jumpers • Pole Vaulters Artillery • Shot Putters • Discus Throwers Battle Decorations for Athletes Commander . . . . . . .

be the first one in line to record the names and talk to the students about becoming track athletes. If those coaches are so heartless as to post cut lists. • Scan your school’s fall and winter sports teams for talent. winter. If there are rules which prohibit you from recruiting at your junior highs.HOW TO RECRUIT YOUR ARMY • Get a list of the USATF youth track clubs in your area. Ask your PE staff to advise you of any talent they spot during their track unit. • Ask your team members to help you recruit and to recommend potential athletes. • Get to know which of your current team members have younger brothers and sisters. offer to put on an all-school assembly program with Track & Field demonstrations for them. HOW TO PROMOTE TRACK & FIELD AT YOUR SCHOOL • Put together a good coaching staff If you cannot find people with Track & Field expertise to assist you. Don’t cut anyone! 39 . and other spring sports. recruit popular teachers at your school and train them to be track coaches. Ask those coaches to recommend that their athletes participate in Track & Field in the spring. • Ask to speak to the PE classes at your school. offer to teach it. If they don’t have a Track & Field unit in PE. • Do the same at the junior high schools in your area. • Make Track & Field the largest athletic team at your school! Emphasize that fact with your administrators when lobbying for increased financial support for your program. • Ask your school’s counselors to encourage their students to join your team. • Recruit everyone who is cut from your school’s fall. • Send a letter to your school’s incoming freshmen inviting them to join the Track & Field team. Ask the coaches for their rosters and for permission to talk to their kids about your high school program.

and throwing circles. Showcase your varsity school records by posting them in larger print than your frosh/soph records. • Have a big. standards. • Become friends with your maintenance staff and school secretaries. Get the parents involved in pushing your administrators for the facility improvements and new equipment you need. Every youngster loves to see his or her name in print. • Present small prizes (such as Halloween candy bars) each time one of your athletes sets a new personal best. Ninety-nine-pound freshmen develop into 170-pound seniors. • Put out a track newsletter. ah-weather runways. in spite of what your principal and athletic director may think! • Get publicity for your program in your local paper by writing your own articles and submitting them with some photographs. and give special certificates for new school records. visible Track & Field bulletin board located where everyone in school is going to see it. and a bigger budget for your program. Ask them to help you raise money. Be a “squeaky wheel” with your administrators and push them for a metric track. and you never know who is going to blossom into a premier athlete. lists of top performers.• You can never have too much depth. visible Track & Field record board. 40 . • Videotape your meets and show them during school lunch periods. • Have a big. • Upgrade your school’s Track & Field facilities. Keep it up to date with photographs. They are the ones who run your school. • Set some realistic goals for your team each season and create some clamor when you achieve them. and 13-year-old children become 18-year-old young adults during the span of their high school athletic careers. etc. top quality jumping pits. • Have an awards banquet or potluck at the end of your season. • Make your program fun! Plan recreational events like having a pizza night with all your kids’ parents after one of your home meets. newspaper clippings. • Start a parents boosters club.

etc. before they become disabling. Group your athletes in training so that your older.). Match your training volume and intensity to the age and fitness levels of your athletes. 1600m. followed by 30 miles the next week. Provide them with hats and jackets. 45 miles one week. all relays. Do no more than one long run of 10 miles or more a week.g. and you cannot train much if you schedule a meet every Thursday and Saturday for 16 weeks. • Don’t double or triple your distance runners in the 800m. Host an invitational meet.. Stair-step your training volume and intensity (e. etc. • To increase your training mileage. rather than one long run.. Talk to the administrators of a physical therapy center in your area and ask them to become community partners in helping you treat and manage your athletes’ injuries early. not racing flats or spikes. or three such sessions within two weeks. do two shorter runs a day. • Allow a minimum of one day of complete rest every 14 days.g. Be creative and make your invitational format something unique (e. • Be sure your athletes train in good shoes. girls only. • Ask your athletes to inform you if they are chronically sore or hurting. Maximize your bouts of training. more mature runners don’t run your younger ones into the ground. Athletes should never fear repudiation for telling you they are hurt. Choose your Saturday competitions carefully. Recruit and train your faculty as officials. Training is critical to the development of your athletes. • Do no more than one intense repetition or interval workout a week.). frosh/soph only. Do most of your training in training flats.• Make your home meets the best meets on your schedule. • If your school has separate Boys’ and Girls’ programs. and 3200m to score points in dual meets. HOW TO KEEP YOUR ATHLETES HEALTHY • Plan and periodize your training. minimize your bouts of competition. support your counterparts and work together. mixed events. 41 . Have a PA system and a good announcer. followed by 50 miles the next week.

If you are detained by a teacher or another school-club activity. These forms can be picked up from any of our coaches. If you are unable to attend school because of an illness. a doctor’s appointment or a family emergency. These delays should occur no more than two or three times a semester. Check the track bulletin board every day before practice to see where to assemble with your event group. If you are having problems in any of your classes. on time! Our daily training sessions usually end by 4:30 PM. you will not be permitted to compete in our next meet. you will become ineligible for athletic competition if you should fail any course on your next report card. My office phone number is 123-4567. 42 . Your grades and conduct in school reflect on our team. Be dressed and ready to go by 2:00 PM. PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS AND INSURANCE All members of ABC athletic teams must submit a physical exam and verification of school or family medical insurance coverage before they can participate in competition. We want you to take advantage of the opportunity we are giving you to become the best student and the best athlete you can be. If you are placed on probation for receiving an F. you must bring a note signed by that teacher or sponsor to be excused for being late to training. PRACTICE ATTENDANCE We expect you to be at training every day. you must maintain a C average (a 2. let us know immediately and we will try to get you some tutoring help. If you have an unexcused absence from training. Please turn in your completed forms to me.0 grade point). you or your parents must call to inform me of your impending absence that day by 12:00 noon.Sample Team Guidelines (Distribute to Athletes) ACADEMIC ELIGIBILITY In order to participate in athletics.

Write your name on every piece of equipment you have! Jumpers should have a personal runway marker to mark their approach. You will also need a set of eight ¼ inch and 3/8 inch replaceable spike elements for the dirt and all-weather surfaces on which we compete. HOME MEET PROCEDURES Every week our team lineup sheets will be posted on Monday. Your preparation for competition should follow the same sequence as your every day training: Running warmup. and a team warmup suit.TEAM UNIFORMS You will be issued a competition singlet. but do not alter your routine by going to bed at 7:00 PM if you normally turn in at 10:00 PM. On meet-day eat a light lunch. Have your own spike wrench or vice grips in your bag for last minute spike changes. Your warm-up should conclude approximately five minutes before the start of your event. stretching-rhythm drills. Double-check your track bag to be sure you have everything. SHOES You will need to buy a track bag for all your gear and a pair of training and/or racing spikes for competition and training. 43 . The sheet will indicate when to begin warming up for your event(s). If your lunch period is too close to your race time. eat your lunch earlier. running shorts. These are the property of ABC High School and must be returned at the end of the season. Ask your coaches for specific recommendations before you purchase training or competition shoes. and buildup runs. such as a tennis ball or whiffle ball with a long nail or pencil through it. You will be billed for the replacement cost of any equipment you do not return. Put the the proper length spikes in your shoes the day before the meet. Use common sense and don’t eat anything that tends to disagree with you the night before or day of a meet. MEET-DAY PREPARATIONS Get a good night’s sleep the evening prior to the meet.

Report to the bus dressed to compete.AWAY-MEET PROCEDURES Our buses will leave school at 1:20 pm sharp! Travel time may occasionally require us to leave sooner. When we arrive at the meet. • At our home meets. take care of it at the beginning of your lunch period. OTHER TEAM POLICIES: • We will have a team meeting every Wednesday before practice at 2:30 PM sharp. If you need to see the trainer. You are not to wander around the school or leave campus! At the conclusion of the meet. • Only Walkmans are permitted at our meets. or cooling down. Leave all radios at home. • You are financially responsible for any equipment that is issued to you. everyone stays until the conclusion of the last event. • You may not leave training until you are dismissed by your coach. etc. shots. then move to the buses for departure back to school. 44 . Stay in our team area during the meet when you are not competing. with all your equipment. • You may not compete in any Track & Field meet or road race that is not on our school schedule without your coach’s approval. warming up. including batons. we will reassemble in our team area. • You must dress for training every day in proper T&F apparel. we will designate a spot for our team area. tape measures.

Do we work as hard as our football and basketball coaches? 45 .E V A L U A T I N G Y O U R P R O G R A M As a guide for evaluating your program throughout the season. 2. we recommend you consider the following 15 questions: 1. 8. 3. Are we teaching our athletes to be self-disciplined and responsible? 12. 5. Are we fair. 6. Are we protecting the safety and well-being of our athletes? • Good equipment & facilities • Safe training practices • Proper supervision • Prepared for emergencies 13. firm. 4. What are our goals? Are we improving and making progress? Are we organized? Are our training sessions well-planned? Is our training what we need? Is our program fun? Do we look and act like a team? Are we always appropriate role models as coaches? Are we in touch with our athletes? Do we listen? Do we treat every athlete with dignity on a first-name basis? 10. Do our home meets promote Track & Field as a spectator sport? • Efficiently managed • Well-officiated • Quick-paced • Informative PA announcing 15. 7. 9. and consistent in dealing with our athletes? 11. Are we showcasing our program in our school? 14.

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you must have some understanding of the basic principles that govern a human being’s physical and mental response to training. mobility and flexibility training. Principles & 47 . The training you devise will become a recipe that combines conditioning.Methods of Training To train athletes. Only in this way does optimum performance become a matter of planning. not happenstance. and specific event technique. strength and plyometric training. Intelligently and systematically applying a basic knowledge of biomechanics and physiology helps create good Track & Field athletes.

precise. however. begin by going back to a simpler skill or a drill which utilizes several component skills. and devote most of your time to having athletes attempt the skill. make your explanation simple. have to be able to break down skills to their simplest elements. use one of your better athletes as a demonstrator. some will have multiple skills. Don’t try to correct more than one or two errors at a time. Among any group of novice athletes. 48 .Teaching Track & Field Skills Every Track & Field event involves technical skill. and be sure to tell athletes what they are doing right. The coach does. know what is mechanically correct. Some events are more complex than others. and detect and correct mistakes. and all will have a somewhat different rate of learning. Make the initial skills simple. • Match them to the event area(s) where they can experience the most success. some will be more skilled than others. Repeat the demonstration several times while explaining the skill. • Teach them a progression of skills which will enable them to achieve a level of proficiency. If you cannot demonstrate a skill. Be liberal in your use of praise and encouragement. Your feedback needs to be positive. Correct mistakes by giving verbal cues. When athletes fail to pick up a new skill or drill. and verbally accurate. The immediate challenge of coaching athletes new to Track & Field is to: • Evaluate the skills they bring to the sport. break it down to its simplest components or go back to a less complex skill. The actual instruction of a skill should involve: • a demonstration • an explanation • an attempt of the skill • a critique of the attempt A coach does not have to be able to demonstrate a skill with great proficiency to be able to teach it well. but even distance running involves proper mechanics and movement skills. When progressing to more complex skills.

SOME BASIC BIOMECHANICAL PRINCIPLES FOR TRACK & FIELD The science of biomechanics explains how movement is affected in the Track & Field athlete’s attempts to run faster. observe. 1986). For this reason. For a more comprehensive treatment. The sport of Track & Field is no exception. ” In other words. To teach any athletic skill properly. On the contrary. in terms of increasing the speed of an object.. or of uniform motion in a straight Line. Dyson’s Mechanics of Athletics by Geoffrey Dyson. (8th ed. Holmes & Meier. and throw farther. Challenge your athletes to take the responsibility upon themselves for mastering their events. encourage them to help teammates who are having difficulty. However. New York. Identify the specific skills they need to practice on their own.When you have a large group of athletes attempting a new skill or drill. This relationship is called biomechanics. 49 . the coach must be familiar with how the laws of physics govern athletic performance. Arrange them in flights of no more than three so you can effectively observe and critique them. divide them into groups by ability. Basic Biomechanics for Track & Field Certain physical laws govern all motion. we recommend the classic work on the subject. Conversely. As athletes begin to master the skill. regardless of their age or gender. Following is a short discussion of some of the most important principles affecting Track & Field performance. THE LAW OF INERTIA (NEWTON'S FIRST LAW) “Every body continues in its state of rest. inertia still must be overcome. these physical laws continually reveal themselves. in a sport whose essence is the most efficient and forceful expression of human movement. a body that is in motion will remain in motion unless brought to rest by an opposing force. In relation to inertia. and correct technique. Athletes will feel more competent and successful working with others of similar skill levels. except in so far as it may be compelled by impressed forces to change that state. jump higher and longer. the coach must have a general understanding of these principles. rest and uniform motion are the same thing. To teach. a body at rest will remain at rest unless put into motion by some force. the coach must correctly apply basic biomechanical principles to an athlete’s training.

Many Track & Field events involve the application of force or speed in multiple directions. fall with a constant acceleration (or increase of speed) of 32 feet per second. The High Jump is an example. An axis is the imaginary point or line around which the motion of the body occurs. Track & Field rarely exhibits pure linear motion. (e. A discus that wobbles during flight is in nutation. horizontal and angular velocity carry him from the takeoff point into the landing pit.g. of motion. or what is commonly called deceleration. • Linear motion is measured by two parameters: speed. All bodies. ANGULAR MOTION Angular motion is often known as rotation. 9 meters per second) and direction. Linear motion also is measured by changes in velocity.LINEAR MOTION • Linear motion is the movement of a body along a straight line with all its parts moving equal distance and direction at the same time. • An important measure of acceleration is the gravitational constant. At the same time. a negative change (or slowing) is negative acceleration. Most movement of the human body is a combination of linear and angular motion. • The measure of speed in a particular direction is velocity. Angular motion is the movement of a body around a fixed axis. vertical velocity carries him over the height of the crossbar. resulting in a circular pattern. The human body is considered to have three primary axes which pass through its center of mass: • the longitudinal (head-to-toe) • the transverse (side-to-side) • the frontal (front-to-back) When a body rotates around two or more axes simultaneously. such rotation is called nutation. This law is fundamental to understanding the trajectories of jumping and throwing. regardless of weight. or rate. 50 . but every event involves some form of it.. • A positive change in the rate of motion is termed acceleration. As the athlete jumps.

In biomechanical terms. it acquires momentum (mass x velocity). momentum from the drive of the free leg and the arms is transferred to the body. Likewise.THE LAW OF ACTION AND REACTION (NEWTON’S THIRD LAW) “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. horizontally. or in combination. it will cause the athlete to accelerate away from the ground. the acquired momentum must transfer to another object or part of the body. ” In other words. Center of mass is often referred to as the center of gravity. the act of running can be defined as a continuous and frequent forward shifting of a person’s center of mass. This acceleration may occur vertically. the center of mass shifts. In the throws. the center of mass is stationary and located near its center. In a solid object. the body’s center of mass is just above or below the navel. In the High Jump. CENTER OF MASS An object’s center of mass is the point in space around which the object’s mass is concentrated. resulting in a stronger impulse off the ground. the center of mass changes relative to the position of the body. 51 . “for every force there is always an equal and opposite force acting in an opposite direction. The transfer of momentum plays a significant role in the execution of several Track & Field events. If that acceleration is suddenly stopped. the body’s center of mass must be above at least some portion of the base of support. it reacts with an equal amount of force or resistance. jumping can be described as the propulsion of a body’s center of mass away from its base of support. During the performance of many Track & Field events. however. With a human body. the center of mass is actually located outside the athlete’s body. blocking the free side before release results in greater angular momentum being applied to the implement. As body positions change. To be balanced. however.” When an athlete applies force to the ground. In a normal standing position. If the force applied is greater than the athlete’s weight. such as a shot. TRANSFER OF MOMENTUM As a body accelerates. for example. or the mutual actions of two bodies in contact are always equal and opposite in direction.

for example. thereby altering the optimum angle of projection. the path of its center of mass is fixed once it leaves the ground. wind and air resistance greatly affect the aerodynamic behavior of the implement. Air resistance as a body descends works to keep it aloft for a greater period of time. This is true only if the point of landing is at the same level of altitude as the level of projection. movement of the body can affect its position relative to its center of mass. a headwind has an even greater effect in reducing speed. to increase their performance by moving their bodies forward or above the paths of their centers of mass. The optimum angle of projection of an object to obtain the maximum distance in flight is 45 degrees. AIR RESISTANCE Air resistance plays a significant role in Track & Field.CURVES OF FLIGHT When an object is put into flight. Resistance in the form of a tailwind or headwind substantially affects times in the running events. Although the path of the center of mass is determined once the body leaves the ground. When the level of the point of projection is higher than the point of landing. In the jumping events. The aerodynamic nature of a body has the effect of lowering the point of landing. This allows jumpers. (Try experimenting with a garden hose turned on to a constant stream. this is never the case. the optimum angle of projection of an object decreases. The center of mass follows a parabolic curve which remains unaffected by any action of the body in the air. so the optimum angle of projection decreases. The difference in height levels reduces the amount of vertical velocity necessary to achieve maximum distance.) In Track & Field. Aerodynamic qualities also affect the flight curve of an object. wind affects both speed and accuracy. 52 . In the Discus. Though a tailwind enhances speed. That parabola is determined by horizontal and vertical velocity along with the effects of gravitational acceleration toward the ground. The level of projection is always higher than the point of landing. however.

This phenomenon reveals itself often in Track & Field. an application of force away from the center of mass. Airborne rotation is most easily seen in the jumping events. there is almost always some rotation around a primary axis. THE CONSERVATION OF ANGULAR MOMENTUM Resistance to a change of inertia in angular motion depends upon the distribution of an object’s mass around its axis. but occurs in running and throwing as well. The resistance of a given mass is directly proportional to its distance from the axis. or slowing. The braking phase begins as the lead foot touches the ground. causing a momentary braking. As the body’s center of mass passes in front of the foot. This rotation is caused by eccentric thrust. The recovery phase occurs when both feet are in the air. Angular motion that is initiated by movement in the air results in an opposite reaction of the body This explains the behavior of a jumper’s body during flight. The balance of these forces is what keeps a runner on the curve during a race. APPLYING BIOMECHANICS TO THE RUNNING EVENTS The running stride has three phases: • Drive • Recovery • Braking The drive pushes the body forward off the supporting foot. The proper use of centrifugal force in the high jump enables the jumper to achieve the necessary rotation to carry him or herself from takeoff into the landing pit. 53 . CENTRIFUGAL AND CENTRIPETAL FORCE Centrifugal and centripetal forces are the forces that pull away and toward an axis of rotation.ANGULAR MOTION IN THE AIR When an athlete leaves the ground. the next stride and drive phase begins. from the arm carriage of a sprinter to the free arm pull of a shot or discus thrower.

gradual deceleration occurs. A runner is generally able to accelerate at full effort for about six seconds. From that point on. acquired speed and the decreased efficiency of muscular contractions stop the runner from accelerating further. Stride frequency (the time required to complete a running stride) is a function of leg length. however. or understriding. 54 . may increase frequency but still reduce speed because of the decrease in stride length. can be improved by adjusting the body’s position relative to the center of mass. Stride length is determined by leg length. genetic factors. it is crucial for the coach to understand that once in the air. No action by the jumper in the air will affect the path of his or her center of mass. Conversely. increasing stride length by overstriding reduces speed because it increases the time of the braking phase. However.Running speed is function of two things: stride length and stride frequency. a l-inch increase in stride length would result in a gain of 4 feet in a 100-meter race! Forward lean while running is a product of shafting the center of mass through acceleration. and training. leg strength. The law of action-reaction dictates that arm and knee drive will increase reaction off the ground. APPLYING BIOMECHANICS TO THE JUMPING EVENTS As stated earlier. At that point. Other variables being equal. Arm and leg thrust creates a reaction of force to the ground which causes a second reaction of force upward from the ground through the body. and running mechanics. The most effective way to increase running speed is to increase stride length while maintaining frequency and efficient running mechanics. a jumper’s center of mass follows a predetermined parabolic curve. The length or height of the jump. overly short strides.

technique works to counteract forward rotation in the jump. horizontal velocity. A landing technique with the head and chest dropped forward and hands thrust back will optimize the body’s position with the legs above and forward of the center of mass. As with the High Jump. The proper takeoff angle is achieved through an efficient application of vertical velocity to the acquired horizontal velocity. Once in flight. Horizontal velocity (both linear and rotational) combines with vertical velocity generated by arm and leg thrust to determine the flight path of the implement. the aim is to accelerate the implement over the longest distance possible.In the Long Jump and Triple Jump. Horizontal velocity combined with the optimum angle of flight dictates an approximate takeoff angle of 25 degrees in the Long Jump and even less in the Triple Jump. thereby resulting in the greatest attainable speed at release. APPLYING BIOMECHANICS TO THE THROWING EVENTS The most influential factor in throwing performance is the speed of release of the implement. Acceleration of the implement is also achieved through angular velocity. use of forward (or centrifugal) rotation. 55 . the Pole Vault combines aspects of both the horizontal and vertical jumps. The vault requires great horizontal velocity that is stored into the pole and then transferred into vertical velocity. Biomechanically. and landing efficiency are the primary determinants of performance. the takeoff angle. With proper clearance technique it is actually possible for a jumper to jump very near the height of the path of his or her center of mass. The torquing of the body and the decrease in angular momentum through the pulling of the free arm both accelerate the implement to its point of release. angle of takeoff. This is why discus throwers keep the discus extended from their bodies during their turns. The primary components of performance in the High Jump are vertical velocity. and bar clearance efficiency. it is possible for the vaulter to vault above the path of his or her center of mass once he or she releases the pole. with horizontal velocity by far the most influential. In the throws.

The following principles must be followed in any well-constructed athletic training program: OVERLOAD The most important principle of training for athletics is that of overload. In the Discus. 56 . Thirty-four to 40 degrees seems to be the optimum angle of release. the organism will degrade into a state of exhaustion. If. an organism will initially respond with alarm. When confronted with a stressor. the angle decreases as the height of release increases. Not comprehending these basic tenents produces misinformed training and exposes your athletes to the risk of injury. This process is explained in Hans Selye’s concept of the general adaptation syndrome. the angle of release is lower because of the aerodynamic characteristics of the implement. In order to achieve this goal. and skill acquisition. As the stress continues. stress. taller throwers are clearly at an advantage biomechanically. a coach must also understand and apply the fundamental principles that govern any type of physical training. however. A l-inch gain in release height can lead to an increased distance of 9 to 15 inches. When the load is greater than the normal level of exertion. For this reason. Overloading is the essential mechanism. Universal Principles of Training In addition to having a basic understanding of Track & Field biomechanics. If the resistance is positive. Any new type of training subjects the body to greater or different stress than it is accustomed to. As coaches. the resistance to the stress is negative or the stress is unchecked. These principles derive from the human body’s response to training. the organism is said to have adapted. it becomes a stressor and stimulates a general adaptation process within the organism (the athlete). for creating this adaptation. a coach must cause his or her athletes to adapt to a higher level of physical and mental performance. our aim is to improve our athletes’ levels of performance and the capacity for work. the organism will then resist in various ways.The optimum angle of release in the shot put is approximately 42 degrees. or tool. Remember. which states that all organisms respond uniformly to stress.

training becomes haphazard and often results in the frustration or injury of the athlete. this process also explains the negative results that athletes experience when overload or stress is managed improperly.Selye’s Theory of General Adaptation Stress Stage 1: Alarm Stage 2: Resistance Stage 3: Positive Adaptation or Negative Exhaustion The general adaptation process causes the body to react in a predictable manner to stress. muscular strength. PROGRESSION AND VARIABILITY The logical consequence of adaptation to overload is progression. as the system is capable of doing more. an accurate assessment of an athlete’s capacity for training must be made. muscular endurance. and flexibility. Conversely. Some common measures of such testing are VO2 max. however. Athletes should be pre-tested and then periodically reassessed in terms of the physical requirements and skills demanded by their respective event(s). Without such knowledge. For progress to be achieved. As an athlete adapts to a given training load. 57 . vertical jumping ability. a progressive increase in load then becomes necessary to continue the process of adaptation to the next level of performance. it requires progressive increases in training load for it to be stressed into a higher level of adaptation. Such information becomes the foundation upon which a coach manages the progressive overload that improves his or her athletes. In other words. This predictability allows coaches to plan positive adaptation to overload by their athletes.

results diminish.. This phenomenon is known as the specific adaptation to imposed demands (SAID). training needs to address the specific requirements of an event. varying the type of training done works to fulfill this basic principle. frequency. SPECIFICITY Our bodies adapt to exercise or physical stress in direct response to the nature of the demands imposed.e.. In running. athletes need to train physically and mentally for competition. Remember that one of the measures of overload is training mode. Intensity is a measure of the degree of exertion in training (e. Therefore. training intensity is commonly measured by time per distance. 400m runners must train for lactate tolerance.There are four important measures of progressive overload: mode. Mode is the type of training undertaken (e. Moreover. To achieve success. Distance runners must train to raise aerobic thresholds. and duration... intensity. You must train the skill or system that you intend to employ in competition. Duration is the length of time or number or repetitions of a particular training mode (e. A corollary to the principle of progression is variability. Beyond that amount of time. weight training three times per week). running. the coach must identify and heed the requirements of particular events. Frequency is the number of training units in a given time frame (i. Any single type of training yields good improvement for a period of roughly four weeks. or weightlifting). jumping. 58 . Manipulating these four parameters of training is the essence of the coach’s role in directing the training of his or her athletes.g. A certain amount of training must mimic the specific nature of the competitive event. jumpers must train for rhythm and explosiveness. not merely conditioning.g.g. 6x100m @ 80%). Varying the type of training done by the athlete spurs the adaptation along. 45-minute steady-state run or performing 10 short approach jumps).

Without such recovery. no more than two or three intense training days are recommended. not the absence of training. Our belief in “no pain. adequate recovery from a strenuous workout requires at least 48 hours. and even emotional maturity factor into the type and amount of training under which any athlete will thrive. chronic overtraining with significant risk of injury becomes likely. Training without proper rest yields poor results and. Recognizing individuaI differences and adjusting expectations when designing and applying training programs for our athletes is exceedingly important. Not too long ago. Recovery and restoration of the body are integral and active elements of training. coaches often will find that many of their most talented athletes have a limited capacity to train hard. This commonly seems to be the case near the end of season. a certain coach was overhead saying that since his relay team had qualified for the CIF championships. 59 . it must be able to recover adequately from the applied stress. Coaches often view rest as wasted time in which they might be able to squeeze more preparation.RECOVERY AND RESTORATION All gains in training are achieved during periods of recovery. Too frequently. Moreover. the athletes now really needed to train hard and get in shape. no gain” all too often runs the very thin line between maximum beneficial training and overtraining. volume and intensity must be specific to the individual. At the high school level especially. injury. Size. days of total or active rest are needed to relieve the accumulated fatigue of exercise. when they should be doing the opposite. INDIVIDUALITY Every athlete has a different response to and capacity for training. often. while less talented athletes can endure much more. In any given week. This fundamental fact of athletics is probably the most ignored and cannot be stated too strongly. Generally. Rest should be greatest during the championship phase of any season. The volume of training is far less important than its intensity and intelligent application. For the body to adapt positively to the progressive overload of training. coaches do not understand the physiological response generated by hard training. age. While the overall design of your training program will most likely apply to all. strength.

goals are most often achieved when accompanied by the true expectation of success. Too often athletes are kept ignorant of the course of their training. As a coach you must evaluate the athletes and their abilities. biomechanics. weekly. the construction and execution of the daily. The second element of planned performance training is planning. the objectives and goals for individuals and the team are defined. You. is the point of competition. 60 . Goals that are too grandiose only serve to discourage performance. Planned performance training seeks to achieve maximum improvement in performance and is structured so that peak performance occurs at predetermined moments within the competitive season. and the time available for training and competition. Once a plan is made. Goals that do not evolve inhibit the unseen abilities of the athlete. this basic plan constitutes the foundation upon which you create the structure of competitive success. though. At the same time. the level of competition. The first requirement of successful planned training is assessment. and cyclic training components becomes the third element of planned performance training. after all. Expectations frame the goals you and your athletes will have for the season. the training of your athletes becomes haphazard and good results become a matter of happenstance rather than planning and prediction.Planned Performance Training The primary purpose of training is to improve and plan the performance of the athlete. Without such planning. How can they possibly prepare mentally to train with commitment if we as coaches do not demonstrate such preparation ourselves? Of course. goals must be realistic and open-ended. training must be adapted to circumstance. need to create an overall plan for training your team and individuals. the coach. If anything. The systematic application of skill instruction. A set of expectations for your athletes establishes direction and purpose for their efforts. That. and the principles of training to the development of your Track & Field athletes is planned performance training. Coaching without a plan for the season or phase of training is like navigating unfamiliar territory without a map. From this evaluation. This plan should apply the fundamental principles of training to the expectations and goals that have been defined. This constitutes the body of the training design. but without a strategy we are unlikely to experience success. Remember.

strength and agility training. and warmup/flexibility training. and intensity of work in accordance with the time available for training and competition enables positive progress to be the rule rather than the exception. With the exception of warmup/flexibility. for example: running. Periodizatian is the key to planned performance. its progression and variation. Devising a functioning plan that varies the mode. This recipe controls the amount of overload. The aim of periodization is to maximize the physical progress of your athletes and prepare them for a concentrated period of peak competitive activity. technique. and intensity all vary substantially throughout the course of the training year. Good periodization of training results in good performances on the track or field. drills. the types of work can be divided into five basic categories. dividing both the work and time into manageable units is helpful. volume.The fourth step in the process of planned performance training is evaluation. volume. Evaluation is not a final step. PERIODIZATION The integration of these four components of planned performance training with the fundamental principles of training results in the periodization of the training process. For that reason we pay special attention to the volume and intensity of this training mode. In Track & Field. individual tastes or differences. Evaluation provides measurement and feedback that allows the coach and athlete to evolve over the course of the season. the specific ingredients involved. and the rest or settling required to produce the well-cooked athlete rather than one who is underprepared. but an ongoing process that allows the coach’s strategy to adapt to the changing demands of any training situation. It is the division of training into distinct units that emphasize different methods and types of training. While the concept of periodization may seem complex. Periodization is the recipe of training. 61 . Running composes the bulk of most Track & Field training. In doing so. overcooked or too often burned Types of Training The dilemma for every coach when periodizing training is integrating the many types of work to be done according to sound training principles in a timely and effective manner. the nature of the exercise. it can be explained by a simple metaphor.

however. Technique development concentrates on the development of the whole action of a given event. or periods. Dividing the Training Year In terms of time. PERIODIZATION OF YEARLY TRAINING 62 . For example. phases. this is an important and delicate component of training. a coach might consider one training year as a macro-cycle. Drills are a subdivision of technique development. For the high school coach. microcycles approximately a month long would become the basic unit time over which to construct a training plan. the year could be divided into two mega-cycles.Strength and agility training focus on the overall development of physical capacity and coordination skills. The concept of a training cycle is common language in discussing periodization. Drills develop and reinforce individual elements of a particular technique. the training year can be divided into units that are known as cycles. For the high school coach who rarely has the opportunity to train athletes year-round. Within these larger cycles. Warmup/warm-down/mobility/flexibility are those portions of training that help athletes prepare for strenuous activity and help them recover properly after the activity.

SYSTEMATIC TRAINING Training for planned performance requires a coach to integrate several types of training. For several reasons. plyometric exercise. Of course. and full hurdle flights are examples of specialized training. Specific training has a direct correlation to the skills necessary for a given event. the art of coaching lies in adjusting such a general outline to fit individual and team circumstances. strict throws. Specialized training duplicates the exact movements and conditions of an event. Also. 63 . and block starts are examples of specific training.By breaking down both work and time into these manageable units. General training fulfills other event demands. weight training. Focus on developing athletes first. Full jumps. This encompasses basic running. time trials. few coaches can spend the time necessary for intensive specialized training. the degree of emphasis (volume and intensity) for any type of training throughout the year is determined. then event specialists. Often it is a refinement of general training. Lastly. Running and jumping technique drills. many athletes compete in multiple events. specific plyometric drills. and rhythm development. with a large number of athletes to guide. Young athletes will benefit more from general training throughout most of the season. (See the chart on the previous page. This normally involves exercises that replicate a specific feature or phase of the event. These types of training can be divided into three categories: • General Training • Specific Training • Specialized Training General training develops the overall physical capacity and fitness of the athlete. a coach can then construct a general periodization scheme for the training year. as well as those of their specialty. the vast majority of training for high school athletes should be general in nature.) By applying the principles of training to these time and work components. hurdling.

Training Spec. Follow your competitive season with several weeks of active rest./Gen. it should account for a modest proportion of the total training regimen. Then. Specialized training is the refinement of learned technique. Allow another rest period before the next Track & Field season begins. 64 . The proportion of specific training should increase over the course of the season. At the high school level. Some of your athletes may be willing and able to train in the off-season. Off-season training should focus on general fitness and skill development. teaches an athlete a particular event. PLANNED PERFORMANCE BEYOND THE SEASON The periodization of your athletes’ training should not stop at the end of your high school season.WEEKS PRIMARY EMPHASIS SECONDARY EMPHASIS MAINTENANCE Pre-Season 2 3 General Training General Training Specific Training Specific Training General Training Early-Season 3 3 Specific Training Specific Training Spec./Gen. a period of hard general training should take place. on the other hand. Many will participate in other sports. Training General Training General Training Mid-Season 2 2 Specific Training Special Training Special Training Specific Training General Training Specific Training Late-Season 2-4 Special Training Special Training General Training Specific training. A system of training uses several methods and types of training within a seasonal training cycle. introduce fitness work gradually. The chart on this page outlines a recommended training plan. When good physical fitness is attained. Event-specific training should encompass approximately 20 percent of the off-season training load.

• In early season use a 60:40 ratio of conditioning to skill training. and allow for sufficient recovery between each trial or repetition. throws. so every event must incorporate endurance. • In midseason use a 40:60 ratio of conditioning to skill training. Be willing to sacrifice some immediate contribution by an athlete for the benefit of his or her greater performance in later years.Plan the high school career of your athletes. as well. and hurdles) there is a tendency to spend most of your training time on improving skills. Integrating Skill and Fitness Training A general rule of coaching is that when you train for technique you don’t emphasize fitness. It motivates the athlete. especially one whose initial skills or maturity are undeveloped. begin by emphasizing correct execution. In coaching technical events (in particular the jumps. an athlete’s level of fitness severely limits the amount of technique training he or she can accomplish before succumbing to fatigue. 65 . All Track & Field athletes need to do some aerobic running to enhance both their capacity to train and their ability to recover from training. SUMMARY • Do skill training (drills) before you do fitness training in your daily workout plan. However. when you train for technique. All runners and jumpers need to do some repetition training to enhance their running economy. and stamina training. and all runners need to do some high-lactate training (in the form of hills and interval training) to enhance their lactate tolerance and anaerobic thresholds. In other words. • In late season use a 20:80 ratio of conditioning to skill training. strength. Such a plan will enable your athletes to imagine the athlete they can become in the future. not speed of execution. Preparing a four-year plan for a freshman athlete gives you and the athlete a set of goals and a course of development to follow. and when you train for fitness you don’t emphasize technique.

you cannot afford to spend more than 30 minutes on your warm-up. without adult supervision! You must do some things every day as a team to be a team. Warm-Down. Athletes will quickly become bored doing the same warm-up routine each day. 66 . Wearing a warm-up suit will help accelerate the process of warming-up and prevent athletes from cooling off again while they stretch. Stretching should always be preceded by a 5–15-minute period of jogging or aerobic exercise to allow muscles to gradually loosen and their core temperature to rise above 102 degrees. en masse. A tight muscle is a ready target for a muscle pull or strain.Warm-Up. Your athletes should be perspiring freely after their warm-up before they begin to stretch. RUNNING WARM-UP EXAMPLES: • 2000 meters (5 laps). quick-paced prelude to the focus of your training session. Since you have limited daily practice time. Coaches cannot expect high school athletes to warm up vigorously. and Stretching The purpose of a warm-up is to prepare an athlete physically and mentally for a training session or competition. The warm-up is the only part of the training session that your athletes in all seven event areas can do together. and a warm-down to ensure a quality performance and reduce risk of injury. Stretching is of little use if it is not done correctly. surging the last 200m of laps 3 and 5 • 2400 meters (6 laps). on their own. 4. then gradually increase in tempo and include some bursts of slightly faster running called surges. stretching. and 6 • 2800 meters (7 laps). acceleration sprints. surging the last 100 of laps 2. A running warm-up should begin with easy jogging for several minutes. Only your direct supervision of the warm-up will assure it is a well-executed. so use a somewhat different running warm-up prior to each training session. with precision. surging the last 50m of the last 5 laps ORGANIZING YOUR PRE-TRAINING WARM-UP Young athletes must be constantly reminded that a complete workout includes a warm-up run.

they can begin to stretch. and mobility. Anything less does not allow the muscle time to relax and achieve a full stretch. ballistic stretches). which in turn makes it stronger. A recommended sequence of stretches follows. Balance refers to the equal function of the muscles which work in opposition to each other (e. which enables it to lengthen into a longer muscle and contract into a smaller muscle. which enables it to be more explosive or powerful. flexibility. To develop balance.STRETCHING EXERCISES After your athletes are warmed up. Each repeat of the stretch should allow a little more movement than the previous attempt. you must emphasize slow. you must employ exercises which stretch the major muscle groups on both the front and back of the limbs and torso. controlled stretching called static stretching (as opposed to bouncing.g. Flexibility refers to the elasticity of muscles. A loose muscle is also able to relax more completely between contractions. An effective way to motivate your team to stretch is to convince them that stretching will make them better athletes! Stretching gives a muscle greater elasticity. To develop mobility you must do exercises which move the legs and arms through a wide range-of-motion. Mobility refers to range-of-motion. And long muscles enable the body’s levers to move and apply force through a wider range-of-motion. 67 .. and then released. the quadriceps muscles on the top of the thigh and the hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh). Each exercise should be performed until a slight stretching of the muscle can be felt. To develop flexibility. Each stretch should be sustained for a minimum of 10–30 seconds. The proper way to breathe is to exhale slowly as you perform the stretch. Your stretching routine should include exercises to develop balance.

3-16) • Fast Hands/Quick Feet 68 . 3-2) Reach Over-Toes/lnsteps/Outsides of Feet (Fig. 3-4) Yoga Sit (Fig. 3-6) • Hurdler’s Stretch/Lay Back (Fig. holding onto a stationary object and swinging the outside leg up toward hip level: • • Forward-and-Back Swings (Fig. legs extended with shoes off: • Toe Pointers (Fig.W A R M . 3-12) 3 MOBILITY STRETCHES Standing. 3-17) Skipping Kicks (Fig. 3-8) • Figure “4” (Fig. 3-11) • Hip Flexor (Fig. 3-5) V-Stretch (Fig. 3-1) • • • • • Butterfly Arms-to-Toes (Fig. 3-18) • Skipping with Quick Footstrike • Jogging Butt Kicks • High Knees (Fig.U P S C R I P T 1 RUNNING WARM-UP 2 FLEXIBILITY STRETCHES Sitting on the ground. 3-14) • “C” Swings (Fig. 3-73) Side Swings (Fig. 3-70) • Abdominal Stretch (Fig. 3-7) • Sit-on-Heels/Hip Bridge/Lay Back (Fig. 3-3) Pull Forehead-to-Knees (Fig. 3-9) • Sciatic Stretch (Fig. 3-15) 4 RHYTHM DRILLS • • • • Easy Swing Skipping Fast Swing Skipping High Skipping (Fig.

3-5. 3-8. Fig. Fig. Yoga Sit. Figure “4”. 3-11. Fig. 69 . Butterfly Arms-to-Toes. Sit-on-Heels/Hip Bridge/Lay Back. 3-3. V-Stretch. 3-2.FLEXIBILITY STRETCHES Fig. 3-6. Fig. Fig. Fig. Fig. Reach Over. Hurdler’s Stretch/Lay Back. 3-7. Abdominal Stretch. Pull Forehead-to-Knees. 3-1. Fig. Fig. Fig. Sciatic Stretch. 3-10. Toe Pointers. 3-9. 3-4.

Side Swings. High Skipping. “C” Swings. 3-12. Hip Flexor. SIMPLE R H Y T H M DRILLS Fig.Fig. 3-18. Skipping Kicks. Fig. 3-14. MOBILITY STRETCHES Fig. 3-13. 3-16. 70 . 3-15. Fig. 3-17. High Knees. Forward-and-Back Swings. Fig. Fig.

The consequences of not warming down after intense exercise include severely stiff and painfully sore muscles the next day. The same series of stretches used for the warm-up can be used during the warm-down. If the training session has been especially intense. Slow jogging and walking for five to 10 minutes allows the heart rate to decrease gradually and the muscles to disperse most of the lactic acid that has accumulated during the workout. stretching after a warm-down jog is the best way to prevent the muscle soreness that may result the next day. The purpose of a warm-down is to allow the body to gradually reduce its temperature and respiration rate to normal. 71 . resulting from the body’s cooling rapidly after training and lactic acid pooling in the muscles overnight.WARMING DOWN It is imperative that you conclude each training session with a warm-down period.

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73 .Strength & Power Training Strength and power are qualities that optimize athletic performance and prevent injuries. Although not all athletes require (or can handle) intensive weight lifting. strength training should first concentrate on the development of basic fitness and injury prevention. all should engage in some type of strength training. For high school athletes. Only when these goals have been met should strength and power training focus on improving competitive performance.

A philosophy of strength training for high school track and field athletes must be based on these fundamentals. a limited number of coaches to supervise. • • • • • Progressive Overload Specificity Recovery Variability Individuality 74 . Weight training programs must account for a large number of athletes. That is to say. Such training clearly improves the basic strength. Strength and weight training for high school Track & Field teams presents a unique challenge. individuality. Realize that the best program for your team cannot address every specific event requirement. and event specialties. intensity. where variations in volume.Strength Training Strength training is an integral component of Track & Field. Weight training for high school athletes is most productive when it focuses on the development of general physical strength and fitness. the first goal of all training must be to improve the health and fitness of young athletes. The second goal should be to improve competitive performance. The program that follows should work well for all Track & Field athletes. power. speed. coaches must construct their own programs with an eye to safety. The aim of this chapter is to provide a strength training program of practical value to the high school coach. and technique lead the muscular and neurological systems to greater adaptation and strength. It also prevents and rehabilitates injuries when done properly. and athletes of vastly different strength. and general fitness of athletes. Weight Training Principles The universal principles of training discussed in the previous chapter must guide any strength training program if it is to be successful. The Level II and Level III routines are based on the principles of progressive resistance and supercompensation. It is not intended to be a definitive treatment of weight training. In other words. and recovery. Distance runners should stay primarily with the Level I routine. maturity. In light of this. make sure that any weight training is safe and appropriate for the individual athlete.

The process of supercompensation that produces increased strength occurs while the athlete is recovering. At no time is there a greater range in the individual physical characteristics of similarly aged individuals than during high school. Sometimes the difference between your most and least mature athletes will literally be the difference between adult and child. intensity. biomechanics. • Proper posture. Progressive overload. Remember that all gains are made during periods of recovery. Failing to construct your strength training program accordingly will lead to the frustration and/or injury of your athletes. and especially power. weight training for Track & Field should be aimed at increasing the overall strength. As a consequence. or shock. In general. not while the athlete is training. is the cornerstone of weight training. Strength training programs must adapt to the different capacities of individual athletes. Without adequate rest between workouts. Research has shown that frequent variations in volume. The neuromuscular system makes its greatest changes in response to an unaccustomed stimulus. progressive increases are the measure of increased strength. The weight room is primarily for strength and power development.Let’s discuss these concepts in terms of weight training. Gradual increases in the amount of weight lifted stress the body to adapt to higher levels of strength. and mode of weight training produce the greatest gains in strength. of the athlete. and technique enhance both track and field performance and weightlifting. or progressive resistance. This requires weight training to incorporate a relatively large amount of variability. In addition to the general principles of training that govern strength training there are principles specific to weight training that must be understood: • Endurance should be developed primarily on the track. Weight training also needs to be specific to the demands of Track & Field and its individual events. the strength of your athletes will actually decrease. 75 .

speed of movement. However. Remember. jumping. etc. The single joint movements are not technically challenging. seated presses. One of the recent areas of development in weight training is the concept of movement specificity. plyometrics. supine presses. snatches. emphasizing repetition of movement creates rhythm and develops better technique. says that a portion of weight training should resemble or target the movements of an athlete’s event. the development of good competitive rhythm is very important. • Event specificity. and technique are altered by unnatural added weight. throwing. leg extensions. For a high school athlete with limited workout time. and sprinters who emphasize multi-joint movements and do little or no event specific training in the weight room will still make significant improvement in their individual events. they are runners. and specific ones second. Keep in mind that weight training. you have simple single-joint movements and more complex multi-joint movements. Rhythm. in effect. jumpers. squats. Too much emphasis on resisted movement hinders the learning of such rhythm and technique. gravity and speed should be the sources of overload. These include curls. jumpers. and throwers. This. and work cannot all be done successfully in the same day! Be very aware of your athletes’ total workload. Track & Field athletes are not weightlifters. lunges. More complex multi-joint exercises are power cleans. In weight training.• When athletes are first learning to weight train. Strength and power training are important because they increase the basic physical capacity of the athlete. Throwers. Plyometric training should never be done with added weight. etc. The multi-joint exercises are a mix of power and balance. however. Using weighted vests or other paraphernalia for event specific exercise must be done cautiously. The key to successful strength training for Track & Field athletes is its careful integration into the overall training program. After technique and rhythm are mastered. that the goal is to develop the general physical capacities of performance first. 76 . variation of exercises keeps your athletes physically and psychologically fresh. studying. running. • An athlete has a finite amount of energy each day.

Good nutrition is important in order to realize gains from weight training. A coach can usually see the results of strength training in the physique of the athletes by being observant. With free weights.• Proper nutrition is vital for your athletes. Safety in the Weight Room If proper care is not exercised. If a sprinter is suddenly 10 pounds heavier and only 2% stronger. Extreme workloads require hypernutrition and proper timing of food intake. • With machines. Athletes should eat healthy snacks even during training sessions. A potential side effect of proper weight training and nutrition might be a couple of pounds drop in weight with a 5% increase in strength. A large proportion of event specific weight training should be done only by advanced athletes under the supervision of knowledgeable coaches. Remember that the calorie intake for a thrower will often be much higher than for a sprinter or jumper. Keep a close eye on any weight gain by sprinters. In general. It is best for them to have several small meals rather than one large meal for food to be utilized optimally. sets of 2-6 repetitions develop general strength and power. sets of 10–15 repetitions strengthen joint stability. hurdlers. and sets of 5–10 develop muscle gains. your throwers will be heavier than your jumpers. The key measure of weight training progress is the strength-power/weight ratio. • Remember that general weight training with a small number of event specific exercises will produce great results. chances are he or she will not improve. sets of 6–10 develop technique and harmony between the muscle groups. 77 . and jumpers. Knowledgeable coaches can use skin-fold calipers and/or hydrostatic weighing to determine body fat percentages. This takes the guesswork out of the process. This usually results in a significant improvement on the track or field. Evaluate any weight gain with respect to performance on the track or field. the weight room has the potential of becoming a very dangerous area for athletes.

Those athletes who perform heavier lifts should not do so in running shoes. positioning of free weight storage racks. especially. Use a clean. the consistent use of sound technique is essential. Even when working on machines. ” for every lifter. you have four primary responsibilities. stability of benches. basketball or special weightlifting shoes are needed to provide stability. When handling free weights. stable lifting surface. This includes differences between male and female athletes. Weight training does incur some degree of physical risk. Check the condition of seat backs on leg press machines. requires that the coach evaluate the physical condition of the athlete. A set of evaluative physical tests and a careful developmental strength program are prerequisites to a safe and effective weight training program. The fourth is to guarantee proper assistance. Proper Weightlifting Technique Proper technique produces better results and reduces the risk of injury to the athlete.As a coach. there is a risk of injury if leverage is not applied properly. The third is to ensure proper lifting and exercise technique. The second is to maintain good condition of the equipment. one is faced with extreme differences in the physical development of the athletes. Such testing should be done prior to beginning weight training and periodically throughout the training cycle. condition of bars and dumbbells. The first is to ascertain the adequate physical condition of the athlete. particularly with free weights. condition of power racks. Condition of the Equipment The risk of severe injury appears when equipment is not maintained or becomes damaged. At the high school level. 78 . and the fit of the bar collars. or “spotting. Coaches must carefully supervise the physical and technical development of their athletes. Make sure that proper shoes and lifting belts are used. since many major injuries occur when athletes slip on the lifting surface. even with light weights. Physical Condition of the Athlete Weight training. Check cables on machines for wear and tear.

Squats are performed safely inside a squat rack with pins that trap the bar in case of a failed lift. spotters alone will not prevent a crash of the weight. With heavy lifts. As with the bench. Injuries can happen when a side spotter panics and lifts too aggressively. This stabilizes and assists in the lift. Likewise. or Spotting Spotting is commonly used in free weight exercises such as squatting and bench pressing. Bench Press. a triple spot is recommended. For every lift. just above the weight belt. If the lifter fails to rise. We recommend the first method which is the strongest and most efficient. the lifter must maintain effort throughout. For heavy lifts. For very heavy lifts. three spotters are required. hooks both arms around the torso. Another is to place both hands around the sides of the torso. If the lift is performed outside the rack. This includes two side spotters to aid the person in the back. more spotters are required to maximize safety. one spotter is needed. and lift upward. The lifter must continue to push through until the weight is racked! 79 . A minimum of one person stands behind the athlete to make sure that the lifter safely completes the lift. a side spotter who fails to lift the bar when ordered may also cause the bar to tilt. The spotter stands directly behind the lifter. ready to help in case of failure. On light to medium lifts. This helps create a total lifting environment for the athletes. the side spotters must synchronize with the back spotter for proper balance. The spotter stands with knees slightly flexed and arms near the lifter’s torso. The spotter should use a solid grip to help guide the bar back to the bench in case of problems. As lifts get heavier.Proper Assistance. one that demands awareness of others’ safety at all times. tilting the bar to one side. Don’t allow the lifter to struggle if the bar starts to tilt to one side during the lift (this can cause rotator cuff or pectoral tears) or if you see extreme arching of the back (this can cause lower back injury). One style of spotting involves reaching around the torso and placing the palms of both hands on the lifter’s pectorals. and pulls up. spotters are needed. It is important that the side spotters follow the lead of the back spotter and that both guide the bar back evenly. the spotter steps in.

knee problems. Another very important point in weight room safety is the use of well-fitting bar collars. if injury occurs or a lifter passes out. It is easy to forget to add weight or remove weight from one side of the bar.Spotters must be extremely vigilant since. if used properly. Those with high blood pressure. loose ligaments). and event specialties. 80 . should not be allowed to lift until those problems have been addressed. spotting a 300-pound bench press or a 500-pound squat can be very hazardous and must be approached with great attention and caution. the weight may be entirely in their hands! For this reason. etc. strength.. All your athletes should be examined and cleared by a doctor before undertaking a weight training program. Your own program will be defined further by the following factors particular to your school situation: • • • • • • • Equipment Weight training knowledge Time availability Number of athletes Staff available for supervision Type of athlete Event specialties of your athletes The following program outlines will take you from the most basic weight training program to an advanced training system. each intended for athletes of various maturity. The resulting imbalance can cause serious injury. Another crucial safety measure is checking the weight on the bar. The program is divided into three levels. congenital back problems (bulged discs. The collars. Medical Clearance. will keep the weights from slipping off the bar. The Strength and Weight Training Program The following section offers a strength training program designed for Track & Field athletes.

medicine balls or basketballs. Pre-season training should include three sessions weekly. This program is also recommended as a transition from off-season to pre-season training for advanced athletes. side and forward (up to 5 sets of 20 performed with alternating legs). 81 . it applies less specifically to distance running than to other Track & Field events. During the competitive season. but its goals should be to develop overall fitness and prevent injuries that result from weakness. but must be kept in clear perspective. First. Be aware that the numbers of sets and repetitions vary substantially. The basis of success in the distances is aerobic fitness. jump ropes • Time Required: 30 minutes to one hour • Supervision: One or two coaches The Level I routine begins with 4-5 minutes of easy continuous running followed by 10 minutes of preparatory stretching. The Fitness Circuit Push-ups (Up to 5 sets of 2–10 reps with 30–60 seconds’ rest. Certainly. • Equipment: Bench for bench press. and distance runners. depending on ability). those who may be physically weak or immature. young throwers may strength train three times per week. The strength/fitness circuit should take 20–40 minutes. strength training will help distance runners. The program is designed to be done two or three times per week. muscle imbalance. Pull-ups (Up to 5 sets of 2–10 reps with 60–90 seconds’ rest: weaker athletes may be assisted by partners until they gain sufficient strength.LEVEL I The Level I routine is a basic strength training circuit intended for athletes without weight training experience. but other athletes should cut back to two sessions. and overuse. The key point to consider is that the amount of work and its intensity must increase gradually. coaches must keep in mind the concept of specificity.) Lunges. Begin conservatively and progress. Strength training for distance runners is strongly recommended. lifting bar and weights. Since weight training primarily develops strength and power.

Box step-ups holding dumbbells in each hand (up to 10 sets of 5-10 reps. Medicine ball. placing substantial stress on the lower spine and risking injury Standing long jumps onto sand. Lunges. When conditioning the stomach muscles. Sample Workout . Jump rope. Finish the program with five minutes of easy jump rope work. It can be used as a means of aerobic training. or wrestling mats (up to 5 sets of 3 jumps with both feet together). weight should range from 5–20 pounds depending on the athlete’s strength). an athlete does not need to rise more than 30 degrees off the ground. Choose 2 or 3 of the following exercises: • • • • • • Overhead toss (2–4 sets of 10) Forward toss (2–4 sets of 10) Side toss (2–4 sets of 10. Step-ups. Stretch 10 mins. Abdominal Crunches (up to 100 in sets of 10–20).Level I (2-3 sessions per week) Day 1 — Jog 4 mins. Jump rope. but the emphasis here should be on coordination. Jumping rope is an excellent way of developing rhythm and movement skills. Push-ups. Curls. Day 3 — Alternate between Day 1 and Day 2 routines. Beyond that point the psoas muscles do the majority of the work. Sit-up Crunches. grass. Day 2 — Jog 4 mins. Pull-ups. 82 . Stretch 10 mins. Machine Bench Press or Medicine Ball. Incorporating medicine ball exercises into the circuit will reduce the number of balls required. Sit-up Crunches. boxes or benches should be 6–18 in height. Medicine ball tosses or homemade weighted balls of 3–8 pounds. obtaining medicine balls for as many as 100 or more athletes is impractical. each side) Triceps toss (2–4 sets of 5) Two-banded basketball pass (2–4 sets of 10) Straight-armed forward toss. kneeling position to partner (2–4 sets of 10) Note: Obviously.

lat-pulls. 13. but it does provide good strength and power training within the constraints faced by most high school programs. 12. Using machines increases the number of athletes that can weight train safely. 2.This program can be done during a PE class or as part of Track & Field practice. For basic fitness. 4. chest flyes. The circuit can accommodate about 15 people at a time. If done during practice. It can accommodate a fairly large number of athletes and requires limited equipment and supervision. Sample Circuit — Level II (2-3 sessions per week) 1. weightlifting machines provide a number of relatively safe exercise options. Step-Ups Side Lunges Forward Lunges Partner Medicine Ball Jump Rope Triceps Work Lat-Pulls Hamstring Curls 83 . 3. 14. 8. the strength training circuit should follow the main body of the event-specific workout. bench press. 6. seated or standing press. 15. leg press. 5. for example. 10. 10 repetitions per exercise with 30–60 seconds’ rest between sets or exercises is recommended. This routine does not pretend to be the optimal strength training program. triceps extensions. Like Level I. 11. hamstring curls. LEVEL II The Level II routine is recommended for the bulk of high school Track & Field athletes. 16. sit-ups. 7. pull-ups. Bench Press Incline Bench Leg Press Seated Press Standing Press Sit-Ups Pull-Ups Dips 9. the Level II routine should be done two to three times per week depending on training phase and event specialty • Equipment: Level I equipment plus weight machines • Time Required: 30 minutes-one hour • Supervision: One or two coaches At this level.

Available time. Two cautions: • Don’t let athletes arch their backs on the press. If you. your athletes must understand that strength training at this level is serious business. or carelessness. jumpers. and intensity are the key to advanced weight training success. competition schedules. especially back problems. inattention. Qualified supervision is an absolute requirement. However. For example. circuit training should give way to specific exercises in a set pattern of training. When one imagines a situation of two or three coaches with 100 or more athletes competing twice a week in various events. Lifting too much weight too soon and improper technique will likely lead to injuries. supervision. find a qualified strength coach. Very serious injuries can result from improper lifting. There is no room for casual attitudes and horseplay. and sprinters will benefit most from the intensive strength and power development of this program. the limitations become obvious. then either learn them well. 84 . Although weight training of this sophistication is often broken into four or five sessions per week. Throwers. Focus. It is not intended for distance runners. you might limit a workout to a total of 6–8 exercises.Once good general fitness is attained. For such reasons. Also. but use 3–4 sets of 5–8 repetitions for each. or do not use them. safety considerations become more important. do not have sufficient weight training knowledge to teach these lifts. Repetitions are reduced and weight increased. • Don’t try to maximize results in the leg press. this program is designed for two or three lifting sessions per week. With the incorporation of weightlifting. Correct technique becomes essential. This routine uses a number of advanced lifts which present a risk of injury. a coach must realize that such training requires attentive planning and execution in order to be effective. Weight room training poses a special problem for large Track & Field squads. such a schedule is not feasible for high school athletes. discipline. LEVEL III (2-3 SESSIONS PER WEEK) The Level III program is designed for athletes who have become proficient at Levels I and II and who participate in events where power is a major part of successful performance. and multiple event demands limit the amount of training athletes and coaches can do. the coach.

etc. Remember that abdominal exercise should always be part of any strength training regimen. triceps extensions. muscle imbalances. power racks. The core lifts of this program are marked by asterisks. incline/decline benches. event specialties considered. any single lifting session would include only a small number (3–5) of the above lifts. lat-pulls. Younger athletes can still profit a lot from the Level I and II routines. • Equipment: Levels I and II equipment plus weightlifting platforms or matted surfaces. Basic strength. dumbbells. they should be the foundation of any advanced routine. flexibility. good mornings. Both physical and emotional maturity are prerequisites to intensive weight training. These lifts should address specific weaknesses. Some number of secondary lifts should be done as well.It should be obvious that this program is not appropriate for all athletes. and coordination should be well-developed before beginning this type of training. Other such lifts include terminal quadriceps extensions. Olympic lifting bars. bumper plates • Time Required: 45–90 minutes per session • Supervision: One coach per 10 athletes The coach must understand the proper technique for the following lifts: • Power Cleans* • Snatch* • Back Squats* • Bench Press* • Front Squats • Shrugs • Pulls • Dead Lifts • Good Mornings • Clean-and-Jerk • Jerks from the rack (both front and back) • • • • Seated and Standing Press (front and back) Incline Bench Press Decline Bench Press Front and Side Lunges Of course. and injury prevention. Hamstring curls are especially recommended for all Track & Field athletes. Older athletes without the proper attitude don’t belong with this group either. 85 .

1 minute for each set. 86 . Therefore. Give athletes time to get their heart rates down to a level that allows them to continue the workout properly. bench press. The third phase of the program is 1 set of 5. 2 sets of 5. 1 set of 2 per workout starting at 65% and ending the phase at 90%–95% of maximum effort.e. The second third of the program is 2 sets of 6. incline bench Day 3 — Power clean. this program is for athletes who have proven themselves at Levels I and II already. PERIODIZING WEIGHT TRAINING A basic routine for coaches who only have athletes for six to 12 weeks could start with the following Day 1 — Power clean. With the core lifts. back squat. bench press.. a workout of 5 sets of 5 repetitions of cleans should last about a half hour (e. 2 sets of 4. lat pulls Day 2 — Snatch. 2 sets of 3. stay with 5-6 repetitions at 60% to 65% of maximum until the athlete has proper lifting technique. making recovery between workouts difficult. the usual rest between sets is 2-4 minutes.. the bane of many coaches’ existence. volume and intensity are 6 sets of 6 at about 60%70% of maximum.g. for someone available for nine weeks this would encompass three weeks). Remember. depending on the workload. If any lower leg strengthening is to be done. 2-4 minutes for recovery between sets). it should focus on the small muscles of the ankle and anterior tibialis (or front of the lower leg). These exercises provide greater leg stability and lessen the tendency towards shinsplints. 2 sets of 4 per workout at 65%–75% of maximum.One word on calf raises: the amount of running and jumping done by Track & Field athletes creates a tremendous amount of work for the lower leg. Recovery intervals during the workout must be controlled. Rather than sacrifice technique. As you can see. as with interval track workouts. 10 minutes warm-up. there is no time to waste if a workout is to be completed. For the first third of the cycle (i. Calf raises have a tendency to overstress the calves. front squat The program is divided into three phases.

recovery is part of the training process. strict curls. Nonetheless. triple jumpers. With a program lasting 12 weeks or longer. jumpers and sprinters should take 2–4 days’ rest from the weights before a major invitational or league meet and 10–14 days’ rest from any hard weights before the CIF or State meet. a program should emphasize intensity over volume. peak performance cannot be expected until intensive weight training is stopped. lateral cable exercises. Refer to Chapter 3. but are not limited to. and as fitness improves through weight training. after 8–10 weeks of weightlifting. seated press. the athlete is having trouble improving performance on the track or field. Too much general soreness accompanies the first 3 weeks of weight training. rowing exercises. Sprinters. 87 . However. Following intensity. hamstrings curls. As with any type of training. A rest of 7–10 days before the most important meet of the year is recommended. decline bench press. preacher curls. to help you with the periodization of training based on a full season. not the absence of training. triceps extensions. Throwers. These event areas rely a good deal on muscular power. If you have an athlete for five weeks or less. As a general rule of thumb. performance improves as well. 400m sprinters. and pole vaulters usually continue to improve during an intensive weight training period. These include. must be sufficient recovery. however. As the season advances. all programs should incorporate a cycle of 6–10 weeks of high-volume/lowintensity training. and jumpers need to be relatively fresh to perform well. pages 60–64.Secondary or assistance lifts should be done only if there is enough time after the core lifts. side sweeps. calf raises. it is wise to back off intense weight training and intensify the running and plyometric training instead. different periodization schedules can be applied. a lifting program is not recommended. remember that once basic fitness has been achieved. hurdlers. quadriceps extensions. lat-pulls. In the rare case where a coach can engage an athlete in a year round program. If. taper workouts and end weight training as early as 3–4 weeks before the final meet. and good mornings.

) Week l — 5 sets of 5 Week 2 — 5 sets of 4 Week 3 — 5 sets of 3 Week 4 — 5 sets of 2 Week 5 — 4 sets of 2 The first cycle is then followed by another identical cycle of 5 weeks. dumbbells. STRENGTH TRAINING FOR LARGE TRACK & FIELD TEAMS Many coaches consider organizing strength training for their entire team an almost impossible prospect. and some type of weight machine can likely handle around 25 athletes. Creative thinking becomes necessary The first limitation a coach needs to assess is the capacity of the weight room. called an unloading week. So how does a coach get around this problem of so many athletes and so little equipment? One solution is to create a strength circuit that doesn’t require using the weight room. it is nearly impossible to arrange weight training for the entire team at one time. If this method is used during the season. The Level I routine can be done entirely on the field.or 3-week pyramid cycles of high intensity and low volume. The number of athletes and event specialties makes the planning of strength training a complicated task. This should cover the strength training needs of all your distance runners and least mature athletes. Throwers can do a couple of 2.Following a basic fitness cycle. The only difference is that greater amounts of weight are lifted over the previous cycle. a coach has the option of different methods: • The loading-unloading method whereby you train high intensity/low volume for 2 or 3 weeks followed by one-week of low intensity/low volume. That is not a large number. sprinters and jumpers should greatly reduce their weight training after the second cycle. so every case will differ. Weight rooms vary substantially from school to school. 88 . This is especially the case for large track and field teams where there may be as many as 300 athletes on a combined girls’ and boys’ team. • A 5-week pyramid cycle with increasing loads followed by one week of rest from weightlifting. A weight room with two or three Olympic bars. (This method works well after the base period. In such a situation.

Remember.A second tactic is to have your throwers lift early on non-throwing days. Anything you can do to break up the team into groups for strength training will help. A third tactic is to alternate the days on which different event groups lift. This lets them do the heavier lifting they need without interference from the rest of the team. though. weight training usually must receive secondary emphasis even for your sprinters and jumpers. Level I routines and plyometrics can go a very long way if planned and executed intelligently The Lifts THE SQUAT No lift will have more dramatic effect on speed and power than the squat (Fig. Especially with young athletes.) 89 . The athlete should start with what is known as high bar squatting. and distance runners. but don’t exhaust your athletes prior to their more important track sessions. When beginners try to lift in this position. not high schoolers. Morning sessions are another possibility. (The more advanced low bar placement used by powerlifters should be reserved only for very advanced athletes. the bar should rest on the trapezius muscles about 2 inches below the neck. sprinters. this still leaves you with the problem of adequate supervision. It is also a very dangerous lift if proper preparation and technique are not used. It opens up the weight room for your jumpers and sprinters at the end of the training session and makes the weight room a safer place. Nonetheless. You may need to have an assistant whose primary responsibility is to oversee strength training. followed by jumpers. you must be creative. they tend to lean forward and lose their balance. In that style. It requires a very strong back and well-developed squat technique. an introductory period with light weights will help develop the technique and balance required for safe lifting. 4-l). Throwers should receive preference. That is. the bar is placed for 4–6 inches below the neck. Prioritize event groups and individuals for access to the weight room. With extremely large teams. But with very large teams. This can be complicated because most athletes compete in multiple events.

then a base 4-6 inches wider than shoulder width will yield the best results. the athlete lifts the bar off the supporting pins of the squat rack and steps back to a starting position. Pushing the chest and stomach out will compress the lower back. Place the feet with the toes pointing out 20–45 degrees. Don’t force a full squat on those with poor flexibility or poor balance. The key to the squat is keeping a tight torso with a straight back and lowering the bar under control. If the lifter has poor flexibility. A full squat is attained when the upper thigh. Fig. For some athletes. 4-1. don’t encourage increased poundage at the expense of good technique. The initial stance can be adjusted according to the muscles targeted and the flexibility of the athlete. Make sure that the heels stay in contact with the ground at all times. depending on body-type. However. 90 . the exercise is being done incorrectly.With the bar on the trapezius and the hands spaced evenly on the bar several inches outside the shoulders. The Squat. is parallel to the ground. This will only lead to muscle imbalances and injury. endangering the lifter’s knees. This is referred to as keeping the torso tight and helps protect the lower back from injury. don’t allow those athletes to lift more weight until those athletes develop proper technique. By the same token. The athlete should focus on using the gluteals and the hamstrings to control the pace of descent. the line from knee to hip. have them do stretching exercises and squats without weights and until they can lift correctly. If the lifter’s heels lose contact with the ground while he or she is lowering the bar. If a wide base and supports don’t prevent athletes from leaning forward. a ½ or ¾ squat may be more appropriate until they achieve the skill and flexibility to go to a full squat.

The eyes should look straight ahead during the entire lift. This is a dangerous time because of fatigue. When returning the bar to the rack. The back should be straight. The hands grip the bar evenly spaced 1–2 inches outside the legs. At this point. The wrists rotate inward and both elbows lock. slightly less than shoulder width apart. Phase I is the starting position. Mistakes can take place easily. 4-2). except that the bar is held in front of the lifter much like the catch position in the Olympic lifts. not up. The knees should stay over the toes at the bottom of the squat. the hips should be a little bit higher than the knees. THE POWER CLEAN The power clean is divided into three active phases and two recovery phases (Fig. from the torso. Some beginners tend to place one foot forward or back. 91 . ensure that both feet are spaced evenly and in line with the body. with the eyes focused straight ahead. The bar rests along the clavicles with the arms stabilizing the bar. pointing sideways. The front squat develops the quadriceps muscles more than a back squat does. and the bar about 3–4 inches over the shoes. Also. with the torso arched slightly and the shoulders back. he or she keeps the torso tight and pushes back up to the starting position. Many athletes tend to look at the floor which causes them to lean forward excessively. Do not let the knees turn inward at the bottom of the lift. The chest should be a few inches in front of the bar so that the back assumes a 45 degree angle to the floor.As the lifter completes the descent. the lifter stands with feet flat. make sure the athlete does not rush back or catch his or her hands on the supports. or the arms can cross over each other to control the bar. Elbows are held high away. The lift is performed in the same manner as the back squat. First.

The athlete should actually rise onto the balls of the feet.Phase II is the pull to the knees. The arms are kept locked with the back as tight and straight as possible. The initial movement to clear the knees will shift the center of gravity from over the balls of the feet to over the center of the feet. Now. This movement allows the large muscle groups to act upon the bar. As the bar travels upward. The Power Clean. the hips are driven forward forcefully and the torso is driven back and up. 92 . creating great acceleration. Fig. the trapezius muscles contract forcefully in a shrugging motion. Phase III is the acceleration. the bar will make hard contact with the mid-thigh. a slight flexing of the hips and knees will act as a shock absorber upon completion of the lift. The weight should be moved by using the large muscle groups. Curling the wrists inward as much as possible keeps the bar as close as possible to the shins and the lower thigh. Raising the elbows as close to shoulder level as possible creates the final pull on the bar. Make sure the lifter keeps the chest over the bar. This is where most athletes make the mistake of overworking the lift and lose proper technique. 4-4). The bar is trapped as the elbows go from the side to the front of the body. At no point during this phase are the elbows to bend at all. Most beginners catch the bar with the elbows close to the torso. Phase IV is the recovery. 4-2. The bar is lifted by straightening the legs and lifting the hips. When the bar reaches its highest point. 4-3). the weight shifts to the balls of the feet and the athlete tries to get as tall as possible. A quick way to spot a major error is to see if the athlete stays flat-footed (Fig. If the lift is executed properly. not the arms. As the hips drive forward. The upper arms must be held parallel to the ground. It is important not to pull back with the elbows but to point them away from the body (Fig. with pressure from the high elbow position keeping it in place. The final resting place for the bar is along the clavicles.

• Poor Wrist Flexibility: This is a real problem when it comes to catching the bar at the end of the clean or front squat. the athlete can roll the bar toward the end of the fingers at the end of the catch in order to relieve the pressure on the wrists. The back must remain straight using flexed legs to prevent straining the lower back. Movement should be slow to fast. In general. This is a good warm-up before lifting. Here. Fig. Another error is jumping or throwing the body unevenly in order to make the lift. hips. While keeping the torso tight. Meanwhile. The rhythm of the lift is very important. depending on the physical skill of the lifter. and wrists is a major factor affecting technical proficiency. shoulders.It is a very dangerous mistake to bend backward in order to catch the bar (Fig. Flexibility of the ankles. 4-5). The feet can move a few inches to either side but not forward or backward. Reduce the amount of weight if this happens. lower back problems usually result from the premature use of the arms and shoulders. the athlete should not pull with the arms before extending the body. 4-5. If an athlete rips the weight off the floor as fast as possible. During the pull. Remedies include adding an extension to the heel of the lifting shoes. Fig. the bar is lowered from the rack position on the chest to the hip area. The bar can be lowered safely to the floor if done in stages. 4-4. Then the bar is lowered slowly along the thigh and eventually to the floor. the weight returns to the starting position. As flexibility improves. and general stretching. only light weights should be lifted until the coach sees an improvement in flexibility Flexibility Problems • Poor Ankle Flexibility: The athlete will not be able to keep his or her heels on the ground in the basic starting position. The bar should be caught with the torso erect. The athlete will be unable to hold on to the bar with elbows high and away from the torso. a remedial stretching routine must be undertaken. the feet should stay where they begin. During the fifth phase (Phase V). A good exercise is to put a bar on a squat rack at shoulder level and have the athlete rotate the elbows up while keeping a good grip on the bar. 4-3. The athlete should not swing the bar out and up while bending the body backward. If an athlete is inflexible in these areas. The lifter should never struggle for control at the end of the lift. cleans become a problem for weight rooms without bumper plates or padded surfaces. doing dead lifts to gradually stretch the ankles and lower calves. 93 . The athlete should not muscle the bar up by keeping the feet flat and pulling just with the arms. Fig.

) Phase I is identical to the Power Clean (Fig. With the snatch. Phase IV is the active shrug of the shoulders and explosive rotation of the elbows as the bar is moved overhead in one motion (Fig. This will also put the bar dangerously in front or in back of the body as the arms lock out at the top. At the finish. Phase III. 4-6) except for the placement of the hands on the bar. the head stays level and eyes look straight ahead. much like a jump. 4-8). moves the feet a few inches to either side. Phase II is the pull from the knees to the hips (Fig. The difference is that with the narrow grip of the clean. Fig. 4-9). There should be no looking up or down. using the large muscles of the legs and torso. Teach your athletes to escape a poor lift by pushing off the bar so that the athlete goes forward with the bar dropping behind the athlete. 4-6. 4-9. Phase II. Phase IV. Fig. Fig. the athlete must keep the wrists firm with the backs of the hands facing the ceiling. Another error is dropping the head. as needed. (Also refer to the description of the Clean). the athlete grips the bar wide enough so that the bar rests at approximately hip height in the standing position. Failed lifts are why bumper plates or rubber matting are needed to prevent damage to the bar and weights. the bar ends up at mid-thigh. the bar should end up at or near the hips. Too much lifting with the torso stresses the back and destroys balance. Fig. Here. Phase I.SNATCH (Please refer to the section on the Clean. 4-7). As the athlete throws the bar overhead. 4-8. The arms should be straight. the bar should be directly over the heels of the lifter and the back should be erect. This hyperextends the shoulders and can result in injury. Phase III is the acceleration (Fig. One typical error is for the bar to be caught several inches behind the heels. This is performed like Phase II of the Clean. At this point. This pushes the bar in front of the body and pulls the lifter forward. 4-7. The bar is lifted off the ground in the same manner as the clean. Thrusting the hips forward and up is essential. 94 . In this lift. the violent forward/upward displacement of the hips.

Don’t let anyone sit near the lifter. or racks. It is advisable that lifters either use gloves or chalk up the grip areas. Always use an Olympic type bar for these lifts. THE BENCH PRESS Perhaps no lift will be as popular with high school athletes. There is a definite need for upper body strength in most sports. The feet are kept on the ground with the heels touching. rubber flooring (single unit flooring prevents a lifter from catching a foot on the seams) and non-slip surfaces on concrete. wet or uneven surfaces. Belts are sold in most sporting goods and weightlifting stores. Most bars will have knurled markings to ensure a symmetrical grip. we recommend that lifters wear sweat pants or tights. The width of the grip is determined by mechanics. medicine balls. bars. Never lift with sandals or in bare feet. which appeals to the vanity of young athletes. A slightly raised heel is preferred. With all Olympic lifts. The head rests on the bench with the nose and eyes directly below the bar. The lifter grips the bar outside the width of the shoulders. Rough bars can abrade the skin on the hands very quickly. the athlete lies on the back with the feet spaced about one foot from the side of the bench. and give less in return athletically. Avoid smooth concrete. Good traction is very important for all lifts. Shoes should have good support.Safety Considerations for Olympic Lifts The snatch should be done only by advanced athletes with proper equipment and supervision. Make sure there is room to escape a bad lift so that the athlete does not crash into a wall. comfort. waxed floors. Always keep loose weights. and arm length. Because of the impact on the thighs and hips. These bars have revolving sleeves which allow the bar to rotate and will not cause injury to the wrists. out of the active lifting area. there is a chance of teammates being injured if a bar is dropped. slick carpeting. To perform the lift. A good weightlifting belt is mandatory to protect the lower back of the athlete. etc. but lower body and back strength are far more important for performance. as the bench press.. benches. 95 . 4-10) develops the chest and arms noticeably. The best surfaces on which to lift are plywood platforms (do not paint or varnish the wood). The bench press (Fig.

make sure the buttocks stay on the bench. books. the eccentric. If the lifter raises them to finish the lift. the feet should be flat on the ground with the buttocks on the bench at all times. The weight should always be controlled and should not bounce off the chest. The bar is lowered to the bottom of the pectorals until it touches the chest. Lowering the weight should be done under control with no sudden surges in speed. The bar is driven up keeping it between the elbows and the chest. Nonetheless. The next step is the drive off the chest (concentric. When the repetition is complete (elbows locked and the bar stabilized). 4-10. phase). or descending. As with the flat bench press. The lifter pushes the bar up in a slight arch toward the upper chest. One of the big errors made by beginners is pushing the bar out from the chest instead of up toward the chin. A combination of videos. To isolate different areas of the upper body. Incline bench presses allow less weight to be lifted and are more difficult to spot. magazines. or ascending. During the push off the chest. This can cause the lifter to lose control of the weight. 96 . depending on the amount of weight and bench construction. This keeps the elbows in line with the direction of force on the bar. and demonstrations can be of great help to the coach.After a couple deep breaths. Narrow grip benches isolate the arms and work the triceps and forearms.) With the arms fully extended. lower the weight and maintain proper technique. Fig. phase of the lift begins. narrow or widen the grip. this lift is important for developing upper body strength and stabilizing the shoulders. When the lifter is ready. the next repetition is attempted. the lifter inhales and pushes the bar from the bench supports. the athlete stabilizes the bar before attempting the lift. The Bench Press. (Sometimes a spotter helps to pick up the bar. the bar is lowered to the upper pectoral. Wide grip benches emphasize the pectorals and lats. RESOURCES Weightlifting is difficult to learn solely from books or magazine articles. With the incline press (usually a 45-degree angle). l–2 inches from the clavicle. the lifter performs the same routine as with the supine bench press. From the lock-out position.

. 97 ..... (719) 578-4508. III . etc.... you can acquire: • • • • Club Coach Manual Technique Manuals I. Watch workouts and ask questions. Athletic Coach.. Coaching Videotape I Videotape II (assistance .. Knees should not turn inward... Track and Field News also advertises videos on weight training for Track & Field events.... TECHNICAL APPENDIX The following drawings illustrate several of the most common errors made by athletes while performing the core lifts.50 each) ..... The U. Visit weight rooms at local universities and health clubs. Weight Lifting Federation... the hips should not be lifted off the bench.($22) Magazines such as: Powerlifting USA... the body stays stationary and the legs should not move or extend. When the athlete pushes the weight up... will add to your knowledge. The bar should not be pushed up unevenly.($25) II.. Weight Lifting Federation... Use these drawings as a guide to teaching sound fundamental lifting technique..($7..($41. may also know of lifting coaches in your area and give you their addresses or phone numbers. During the entire exercise.... International Olympic Lifter...S.. Make sure the heels stay in contact with the ground at all times..... Track Technique.... Looking at the floor can cause the athlete to lean forward excessively.S....From the U...25) exercises) . The National Strength and Conditioning Association Journal..

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The basic principle of specificity demands that power training incorporate elements of strength and speed simultaneously. One such type of training. Although both forms of training contribute to success in Track & Field. particularly well-suited to Track & Field.Plyometric Training for Speed-Strength Traditionally. is called plyometric exercise. 99 . training for power has been done by training for strength first (in the form of calisthenics and weightlifting) and then training for speed and quickness. neither addresses the specific requirement of explosiveness-the ability to combine strength and speed.

is essential for it to be properly integrated into your own system of training. movements.A Philosophy of Plyometric Training The goal of any athletic training program is to improve the specific physical capacities needed for that sport. and proper application of plyometric training. A primary objective of training for Track & Field. Fundamentally. In fact. 100 . as derived from its Greek roots. speed. and bouncing are all plyometric movements. most of us have been doing some form of plyometric exercise all our lives. The Physiology of Plyometric Training The term plyometric. With the exception of the distance events. Even middle and long distance runners need to possess the ability to respond powerfully to the demands of a given race. each foot contact with the ground is completed in a fraction of a second. skipping. or powerful. mid-race surges and finishing kicks demand that the athlete respond quickly and powerfully. In the 100 meters. That is. All require specific skills. Such training has been used systematically in Track & Field by European coaches and athletes for nearly 25 years. leaping from the front porch. however. and especially the ability to be explosive. must be to develop the ability of the individual to perform each event with the optimum degree of explosiveness. Jumping rope. means to increase or augment. playing hopscotch. Track & Field athletes need good general strength. the events of Track & Field are inherently power-oriented activities. athletes must train to exert the greatest amount of strength in the shortest time possible. Track & Field is a sport of explosive movements. specific muscular endurance. Understanding the mechanisms. for example. although most American coaches consider it a recent phenomenon. and running to be conducted in very short moments of time. Consider the events of the sport. then. techniques. Even in the longer races.

Body weight and gravity are used to load elastic tension within the muscles. and jumping. The main objective of plyometric training is to produce greater power by training the muscles to contract more quickly and forcefully from an actively pre-stretched position.Plyometrics are exercises that aim to develop explosive ability by conditioning the neuromuscular and elastic characteristics of the muscle. This is called an eccentric contraction: a contraction where the muscle is forced to lengthen even though it is trying to shorten itself. sprinting. Let’s put this in simpler terms. or stretch-reflex. While there are certain types of drills and exercises that lend themselves easily to plyometric training for Track & Field. where a muscle shortens as it is contracts. When a muscle is stretched quickly. In an eccentric contraction. it tries to protect itself by contracting. plyometric training is a method of training as opposed to a specific set of exercises. One does a certain drill or exercise in a plyometric manner.) The counterpart of this is concentric contraction. mechanism and the natural elastic properties of the muscle. When done correctly. A concentric contraction is much stronger when it is preceded by an eccentric contraction. plyometrics combine strength and speed by developing the explosive-reactive movements that comprise throwing. Strictly speaking. (Try making a muscle with your biceps and then pull your forearm toward the ground. This reaction is the stretch-reflex. the muscle reacts very powerfully against the rapid stretching. the key to their usefulness lies in proper execution and application. The effectiveness of the exercise relies upon the conditioning of the myotatic. This is what is usually thought of as a muscle contraction. 101 . which is then released in a muscular contraction much more forceful than normal.

To achieve the proper effect. and periodization as training for an individual event. Consider an example. A fundamental principle of plyometric training is that the muscle needs to be pre-stretched quickly.The strength of the stretch-reflex is a consequence of how fast a muscle is stretched. Understand that the goal of plyometric training is to develop the power and explosive ability that is the key to success in nearly all Track & Field events. land. application. landing. When a muscle is stretched quickly. as opposed to jumping. the coach must keep in mind the general and specific principles of training. it is placed under greater tension. storing a greater amount of elastic energy within the muscle. The best results are achieved when both coach and athlete understand the role of power in a respective event and how to integrate and correctly apply plyometrics to an athlete’s overall training. rather than slowly. and then sinking in a full squatted position before attempting to perform the rebound hop. not the amount of stretch. In constructing a plyometric regimen. Not adhering to these basic tenets leads to poor results and exposes the athlete to a substantial risk of injury. the athletes should jump. Suppose that your athletes are doing plyometric exercises in the form of two-legged hopping. Plyometric training requires the same careful attention. The universal principles of Track & Field training must be followed in any plyometric program: • • • • • Progressive Overload Specificity Recovery Individuality Variability 102 . Again. the stretch-reflex mechanism is negated and the exercise loses its plyometric quality. the rate of stretch. The rate of stretch of the muscle is much more important than the degree of stretch. When the eccentric contraction is slowed. is the key to training the muscle plyometrically. Principles of Plyometric Training Successfully incorporating plyometric exercises into training programs for Track & Field athletes requires more than knowing how the muscle is affected during exercise. and rebound with as little time spent on the ground as possible.

This cautionary note is especially appropriate for young athletes. the key to plyometric training is technically correct. who are usually in a hurry to do the most advanced work first. demand that an athlete be able to squat 150–200% of his or her body weight. With plyometrics. In adolescence. their strength is probably adequate for the particular exercise. As a unique form of exercise emphasizing explosive movement from a pre-loaded and pre-stretched position. BASIC STRENGTH The overload of the muscular system by the combination of body weight and gravity requires a basic level of strength to ensure against injury when performing explosive movements. strength in relation to body weight is often poorest among those who are heavier. plyometrics has its own particular set of considerations to be followed. Low intensity and limited repetitions are suggested for beginners and younger athletes. Opinions vary as to the degree of strength needed. Research in strength training shows that the muscular system responds best when the stimulus is varied over time. Remember. Doing the exercise improperly only subjects the athlete to the threat of injury. explosive movement. such as depth jumps and one-legged box jumps. The coach must also take the athlete’s body weight into consideration. The same drill will produce more physical stress upon the heavier athlete. athletes should start with the most general and lowest level of plyometric exercises. then the athletes need to develop greater basic strength before moving on to more advanced drills. if the athletes are capable of performing the exercise explosively with correct technique. there are principles specific to plyometrics. this means doing different types of exercises some days or varying numbers of repetitions and intensity on others. The neuromuscular system needs to be shocked so that it will be forced into adapting. Second. Beyond the universal principles of training. or execution breaks down after a few repetitions. Two rules of thumb apply here. Some authorities suggest that the most rigorous forms of plyometrics. 103 . This standard would not be met by the great majority of high school athletes.Variation is especially important for plyometrics. First. If they are not capable of performing the task properly.

Correct technique is a good indicator that the athlete is not overstressed by the exercise. Landing after a two-legged hop produces much greater tension in the quadriceps than simply lowering oneself into a squat from a standing position. DEGREE OF STRETCH A corollary to the previous observation is that the rate of stretch is more important than the degree of stretch. Sound fundamentals are especially important for younger and less experienced athletes. but most importantly. the emphasis should be on reacting explosively immediately upon contract. The stretch-reflex is utilized best when the involved muscles are stretched quickly. bouncy manner rather than slowly sinking to a low squat and then rebounding. TECHNIQUE With any explosive movement. This is when the exercise or session should end. Therefore. Breakdowns in technique and reduced height and distances in drills indicate fatigue. The execution of the exercise should be forceful.RAPIDITY OF STRETCH Muscle exerts maximum tension when it is stretched rapidly. The coach must be aware of the athlete’s fatigue. RATE VS. done quickly. proper technique maximizes improvement and reduces the chance of injury. 104 . No gathering should take place before the explosive response. It is better that an athlete do a jumping movement in a quick. Doing jumps slowly is not plyometric and lessens the effect of training. The athlete may even feel more energetic near the end of a workout session than at the beginning. FATIGUE Plyometrics are deceptively exhausting to the muscles. This is the kinetic moment that you are training. EXPLOSIVE MOVEMENT The goal of plyometric training is to increase power.

maturity. Let them know what the exercise is doing to their bodies and how it is making them better athletes. Moreover. As a rule. Drills should also be done in supportive shoes with good cushioning. Coaches often design programs for their best athletes. forgetting that the capacity of other team members is much less. have softer bone structure than adult athletes. depth jumps (jumps done after dropping from an elevated surface) are discouraged for high school athletes. Some athletes will take a long time to move on to more advanced and specific plyometrics. there is a risk of injury to the athlete. and weight of the young athlete must be considered in the construction of a plyometric program. and have not yet developed the absolute strength to handle the more advanced and demanding plyometric drills. Adding weight ruins the plyometric effect by causing the athlete to spend more time on the ground and converts the exercise into a form of conventional strength training. The aim is to be more explosive. should never be used.CAUTION WITH PLYOMETRICS Although plyometric training is generally accepted as a training method. Any jumping done from boxes should be done only at low heights (12-18 inches) by stronger and more mature athletes. • Extra weight. asphalt. Demonstrate and clearly explain the proper execution of an exercise before you permit the athlete to begin. or the running track are poor surfaces for such training. Your athletes will not benefit from a regimen that they are unable to handle. Adolescents are susceptible to a variety of injuries. strength. such as ankle weights or weighted vests. Gravity and speed provide the necessary resistance. Track spikes and throwing shoes should not be worn. explain the concept of plyometrics to your athletes. • Plyometric drills should always be done on a soft level surface. Concrete. Some will never get beyond the most general stage. • We advocate a conservative approach to the use of plyometrics for high school athletes. 105 . begin with general exercises at low intensity. Because of its ballistic nature. Plyometrics used improperly can easily lead to injury or overtraining. • Good technique is crucial. Most high school students are still growing. it does have detractors. • Last. A coach must be especially attentive and careful to ensure that plyometrics are used correctly. such as grass or padded mats. The age.

Each form develops different qualities of the neuromuscular system. some exercises are better suited to different events. but they are especially well-suited for less mature athletes and those without good natural skills. As such. Many young athletes have good ability but simply lack some basic movement skills because they are growing rapidly. This applies to all athletes. and speed. The periodization of plyometric training throughout the season and from year to year should also be considered. the greatest contribution of plyometric drills is to increase their coordination and sense of rhythm. coordination. To do this. 106 . Rhythm plyometrics are quite useful in developing correct running mechanics. They promote general athletic ability. these drills give the young athlete an improved sense of physical awareness. how his or her body moves through space. some events are served well by all three types of drills. Conversely. many young distance runners have undeveloped strength. More important. All Track & Field athletes benefit from these drills. Rhythm Plyometrics Rhythm plyometrics help develop the coordinated movement skills required in Track & Field. you need to understand the different types of plyometric exercises and their specific functions. power. rhythm. and rhythm.Constructing a Plyometric Training Program When integrating plyometrics into your overall training program. For example. TYPES OF PLYOMETRIC EXERCISES There are three general types of plyometric exercises: rhythm. Rhythm drills for sprinters and hurdlers are crucial to optimal success. For them. it is necessary to assess the fitness of the individual and the events in which he or she participates. Their primary purpose is to give the athlete greater kinesthetic awareness or body sense. and coordination. Sprinting and hurdling are events where speed and power are expressed through proper technique and rhythm.

Rhythm plyometric exercises also serve as a bit of physical education. (A fuller description of these drills and their execution appears later. Generally. kicks. Jumping events involve an explosive movement at the end of a controlled run-up. As funding and support for physical education curricula have eroded. so their training should utilize a large number of plyometric drills. a coach must bear in mind that power movements are physically demanding. and basic strength. both within and between workouts. fast feet running. And shot putters need to have a sense of rhythm with the feet in order to move across the throwing circle and land in a solid power position. jumping. Even high school throwers need rhythm and coordination. During the most competitive part of the season. Power exercises for distance runners need to be closely monitored to avoid overtraining during high volume periods. A smooth rhythm enables the athlete to convert run-up speed into the jump. Throwers should use power plyometrics for the upper body as well as the lower body. Some common rhythm drills are skipping. Although athletes in all events should use power drills in their training at different points in the season. need rhythm plyometrics. running butt kicks. Sufficient rest is mandatory. or throwing. they involve segments of the movements athletes use while running. many young high school athletes come to sports programs with poor coordination.Jumpers.) These drills develop the necessary technique and coordination to let speed and power be expressed most efficiently. running with high knee lift. movement skills. too. The discus is an event of smooth rhythmic motion building to an explosive release. and cariocas. these exercises should be tapered down. which usually has greater numbers and variety than most other school sports teams. 107 . This fact is particularly applicable to a Track & Field team. The Track & Field athletes that need to stress power development most are jumpers and throwers. Rhythm plyometric drills are mostly simple movements done repeatedly. Power Plyometrics The primary goal of plyometric training is to increase power.

The focus of movement is explosiveness. for example. the objective is to perform a set of jumps at high intensity. and butt kicks are a few examples. pendulum throws. Speed Plyometrics Speed plyometrics emphasize the speed component of training. but one should remember to coach them to be fast distance runners. the goal of power drills is not endurance. This training effect then carries over into increased event speed. Do a given exercise only to the point where performance declines. Jumpers. bounds.Power plyometrics emphasize the simultaneous application of maximum strength and quickness. Speed exercises obviously apply to sprint and hurdle events. It is better to do an extra set of an exercise than to add repetitions that are not done powerfully. not to continue repetitions past the point of fatigue. In other words. or overspeed. training is to force the neuromuscular system to respond more quickly to a stimulus. movements are performed significantly faster than normal. Throwers benefit from speed training through improvements in general quickness. Speed plyometrics for distance runners is beneficial. not sprinters. Fast skips. arm swings. The focus should be running mechanics as opposed to sprint speed. The accelerated time frame of the action overloads the system. and leaps. The overload principle is satisfied in the form of increased speed rather than force. and pushups. 108 . single jumps. Depth jumps and box jumps are advanced plyometrics. Power plyometric drills include a variety of jumping movements — hops. The objective of speed-assisted. stressing maximum quickness. Maximizing running speed is the key to success in these events. Explosiveness is greatest when the muscle is warmed and rested. Although plyometric training can be used for such purposes. too. but are risky for most high school athletes. rely heavily on sprint speed. Many of these drills will be the same as those done for rhythmic development. When doing jump repetitions. Upper body exercises include medicine ball throws. creating faster than normal response. most notably long jumpers and pole vaulters.

Such preparation prevents injuries and allows for greater intensity and quality in training. 109 . power. There are other benefits to the use of plyometrics for power-endurance. a power-endurance effect is achieved. Consider skipping. or speed. Exceeding that number diminishes the specificity of the exercise for explosiveness. power plyometrics should be performed with 4-8 repetitions at maximal effort. Further. In fact. Long sprinters and those who compete in multiple events need to develop the capacity to be explosive repeatedly. DESCRIPTION OF INDIVIDUAL PLYOMETRIC EXERCISES As with any training program. the same basic movement performed differently can develop rhythm. Remember. however. athletes can also train to be powerful over time. Repetitions from 8 to 20 or more and distances from 40 to 150m fall in the endurance category. Finally. for example. as a practical consideration for the high school coach. there is no single regimen of plyometric exercise which will guarantee optimum performance from your athletes. somewhat less supervision is needed to accommodate a fairly large portion of your team. Young athletes can learn the jumping movements and techniques more easily when they can focus solely on the movement without having to concentrate on the explosive element. Generally. The emphasis is upon explosive reaction in response to the active loading of the muscle. athletes also gain by training for power-endurance. Where sprinters train to maintain speed over distance. the successful application of plyometrics hinges on properly training the stretch reflex and elastic qualities of the muscles involved. The particular exercise is often much less important than how it is executed. It is not too unlike speed-endurance running for sprinters and middle-distance runners. all athletes gain from building a foundation of strength and sub-maximal power. Multiple repetitions of low stress exercises often serve as a good introduction to plyometric training.Using Plyometrics for Power Endurance Although the primary goal of plyometrics is to develop explosiveness. With a greater number of repetitions. The conditioning effect of these multiple repetitions also builds strength in your athletes and prevents injury as the intensity of the exercise increases.

Done properly. it can serve as warm-up or warm-down and to reinforce proper mechanics. facilities. The muscles of the hips and legs do most of the work. skipping develops good running mechanics. calves. Skipping is highly recommended as a fundamental and enduring component of all plyometric programs. This helps the athlete gain a greater sense of correct body position and action. The following listing and description of various plyometric exercises is not intended to be exhaustive. As with most plyometric drills. These drills are strongly recommended. skipping incorporates a wide range of muscle groups. ankles. In early stages of training. and quadriceps. Skipping is the one plyometric movement that most of us have done throughout our lives. 110 . and environment. Many coaches will discover a drill that seems especially well suited to their athletes.) Skipping. skipping should account for a large portion of the total workload.Many exercises can be made plyometric. Basic running positions and movements are executed and exaggerated in a slower motion. buttocks. It incorporates coordinated movement with quickness and bounding. Later. however. Rhythm Plyometrics Drills • Rhythm Skipping • High Knee Running • Butt Kicks • Jumping Rope • Ankle Bounces • Skipping Kicks • Running Kicks • Cariocas • Crossover Steps • Rhythm Bounds • Rhythm Jumping • Rhythm Jump Run-Ups (See illustrations. The exercise is very effective in developing strength in the hip flexors. hamstrings. and should be more than adequate for high school athletes.

The relatively low intensity of rhythm plyometrics allows a greater number of repetitions (or contacts) and greater distances to be covered. Sets and Repetitions : For rhythm development. The drill reinforces good running form and especially strengthens the hip flexor muscles by stressing a high kneelift action. Butt Kicks. for a given exercise must be determined in relation to the total workload given to the athlete. Sets and Repetitions: As a rhythm drill. Swing skipping is a variation of rhythm skipping. Many athletes and coaches use high knee running or running in place in their training. For rhythm development alone. This is particularly useful in developing the mechanics and body awareness that Track & Field athletes need. This exercise is also familiar to many coaches. The number of sets performed will vary according to the number of other exercises to be done. This drill is especially useful for sprinters and jumpers. Instead of maintaining a running posture. The drill also requires coordinating leg action with technically correct continuous arm motion. the exercise loses effectiveness and should be ended. 2–4 sets of the above distance are recommended. the drill can be done over 60–100 meters. the arms are loosely extended and swung vigorously with each skip. The number of sets will also vary according to the abilities of the individual athlete. It strengthens the hamstring muscles and develops quickness and coordination in the recovery phase of the running stride. the only difference being the arm movement. Rhythm skipping should generally be performed over distances from 70–120 meters to develop power-endurance and strengthen the important ankle and hip flexor muscles. High Knee Running. Swing Skipping. 2–3 sets of 30–50 meters are recommended. distances of 20–40 meters or 8–12 seconds duration in 2–3 sets are recommended. A walk-back rest is usually sufficient between sets. Attention must be paid to technique.Sets and Reptitions: The number of contacts. Guidelines for constructing a full plyometric training program will be discussed later in this chapter. or repetitions. This modification combines relaxation with rhythm and serves as a loosening exercise in warm-ups or warm-downs. This applies to all plyometric exercises. When good technique deteriorates. For strength and endurance. The exercise is extremely useful in developing coordinated running mechanics. 111 .

112 . skip kicks develop coordination of multiple quick movements. Cariocas (Fig. Crossover Stepping. Crossover stepping is a more advanced drill. Skipping kicks (Fig. no more than 10 meters or 25 repetitions should be covered in one set. The muscles. It is a good strengthening activity for all athletes. A total of 4 sets is recommended. Hurdlers may want to include extra sets as part of their specific preparation for a hurdle workout. The exercise works the muscles of the hip and groin areas and lower legs. 5-2) are a more complicated form of crossover stepping. Skip kicks strengthen the hip flexors. Start with short distances. Sets and Repetitions: For beginners and young athletes. bouncy rhythm rather than emphasizing speed. It builds rhythm and coordination while moving sideways. alternating the crossover leg. Ensure that the athlete maintains a smooth. This is particularly helpful to throwers who need to develop body awareness in multiple positions. Eventually each set should cover 40-50 meters. Hurdlers especially benefit from this exercise. 2-3 sets are recommended. concentrating on proper coordination of movement. Sets and Repetitions: Sets should be done over a distance of 40–50 meters. The ability of the ankle and lower leg to respond quickly and strongly is crucial to optimum performance. When your athletes can do skip kicks easily. They require a good deal of coordination and rhythm from the athlete and are excellent for teaching relaxed complex movement. Sets and Repetitions: This drill can be difficult for some athletes to learn. Rest roughly 2 minutes between sets. Sets and Repetitions: Sets and distances covered should be the same as for crossover stepping. They are excellent for building coordination and rhythm. 5-l) add some complexity to rhythm plyometrics. it shows they really are developing rhythm skills. Skipping Kicks.Ankle Bounces and Jumping Rope. Every contact with the ground is transferred through the ankles. Over time this amount may be increased to 15–20 meters or approximately 40 repetitions. and hamstring muscles. Most importantly. tendons and ligaments of the ankle are often weak for the demands of Track & Field events. Both exercises strengthen the ankles and calves. 2-3 sets are sufficient. Cariocas. quadriceps.

5-1 Skipping Kicks. the rest interval can be shortened a little. Sets and Repetitions: Beginners and less developed athletes should start with 2 or 3 sets of approximately 50 meters. Younger athletes should become proficient in these bounds before moving on to more advanced and demanding bounds and jumps. 70–100 meters can be covered. This bounding exercise of relatively low intensity emphasizes proper rhythm and form rather than power or speed. Bounds develop a wide range of muscles in the legs and hips. 5-2 Cariocas. Coaches should teach this type of bounding before moving to power or speed bounds. Fig. They are quite specific to the physical demands of Track & Field. With progress. They are an excellent form of dynamic strength training for distance runners. Take care to ensure that the athletes maintain proper rhythm and technique.Rhythm Bounds. The low intensity of rhythm bounds allows for a greater number of repetitions. so younger and weaker athletes can learn and gain strength with a far less chance of injury. If done for power-endurance purposes. Rhythm bounds can also be used for power-endurance purposes. the drill should end. 113 . A walk-back of the same distance or a 2–3 minute rest is advisable. Fig. When either starts to deteriorate.

and gastrocnemius. Lower Body • Double and Single Leg Hops • Power Skipping • Power Bounds • Hurdle Hops • Standing Triple Jumps • Box Jumps • Single Jumps Double Leg Hops. Do not force the athlete to do power exercises that they cannot perform correctly. POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS A Note on Power Plyometric Drills. A good rest will allow the athlete to be fresh and smooth for each repetition. One. specifically the quadriceps. Improper execution is a strong signal that the athlete is not yet prepared for a given power plyometric exercise. The double leg hop is an excellent general plyometric exercise for all athletes.Rhythm Run-Ups and Jumps. Power exercises are the bulk of what is commonly called plyometrics. Two. the athlete should be able to perform the drill properly as rhythm drill first. They involve explosive movement with high levels of intensity and effort. Sets and Repetitions: With both run-ups and jumps. hamstrings. When introducing power drills to athletes. Remember that this is not an endurance drill. Power and strength are developed in the muscle groups of the legs and hips. They teach the technique and rhythm required in the jumping events. Two general rules apply when determining the fitness of an athlete for a particular exercise. the athlete should be able to maintain correct technique when the drill is performed as a power exercise. This is especially true with younger and less developed athletes. The athlete learns and reinforces the patterns and motions of the event without the physical demands of executing a full jump. These exercises are excellent means of teaching the younger and less developed athletes on the team. 114 . 5–10 repetitions with 3-5 minutes rest is recommended. gluteals. the coach must take great care to avoid injury. Rhythm run-ups and jumps are the most specialized of the rhythm plyometric drills.

Single jumps should be done at the beginning of power plyometric work. They allow the athlete to work at maximum intensity without worrying about further repetitions. the set or drill should terminate. Those with poorer rhythmic and power skills will find this a helpful introduction to power plyometrics. This permits the athlete to make any necessary adjustments preparatory to the next full hop. however. jumpers. A rest of 30–45 seconds should be taken between jumps. These jumps develop leg strength with the added elements of isolation and balance. need the ability to consciously explode at a precise moment. that this is a power exercise. 5-4) are identical to double leg hops except that they are done on one leg. Increase intensity gradually. When the height of the hops drops off or technique erodes. Single jumps stress maximum effort in a single repetition. With beginning and younger athletes. They are physically demanding. Single leg hops (Fig. They are also a good introduction to power drills. Sets and Repetitions: Depending on the fitness level of the athlete. Remember. Single Leg Hops. Single jumps can be done both for distance and height. and throwers all benefit from single jumps. however. Bear in mind. Jumpers.Slight modifications make the exercise more specific to given events. About 2 minutes’ rest between sets should be sufficient. They require athletes to concentrate on a single explosive movement and also force them to generate power without the benefit of momentum. Only athletes with good basic strength should attempt single leg hops. Sets and Repetitions: Because of the demanding nature of single leg jumping. Sprinters. fewer repetitions and sets than double leg hops should be done. Single Jumps. sprinters and throwers begin their events from stationary positions. 2–3 sets of 6–12 hops are recommended. 115 . It is recommended that double leg hops be done for a good while before trying single jumps. 2–5 sets of repetitions are recommended. Sets and Repetitions: One set of 4–6 jumps is recommended. while using run-ups. it is best to begin these hop drills by using a small hop between each full hop. Single jumps should be done into a soft or cushioned landing area.

very specific in training explosive capacity With power bounds.Power Skipping. 5-3) is probably the most common plyometric exercise used by Track & Field athletes. but the emphasis is now placed upon vigorous action.and early season. The standing triple jump is a slightly more advanced drill for developing power and jumping ability The exercise also develops balance and coordination. Generally. 5-3. 116 . Sets and Repetitions: Remember. The greatest volume of work should occur in pre. Sets and Repetitions: Power bounding loads will vary substantially depending on the athlete’s strength. Power Bounds. Power Bounds. Jumpers. High jumpers may want to accentuate the vertical component of the bound to make it more specific to their event. and time of year. as intensity increases repetitions and distances decrease. This allows a safe and efficient leap from the same foot. the standing triple jump is also an excellent means for testing the jumping ability of athletes. Bounding closely approximates the running motion and is. therefore. workload. 2–4 sets of 40–60 meters or 10–15 skips is recommended. Standing Triple Jumps. The muscle groups affected are the same as with rhythm skipping. the athlete should land relatively flat-footed. specifically triple jumpers. Aside from strength development. and throwers will benefit directly from this exercise. Fig. Arm-action should be the same as rhythm bounds except for jumpers who may prefer to use double arm-action. For power skipping. Power skips are exactly what the name implies: skipping done with a deliberate effort to be powerful off the ground. 8-12 bounds or 30–50 meters at high intensity done in 2–4 sets is recommended. Power bounding (Fig.

and they may benefit from such drills. 117 . others who are not prepared will usually want to attempt the same thing. Such hops require a coordinated emphasis on both vertical and horizontal jumping This exercise is an advanced one and should be undertaken with caution only by sufficiently prepared athletes. Box jumps. Fig. are the most advanced of the power plyometric exercises. Although an advanced exercise. Sets and Repetitions: 4–6 sets over 5 hurdles are recommended. Fig. especially with high school age athletes. quickness. the coach must not assume that a highly talented individual is ready for such training. 5-4.Sets and Repetitions: The athlete should perform 4-6 repetitions at strong effort. and injuries can occur quite easily to those without proper physical and technical preparation. Hurdle Hops. Single Leg Hops. Hurdle Hops. when one member of the team is seen doing box drills. Box Jumps. However. As a general rule. One can turn the hurdles upside down or use other low barriers such as cardboard boxes. box drills are discouraged for high school Track & Field programs. However. double leg hops should be sufficient for those not ready for hurdle barriers. It is excellent training for advanced athletes. hurdle hops can be modified so that less capable athletes are able to get similar benefits from the drill. and often some courage. 5-5) are double leg hops done over hurdles (or similar barriers). Furthermore. box jumps are not recommended for high school athletes. requiring power. At least a l-minute rest should be given between jumps. For these reasons. The drill is demanding. athletes of exceptional strength and maturity do appear at the high school level. This exercise is most strenuous. also referred to as depth jumps. good coordination. 5-5. Box jumps are discussed here primarily for the purpose of educating the coach. A season can be ruined quickly this way. Hurdle hops (Fig. Of course.

but helps sprinters as well. The power push-up is a variation of the common push-up emphasizing a strong. Wheelbarrow Walks. quick push off the ground causing the hands to actually leave the ground after the push. Push-ups strengthen a wide range of muscles in the upper body. and wrists. Sets and Repetitions: Build slowly with weaker athletes. This is a version of the game that many of us played as children. Push-ups are a common calisthenic exercise with which all of us are familiar. 118 . 2–4 sets of 8–12 repetitions is recommended. Sets and Repetitions: Power push-ups will not usually produce the same burn sensation as common push-ups. The exercise should seem almost like bouncing on the hands. The exercise can easily be incorporated into a team stretching or calisthenic session.Upper Body • Power Push-Ups • Wheelbarrow Walks • Medicine Ball Throws • Twist Tosses Power Push-Ups. The athlete should only lower him or herself to the point where the recovery is quick and powerful. 2–4 sets of 10–15 yards is sufficient. elbows. Remember that the rate of stretch is more important than the degree of stretch. Begin conservatively. and ligaments of the shoulders. Nonetheless. they put a great deal of stress on the muscles. tendons. the drill develops shoulder and arm strength along with balance and coordination. Most of your athletes will need to perform the drill with their knees as a base rather than their feet. Nonetheless. This exercise is most specific to throwers and vaulters. Stronger athletes may work from the typical position.

Sets and Repetitions: The volume of this drill depends on the event specialty of the athlete. or even lying on one’s back. this type of exercise provides an excellent substitute. medicine ball training has long been used by elite athletes in a number of sports. They can be performed standing. kneeling. not endurance. 5-5 Medicine Ball Throws. In fact. Throwers and pole vaulters should use medicine ball throws extensively. Though more specific to the throws. Medicine ball throws (Fig. The medicine ball is a time-honored device for building dynamic upper-body strength. sitting. Throwers may want to increase the variety of throws and sets. Repetitions should not increase. Others should incorporate throws as part of general strength conditioning. We recommend two throws in particular: the overhead and the push throw. training. though with heavy balls take caution to avoid injury. medicine ball work will benefit athletes in any event.Medicine Ball Throws. For general purposes. 2-4 total sets of 8-12 throws is good. 119 . 5-6) can be done in a variety of ways. This is power. The balls come in different weights and sizes to accommodate the different strength levels of your athletes. Fig. Throws can also be preceded by a toss from another athlete. In high schools where weight training access may be limited.

5-7. Speed-Rhythm Drills. High knee running. Butt kicks are done the same as in the rhythm series. Fig. Speed is the essence of Track & Field. with an emphasis on rapid turnover. not distance. 2–3 sets from each side with 6–12 repetitions is good. 120 . These throws (Fig. these skips will almost appear as a quick shuffle. Eventually. By doing so. Sets and Repetitions: Coaches should make certain that the athletes start slowly with a properly weighted ball. butt kicks. speed drills stress velocity. With emphasis on quickness. an attempt is still made to drive the knees up. but the focus is on turnover. but purely for speed. nor so light that the trunk muscles are not worked sufficiently. and skips are easily adapted. Skips are done normally. In fact. Speed Plyometric Drills Speed plyometric exercises are specific to the development of speed. The overload mechanism is not increased weight or gravity. The ball should not be so heavy that fluid and powerful movement is inhibited.Twist Tosses. Maintain the same postures and mechanics as with the rhythm forms of the drills. Do not rush into hard throws as. 5-7) are excellent for throwers and can be done with medicine balls or shots. They develop strength in the trunk and shoulder muscles that are used in rotating the body during a throw. Twist Tosses. With high knee runs. the neuromuscular system trains to perform at greater speed. but a shortening of the time in which the movement occurs. Where power drills rely heavily on the strength aspect of plyometric training. several of the rhythm exercises become speed drills. Build slowly. Therefore. the knees and arms will only have a ½ to 2/3 range of motion. injury can result.

Speed Bounding and Hopping. In this drill. the distance shortens considerably. Little forward movement will actually occur. Speed bounding and hopping are done in the same basic manner as power bounds and hops. Instead of attempting to gain maximum height or distance. 2–5 sets of 10–20 meters with rest are recommended. With hops. These exercises should be done over 10–15 meters in 2–3 sets each.Sets and Repetitions: Though the number of sets remains similar to rhythm drills. Sets and Repetitions: For bounds. These speed plyometric exercises combine speed with an element of power. immediately responding with the throwing motion. drive the arms with good sprint form as quickly as possible. This is a drill for throwers. In-Place Arms. Ensure a good range of motion. the emphasis is on covering the overall distance quickly rather than achieving maximum distance in a single bound or hop. These bounds and hops can also be done in assisted fashion by using some type of elastic mechanism. Visualize a kangaroo for power drills and a rabbit for speed drills. Such exercises can help all your athletes. 121 . While standing in place. However. one is performing a bounding or hopping sprint. stressing hip and arm impulse. Fast Hands/Quick Feet. Using a lightweight ball securely suspended to create a pendulum. but especially those in speed and power events. Sets and Repetitions: 10–15 repetitions with 30–60 seconds’ rest are sufficient. the aim is to move the hands and feet as fast as possible. Essentially. the thrower reacts to the ball being swung into his hand. This is a speed-technique drill. It helps sprinters train for rapid arm drive while maintaining good mechanics. Sets and Repetitions: Do 2–4 sets of 5–10 seconds. The exercise helps develop quickness in the throwing delivery. Lightweight Pendulum Throws. Technique is less important here. Sets and Repetitions: Do 2–4 sets of 10 seconds. the athlete aims to move as quickly as possible. perform 3-6 repetitions of distances from 40 to 70 meters with good recovery. The idea is to turn over as rapidly as the body allows.

Assisted Sprint Runs. this is a pure speed exercise. Running on a slight downhill grade of 2-3 degrees is excellent for honing sprint speed. With the tubing stretched. the athlete performs a sprint. For best results. Athletes should always have enough control over the drill that they may stop at any time. especially being towed by a vehicle. level field. On a slight downhill grade. Doing this allows for more constant degree of tension throughout the drill. Athletes will often begin to overstride and brake their run. 4-6 repetitions of 40–70 meters with full recovery is recommended. If he or she does so. Attention should be given to proper sprint technique. in a 60-meter assisted sprint. the runner sprints a given distance. Remember. the second athlete runs quickly past the 60-meter mark. Tension in the mechanism pulls the athlete faster than he or she would sprint unassisted. This should be avoided. 5–10 sprints of 40–80 meters are recommended. the athlete is attached by harness or belt to a large elastic cord.) Sets and Repetitions: In a single workout. training the body to move at greater speed. This form of training is specific to sprinters and jumpers and not particularly recommended for long distance runners. Thick rubber tubing is often used. subjects them to a significant risk of injury. Several products exist for this type of training. reduce the tension in the pulling cable. the second athlete stands with a 20-meter cord stretched another 15–20 meters. The effect of gravity forces the neuromuscular system to respond faster than normal. Such running is usually done at a time in the season where peak speed development is appropriate. As the sprinter begins. Note: Some forms of sprint-assisted training can be dangerous. To do otherwise. (For example. Sprint-assisted training is an effective method of developing speed which lets the athlete run faster than possible under his or her own power. 122 .Downhill Running. As with downhill running. The tension should not be so great that the athlete loses good technique and control or needs to brake with each stride. another athlete should run with the tubing or cord at the same time as the first athlete sprints. With the device secure and at tension. so the athlete should be fresh for’ all repetitions of the drill. Proper sprinting mechanics are essential. Assisted sprinting should be done on the track or a good. Usually. the overload principle is satisfied by reducing the time period in which the sprinting motion must be completed.

Remember that plyometric exercise is actually a method of training. Do not exhaust your athletes. 5. East. Remember that plyometric exercise is deceptively demanding. Be familiar with plyometric principles. recovery. Progress gradually to avoid injury. Plyometric training is not mysterious. Coaches must explain underlying principles and teach the methods of training correctly..e. Begin slowly.Incorporating Plyometric Training The key to successful use of plyometric training is a carefully planned and supervised program that is properly integrated into your overall training. 3. 6. 4. Good technical execution is a good indicator of an athlete’s capacity for a given drill. Here are a few indicators to identify performance fatigue: • • • • Reduced height or distance Reduced range of motion Poor upper body position (i. The athlete should never settle into a jump or throw. 2. Pay specific attention to the concepts of gradual progression. always remember that the rate of stretch of the muscle is more important than the degree of stretch. and individuality. The way these drills are performed determines their benefit to the athlete. The general and specific principles of training mentioned earlier must guide the structure of the training. Rhythm drills are more easily learned for most athletes. Following a few basic guidelines will put you in the right direction: 1. Always be aware that we are training the capacity for explosive power. Rhythm drills are less demanding. Stop a given drill or workout when fatigue becomes apparent. Ensure proper technique at all times. INTRODUCING PLYOMETRICS The foundation of any plyometric regimen is proper instruction. Stress the concept of bouncing (like kangaroos and rabbits). bending over) Loss of coordination 123 . not simply a set of drills. Always emphasize quick movement off the ground.

Physical maturity. and event specialities are different for each athlete. In especially heavy periods of training or competition. Volume is higher in pre-season and early season training. though. propensity to injury. jumpers. As the season progresses. by event demands. overtrain. The nature of plyometric exercises demands that they are included as part of the body of a workout. Eventually plyometrics are sharply reduced during the peak competitive phase of the season. Sprinters. Always remember to be cautious. two sessions per week are recommended. especially. sometimes less. one session may be adequate. Generally. and even injure your athletes. and especially throwers will perform a good deal more plyometric work than distance runners. for example. fitness. The volume and intensity of a plyometric session must also be determined in light of other training.VOLUME AND INTENSITY A good plyometric regimen combines proper technique instruction with the appropriate volume and intensity of the drills. Combining a hard power plyometric session with fast sprint repeats. Factors shaping volume and intensity in plyometrics include: • Individual physical capacity and fitness • Other training in a given workout • Event differences • Phase of training Ranges of Volume and Intensity So what are the ranges of volume and intensity? A plyometric session should normally be completed in 15–30 minutes’ time. volume moderates and intensity increases. Periodization and event specialities also determine the volume and intensity of a session. In high school. This formula is shaped. the physical maturity of athletes varies widely. 124 . will most likely exhaust. Sufficient volume can usually be performed in this amount of time. not merely as warm-up or drills. Compare an 18-year-old senior boy with a 14-year-old freshman girl.

plyometric work eases to maximize recovery. many high school athletes compete in a wide range of events. For endurance purposes. For this reason the number of repetitions in any single set or performance is relatively low for power drills. tremendous power and intensity over 2-3 repetitions is much more important than possessing fair power and intensity over 10–15 repetitions. the goal is to maximize the application of power in a single moment. As fitness increases. At the beginning of every season. SPECIFICITY As a fundamental principle of athletic training. During peak competition periods. that is. 80–100 contacts are generally performed in a power plyometric session. If bounding 50 meters results in 15 bounds. Progression from general to specific exercises occurs as fitness increases and individual event requirements are addressed. contacts with the ground. For the jumps and throws. For beginners. Rhythm drills are of relatively low intensity. plyometric regimens will differ according to event specialities. Let time and contacts serve as a rough guide to ensure appropriate workload. a moderate introductory phase will serve as a safe means of beginning a plyometric program. However. For these athletes. Intensity is determined by the type of plyometric drill performed. a program of general exercises with specificity added during peak competitive periods is suggested. coaches must train their athletes for particular events.Volume is determined by the number of repetitions performed. Rhythm and speed plyometrics are less easily quantified. PERIODIZATION AND PHASE TRANSITION Plyometric training needs to be carefully periodized over the course of the season (and even an athlete’s career) to achieve maximum benefit and avoid injury. helping them develop skills and capacities specific to those events. The volume (or number of contacts) and intensity change over the course of the season. power and speed athletes need to train at full intensity to gain the most from plyometric exercise. 150–225 contacts is an acceptable range. Power and speed exercises are highly intense. Accordingly. 125 . that means 15 contacts. Eventually. The coach can control intensity. contacts may range from a low of 30–50 contacts. Research shows that power output drops drastically after 8–10 repetitions. For those athletes especially. Gradually increase intensity to the athletes’ capabilities and event needs.

With transition to the next phase of training. Introducing Plyometrics Begin each season with an easy introduction to plyometric training. and new neuromuscular adaptation has to occur. 126 . bringing in the power component. not the end (or beginning) of it. It is part of the training. Plyometric work should be done after the main body of running. Teaching and General Skill Development The introduction phase begins with two easy sessions in the first one or two weeks. Even experienced athletes should start with general exercises using a moderate number of repetitions performed at low intensity. a lot of teaching has to be done during this phase of training. throwing. and the fatigue of plyometric training will not compromise the event-specific portion of the workout. New mechanics need to be learned. Lower intensity and more repetitions afford a good opportunity for learning plyometric exercise with proper technique and execution. The teaching phase should emphasize rhythm drills. event specificity determines the nature of plyometric workouts. In a high school program. However. do not treat plyometric work as part of a warm-down. Many of your athletes will have never performed plyometric exercises. Intense hopping and bounding too early or too close to important competitions can easily ruin a promising season. As strength and skill develop among your athletes. Resist the temptation to move your better athletes on to more intense drills too soon. or jumping. introduce some power plyometrics. The athletes will be warmed up and loose. When your athletes have learned these properly in rhythm form. one session should be primarily rhythm plyometrics and the other power plyometrics.Perhaps the most important aspect in periodizing plyometric training is deciding when to implement a certain type of exercise in your training program. Next. progress to the same drills with slightly greater volume. Doing general exercises with excellent technique and developing greater strength in tendons and ligaments is far more beneficial than rushing into demanding drills. At the end of this 3-4 week phase. have them do the drills with greater intensity. A good place to start is with skips and bounds.

not power and speed. sprinters now integrate rhythm. or 20 percent of the season for one hard and one easy session per week. Emphasis is placed upon power development early in this phase. Specific Power and Speed Development The third phase of the season’s plyometric training is the most complex and intense. 127 . Distance runners do moderate amounts of power work combined with rhythm work accentuating fluidity and speed. This period of training will last 4-5 weeks. Jumpers and throwers build greater volume and intensity into the power work and move toward more event/specific drills. For these athletes. power. The intensity of workouts will be moderate. specificity in power plyometrics is key. This period of development will cover 2–4 weeks. The greatest volume will be done at this time. and then the focus moves to speed plyometrics. intensity reaches its peak. Additional sessions are likely to lead to overtraining and injury. Jumpers and throwers continue to stress power development. Aim for maximum efforts. Stress rhythm and speed. Multi-event athletes should follow a course similar to that of jumpers or sprinters. or 30 percent of the season. By the end of this phase. Sprinters stress power and begin to incorporate a greater percentage of speed plyometric work near the end of the phase. All three types of drills are combined with an increase in volume and intensity. integrating event-specific rhythm and speed drills. During this period. Power plyometrics are stressed in this period. Remember that these athletes need to tram as distance runners. and speed plyometric exercises. not sprinters. stressing rhythm and speed development instead. Distance runners maintain a low level of power work.General Power Development The next phase of training divides your team according to event areas. Two strong sessions per week with at least two full days’ rest between them are recommended. The development of specific capacities now begins. Remember to adjust your plyometric activity according to your competition schedule.

such as rhythm drills. can be part of daily workouts. In a well-constructed program. it is recommended here that light plyometric activity reinforces the early training of the neuromuscular system. A conservative. and weightlifting. In the last week or two before major competition. plyometric training should be curtailed. and supervised regimen is the best guarantee of successful plyometric training.Optimum Performance and Recovery The fourth and last phase of plyometric training accompanies the peak competitive portion of the season. However. but a component of it. between sessions. 128 . Some authorities suggest stopping all plyometric work. throwing. Drills should be event-specific with rhythm and speed as the focus. As the season nears its climax. Benefitting from plyometric exercise requires a thorough understanding of this principle. Volume is drastically reduced. The best plyometric program is one that works for the individual athlete within the context of the team’s overall training. cautious. Use very low volume and moderate intensity once per week) REST AND RECOVERY Many coaches fail to view rest as an integral part of successful training. Variation and adaptation are important. Because plyometric training is demanding and stressful. although some plyometric activity. jumping. usually to one very moderate session per week. (Only jumpers and throwers need incorporate any power-oriented activity. Great planning is worth little without constant attention and adaptation by the coach. rest is not the absence of training. any hard plyometric work ends. Intensity is maintained. Overtraining with plyometrics will leave a coach with sore and exhausted athletes. CONSTRUCTING A SINGLE TRAINING SESSION While periodization is the strategic planning of training. constructing an individual workout is the tactical planning. Optimum performance with plentiful recovery is crucial at this time. Plyometrics must be balanced against the volume and intensity of running. There is no best single workout. Allow at least 48 hours. but not to a degree that overstresses the athlete. and preferably 72 hours. always lean to the side of caution. A maximum of two plyometric workouts per week are recommended.

with power work done after. The second session can be less demanding. Be creative and flexible. and perform bounds and hops on separate days. Allow sufficient rest between repetitions and sets. Vary the exercises in each session. the first session of the training week should be the more strenuous of the two. Start with low volume and low intensity. Sometimes rhythm and speed drills might be done before running. do rhythm drills first. 129 . Remember. Jumpers and throwers should do any technique work before plyometrics. followed by power work. Usually. Power drills should be done last because they are the most exhausting. plyometric workouts should not generally be endurance workouts. Within the workout. Often. With distance runners. The intent is to develop explosiveness. Do not simply assume that talented athletes can do a large volume of work without negative effects. this is not always so. This number varies according to the phase of training and the fitness of the athlete. reduce the vertical component of the drills. and build accordingly. Then do speed work. always be aware of the number of contacts to be performed. Using different drills provides variability and generates greater interest among the athletes. plyometric drills will be the main body of training for these athletes.In constructing individual workouts. Although plyometric training is usually done after the main body of the day’s training.

Middle and Long Distance Same as above Event Phase III: SPECIFIC POWER AND SPEED DEVELOPMENT (3-5 weeks) Phase IV: OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE AND RECOVERY (peak competition) Peak competition requires an appropriate recovery period Plyometric training reduced to once per week with light activity on other days Low volume Moderate intensity Emphasize rhythm and speed drills Sprints and Hurdles Rhythm drills Power drills Speed drills Intensity increases 20% 50–20% 30–60% Two sessions per week Jumps and Throws Rhythm drills Power drills Speed drills Moderate volume High intensity 25% 50% 25% Same as above Stress event specificity. 130 .P E R I O D I Z A T I O N O F P L Y O M E T R I C T R A I N I N G F O R THE H I G H S C H O O L S E A S O N Event Phase I: TEACHING &GENERAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT (2-4 weeks) Phase II: GENERAL POWER DEVELOPMENT (2-4 weeks) Sprints and Hurdles General plyometric strength and skill development for all athletes Gradually build to moderate volume Low intensity increasing volume and intensity Composition primarily rhythm drills Performed after main body of training Jumps and Throws Same as above Rhythm Drills 20% Power Drills 60% Speed Drills 20% Rhythm Drills 50–40% Power Drills 50–50% Speed Drills 10% Moderate volume and intensity. Middle and long Distance Rhythm drills Power drills Speed drills 40–60% 20% 40–20% Same as above Moderate volume and intensity.

Middle and Long Distances Swing skips High Knees Butt Kicks Speed Hops 2x80m 2x30m 2x30m 3x12 reps Swing Skips Rhythm Bounds Skip Kicks 3x70m 2x50m 2x30m 131 .SAMPLE PLYOMETRIC SESSIONS BY TRAINING PHASE Event Sprints and Hurdles Phase I: Rhythm Skips High Knees Butt Kicks Skip Kicks Rhythm Bounds same as above 4x50m 2x20m 2x20m 2x25m 2x40m Phase II: Swing Skips Single Leg Hops Double Leg Hops Fast Hands/Feet Speed Skips Power Skips High Knees Butt Kicks Power Bounds Standing TJ Power Push-Ups Swing Skips Ankle Bounces Power Bounds Speed Skips 2x70m 2x12 2x15 2x15m 2x40m 2x40m 2x20m 2x20m 2x40m 5 reps 3x10 2x70m 3x20 reps 3x40m 2x40m Jumps and Throws Middle and Long Distances same as above Event Sprints and Hurdles Phase III: Speed Rhythm drills Power Skips Standing LJ Speed Bounds 3x20m each 2x50m 5 reps 3x50m 2x50m 3x50m 6 reps 8 reps* Phase IV: Rhythm Skips Speed Bounds Assisted Sprint Runs 2x70m 3x50m 4x60m Jumps and Throws Swing Skips Power Bounds Standing TJ Rhythm Jumps Speed Rhythm Power Skips Rhythm Run-Ups 2x20m each 3x40m 6 reps *Throwers substitute Medicine Ball Throws.

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and eating disorders. recognize and manage common ailments. and provide emergency treatment when required. including substance abuse. Injuries: 133 . you are responsible for the physical and emotional well-being of your athletes.Prevention & Treatment As a high school coach. You must be involved in the care and prevention of athletes’ injuries. teenage pregnancy. You also must constantly be on the lookout for behaviors indicating any of the many serious health problems teenagers face.

which provide parental consent for treatment in case of an emergency? • Do you keep these cards filed in your first-aid kit? Is your first-aid kit always on hand at your practices and meets? • Do you know what materials are contained in your first-aid kit and how to use them? Do you have what you need? • Are you aware of all your athletes’ pre-existing medical/physical problems such as diabetes. These questions will also assist you in developing a plan to handle a medical emergency situation should one occur. emergency care The following is a list of 10 questions which you should be able to answer without hesitation. do you know the phone number for the nearest paramedics? • Do you know the location of the nearest paramedics to your school and their anticipated response time? 134 . and recommending subsequent professional medical treatment or physical therapy. and who is allergic to bee stings? • Do you know the location of the nearest telephone to summon emergency medical assistance? If the phone is in a locked room. securing prompt professional medical assistance. • Do you have ready access to your athletes’ medical consent cards. do you have quarters taped to the inside of your first-aid kit so you always have change on hand? • If you are not in a 911 response area. This means taking precautions to prevent injuries.The Coach’s Responsibility Among the many responsibilities of the high school coach is having a predetermined plan for the prevention and care of injuries suffered by your athletes. who wears contact lenses. To fulfill this obligation to your athletes you must be able to: • Recognize common injuries • Know your responsibility for the management of an injury • Provide immediate. epilepsy. do you know how to get an outside line? • If the nearest phone is a pay phone. do you have a key or know where to get one quickly? If it is a switchboard phone. administering emergency first aid.

jumpers. When the rate at which heat is produced equals the rate at which it evaporates from the body. when the body produces more heat than can be dissipated. and heat stroke must be identified and treated quickly and appropriately.• If paramedics have to be summoned. heat exhaustion. throwers. so the body’s temperature rises. here are some health problems that are common to all Track & Field athletes: HEAT PROBLEMS Heat problems can be among the most devastating and serious injuries. It is important to understand how the body handles excess heat during exercise. 135 . will they find the gates to your track complex locked? Do you have keys for those gates? Do you know where to get a key quickly? • Do you know the location of the nearest hospital to your school? Is that the hospital to which an ambulance will take an athlete? The Most Common Injuries The multi-event nature of Track & Field poses a particular challenge to a coach trying to prevent and treat athletic injuries because each event presents its own unique problems. and vaulters. Heat cramps. High environmental temperatures and humidity increase the danger of heat problems because they inhibit the body’s ability to reduce heat. For this discussion. During exercise the amount of heat produced by muscular activity exceeds the amount of heat dissipated by the body. This rise in body temperature causes increased sweating and blood flow to the skin. Heat is dissipated by the evaporation of sweat from the skin to the cooler surrounding of the air. Trouble begins. causing the body temperature to rise to potentially dangerous levels. the body temperature plateaus at that elevated level when the athlete continues to exercise. however. However. we will divide athletes into runners.

remove clothing and keep the skin moist. Then replace water and electrolytes. muscle cramps. cramps. • Wear minimal. move the athlete to a shaded area. cold clammy skin.Heat Cramps Prolonged heavy sweating and inadequate fluid replacement in hot weather may cause muscle twitching. light-headedness. place ice on the head and neck. body temperature elevated to greater than 105 degrees. Death may occur unless emergency medical treatment is administered at once! While waiting for an ambulance. and abdomen. Immediate treatment is to remove the athlete from the source of beat by placing him or her in a cool. administer fluids as tolerated and refer to a doctor. place cold towels or ice around the neck. • Drink plenty of fluids during the day prior to training or competing. Other suggestions: • Warm up in the shade when possible. hot and dry skin. confusion. The hospital will need to administer intravenous fluids. shaded place to rest. these signs indicate the possibility of heat exhaustion: headache. head. Prevention of Heat Problems Gradual acclimatization is the key. Immediate treatment is to move the athlete to a shaded area. vomiting. Heat Exhaustion As the body temperature rises. seizures. loose-fitting clothing. chills. irrational behavior. involuntary limb movements. 136 . vomiting. Most athletes will acclimatize within five to 15 days of training in hot. Heatstroke This is a medical emergency! Symptoms of heatstroke are: lack of perspiration. and spasms in the legs or arms. nausea. humid weather conditions. Rest in the shade between events or bouts of training. cyanosis (bluish color of the skin). weak and rapid pulse. elevate the feet.

loss of function. Sprains are graded as follows to indicate severity: First-Degree Sprain. Third-Degree Sprain. loss of function. this is a season-ending injury. but the rope itself is still intact. The ligaments around the joint are partially torn. damaging the ligaments that attach bone-to-bone. and discoloration. sudden trauma. The extent of the damage to the joint is measured by the amount of trauma caused to the ligament. (Think of the ligament as a rope with some of the fibers torn. and limited function. SOFT TISSUE INJURIES Sprains Sprains are injuries which occur around a joint. discoloration. Overuse Injuries An overuse injury is caused by repeated microtrauma. the sum total effect results in an injury. This is a complete rupture of one or more ligaments around the joint. Acute Injuries An acute injury is the result of a single. An example of an acute injury would be a long jumper landing with his ankle inverted (turned inward). These injuries may become chronic. The most common cause of ankle sprain is inversion (turning the sole of the foot inward and damaging the ligaments on the outside of the ankle).INJURY CLASSIFICATIONS There are two main classifications of athletic injuries: acute and overuse. weakness. Recovery time: l–7 days. tenderness at the point of injury. Sprains are caused by an overextension of the normal range-of-motion for that particular joint. swelling. Recovery: 4-6 weeks (If surgery is required. and mild swelling. weakness. Each small trauma on its own is not enough to cause an injury. Recovery time: l–4 weeks. Symptoms are temporary pain. swelling. Symptoms are constant pain. Second-Degree Sprain.) 137 . Symptoms are tenderness over soft tissue. The ligaments around the joint are stretched. Achilles tendonitis or shinsplints are examples of overuse injuries. extreme tenderness over ligaments. however.

temporary or lasting pain. compression. pain upon contraction or stretching. This is commonly referred to as a muscle pull. and elevation. Your immediate treatment for sprains should be I-C-E — ice. running a zigzag pattern without limping when changing directions. you probably also strained your peroneal muscles above the ankle. A phenomenon which frequently occurs immediately after a sprain is numbness. Recovery time: 2 days to 2 weeks. Strains Strains occur either within a muscle or at the point where the muscle and the tendon join.Sprains are generally characterized by swelling. 138 . A functional evaluation should also be performed. are classified by severity. Muscle fibers are stretched. but gives an incorrect indication of the severity of the injury. Athletic taping can reinforce and protect the joint. Strains can be caused by one traumatic overextension or by continued overuse. discoloration. and decreased mobility. Resting that day will be rewarded with an early return to training. Exercises should be done which strengthen the muscles on each side of the injured joint. Examples of a functional exam include jogging a figure-8 without limping. It is important to refer an athlete with a severe sprain to a health-care professional who is familiar with sports injuries. Be cautious about allowing an athlete with a sprain to resume training or competition. not at a joint. A strengthening program should be begun prior to a return to training. like sprains. and running and coming to a complete two-foot stop without favoring the injured ankle or knee. Symptoms are spasm of the injured muscle. the overextension of the muscles surrounding the joint may result in a muscle strain as well as an ankle sprain. as follows: First-Degree Strain. If an athlete sprains an ankle. and moderate pain to the touch. which allows the ankle to be examined easily. but it is not a substitute for rehabilitation exercises. Strains. If you have ever sprained your ankle and had the muscles on the side of your leg hurt. Return to activity after a severe sprain should be approved by a release from a physician. rather than to guessing wrong and causing further damage.

and discoloration (from hemorrhage within the muscle). there is painful and sometimes audible crepitus. but still intact. loss of function. swelling. The muscle fibers are tom or possibly completely ruptured. This occurs with repeated activity which slightly overloads the tendon. The cumulative effect of this repeated overstretching is an inflamed tendon. If overuse tendonitis is not treated properly and the athlete continues to train without modification. palpable defect (you can actually feel the indentation where the muscle has torn). Muscle fibers are stretched and partially torn. Crepitus is caused by the tendon rubbing against the sheath. Third-Degree Strain. it feels like two pieces of sandpaper rubbing together. A tendon is covered by a sheath that surrounds it completely. Acute Tendonitis.Second-Degree Strain. To the injured athlete. which stretches the tendon beyond its normal limits. This occurs with one sudden overextension of the tendon. 139 . collapsing forward. the tissue structure that attaches muscle to bone. tendonitis may become chronic — a state in which the athlete is never free of the problem. Symptoms are severe pain and muscle spasm. but does not result in rupture. In its most severe state. When a tendon is inflamed. Tendonitis Tendonitis is an inflammation of a tendon. and a partial to total loss of function. Recovery time: 6–8 weeks (this is usually a season-ending injury). Overuse Tendonitis. pain upon stretching. is also good visualization of a muscle tear) Symptoms are spasm of the injured muscle. (The example of a rope with fibers torn. The cause of tendonitis can be an acute trauma or continued overuse. the swelling causes it to stick to the sheath instead of sliding smoothly through it. This can be very painful. and shifting all his weight to the tendon just below the knee. An example of such repeated overstretching would be the runner who changes his training to include more hill work and experiences pain in his Achilles tendon. discoloration. weak and painful contraction. Tendonitis often starts with simple tenderness over the tendon and progresses to a painful state which restricts movement. An example of such an overextension would be a high jumper overextending to hit his takeoff mark. swelling. Recovery time: 3–4 weeks.

Does it over-rotate? Is the arch unusually flat or high? Do the shoes provide enough support and stabilization? Do they still adequately absorb shock? A training program with a gradual increase in volume and intensity is essential. and strengthening the muscles of the foot and the lower leg. Gentle stretching (not forced) can begin 24 hours after a mild strain. rest. Shinsplints is a non-specific term for an overuse injury to the lower leg.D. quadriceps (front of the thigh) and hip flexors (area in the front of the thigh where the leg bends at the hip). Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon that leads from the calf down to the heel. Treatment is I-C-E. which attach to the foot). taping to support the arch (this takes the pressure off the lower leg tendons. and a gradual return to training. INJURIES BY EVENT Sprinters and Hurdlers Upper Leg Muscle Strains. An important factor in preventing shinsplints is analysis of the biomechanics of the sufferer’s foot. placing a heel lift of 1/8– 1/ 2 inch inside the shoe to shorten the stretch of the tendon. and referral to an M. Shinsplints is usually an early season injury resulting from attempting to do too much too soon! Achilles Tendonitis. Increase the strength of the muscles on the front of the lower leg to help balance and absorb landing shock. if pain persists. These include strains in the hamstrings (back of the thigh). Treatment for shinsplints include I-C-E. Pain is usually found in the lower two-thirds of the shin and is associated with tendonitis of the posterior tibial tendon or other flexor tendons along the shin. Sometimes the problem will require a stronger drug prescribed by an physician. Severe cases of tendonitis often require physical therapy. icing the tendon and sometimes by taking an anti-inflammatory medication. a compression wrap to reduce swelling.Treatment of tendonitis consists of reducing the inflammation by resting the tendon. Shinsplints. Rest is a key factor in recovery. 140 . Treatment for upper leg strains is I-C-E.

Pain is caused by the back of the kneecap rubbing against the end of the femur (thigh bone). Patellofemoral pain (pain around the kneecap) often develops directly under the kneecap. Symptoms include pain when running or going down stairs (worse than going up stairs) and difficulty standing and straightening the leg after sitting for a long period. Prevention of knee pain requires improving the balance of muscle strength between the front and back of the thigh and increasing the flexibility of the leg and lower back. The athlete may feel like his or her knee gives way. Band Syndrome. Treatment for I. The best way to prevent I. I. Knee Pain. You may have heard this problem referred to as chondromalacia. they frequently develop pain on the outside of the knee that has nothing to do with the knee structure itself but with the attachment of this tendonous band. band syndrome includes I-C-E and wearing a neoprene knee-sleeve to keep the area warm and compress the tendon.T. T.T.Prevention measures for Achilles tendonitis include daily flexibility exercises for the calf muscles. a strength program for the lower legs to improve balance. This is usually caused by a malalignment (a tilt) of the kneecap. As runners increase the volume and intensity of their training. The iliotibial band runs along the outside of the thigh and connects at the outside lateral border of the knee. This instability is caused by an occasional release of the muscles in the thigh. That muscle is referred to as the vastus medialis. band problems is to employ a daily stretching program as outlined in this coaching manual. The underside of the kneecap then becomes rough and sometime catches as the athlete tries to straighten the leg. and wearing good running shoes that provide support and stability. Treatment of knee pain should include ice massage or wrapping an ice pack over the kneecap and strengthening the quadriceps muscles (especially the quadriceps muscle on the inside of the thigh). 141 .

Distance Runners Distance runners suffer many of the same injuries sprinters and hurdlers experience. Stress Fractures. Much more likely to be suffered by distance runners than other athletes because of the duration of their events. Treatment for stress fractures is immediate referral to an M. triangular tissue on the bottom of the foot. Treatment for plantar fascitis is I-C-E. rest. This may be a season-ending injury. wearing supportive shoes which stabilize the heel. and palpable tenderness at the place on the bottom of the foot where the fascia attaches to the heel. pain present at the beginning of a workout which diminishes during the run only to recur after training. Heat Injuries. Shot Putters and Discus Throwers Throwers are susceptible to torso and upper limb problems as well as leg injuries. rather than asphalt. Symptoms of stress fractures are deep. and training on soft surfaces such as grass or dirt. widening as it spreads to attach to the heads of the metatarsals (the long bones of the foot). Preventive measures for plantar fascitis include stretching prior to running. however. It takes 6–8 weeks for bones to heal completely. 142 . Plantar Fascitis. for an X-ray The fracture. persistent pain and localized tenderness which increases with activity.D. may be undetectable for 8–14 days until the calcification healing process is underway. and placing a plastic heel cup or ¼-inch felt heel pad inside the running shoe. The fascia attaches at the bottom of the heel and runs to the front the foot. Overuse injuries which generally occur in the fifth metatarsal (lateral long bone of the foot) or one of the two bones in the lower leg. An inflammation of the thick. Fractures occur when the stress placed on the bone is greater than the muscle supporting the bone can absorb. stretching the lower leg and small muscels of the foot. Symptoms of plantar fascitis are pain on the bottom of the foot with the first few steps taken in the morning. Some individuals may need to see a podiatrist to be fitted for an orthotic (a custom molded foot-stabilizing device for insertion in the running shoe).

Biceps tendonitis occurs where the biceps muscle on the front of the upper arm attaches near the shoulder. Treatment for a torn knee Ligament is ice and immediate referral an athletic trainer or a physician. Symptoms are tenderness over the tendon when trying to lift the arm above shoulder height or when lifting an object which requires bending the elbow. The ligament most susceptible to tears is the anterior cruciate ligament (which supports the inside of the knee joint). Good strength. pain on throwing. and exercises to improve flexibility and strength. just prior to the release of the implement. The most effective preventive measure for torn knee ligaments is a wellbalanced strength training program. Treatment for tendonitis includes an icepack or ice massage over the tender area. The most effective prevention measure for epicondylitis elbow is using proper putting technique. and pain on grasping. The injury occurs most often during the plant. There are several tendons which seem to be especially vulnerable to tendonitis. Treatment for epicondylitis elbow is ice. balance. and flexibility also help. and possibly physical therapy. rest. Epicondylitis Elbow. instability. Tom Knee Ligaments. an elbow-sleeve to keep the tendon warm.D. The sudden explosive movement and the abrupt blocking action required to propel the shot and discus place a great deal of pressure on tendons. This condition may require referral to an M. 143 . This is commonly known as “Little League elbow” or “tennis elbow” and is often seen in novice shot putters. Effective preventive measures for tendonitis are improving flexibility and strength and mastering good throwing technique. rest. Symptoms are sudden pain. Sometimes a popping sound can be heard. and tenderness around the joint.Tendonitis. Symptoms are tenderness over the inside (medial) part of the elbow joint. There are several ligaments in the knee. This is a common problem for throwers.

The explosive nature of throwing frequently causes tears or complete ruptures of one or more of the rotator cuff muscles.) Effective preventive action for rotator cuff tears is a well-balanced weight-training program which strengthens not only the large muscle groups around the shoulder. and limited movement. but also includes specific exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. Treatment for band injuries should include immersing the band in a bucket of ice water and taping to support the joint during practice.) The most effective preventive measure for hand injuries is proper putting technique. Hamstring muscle strains. Jumpers Knee Pain (including patellofemoral pain or chondromalacia). The rotator cuff consists of four muscles which hold the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) in its socket. Symptoms of a rotaror cuff tear are pain deep in the shoulder (sometimes radiating down the arm to the elbow) and difficulty in lifting anything for the first 15 degrees of movement to the side. Immediate treatment for a rotator cuff tear is ice. Ligament Tears. (This is usually a season-ending injury. The ligaments most frequently torn by jumpers are the anterior cruciate and the medial collateral ligaments.Hand Injuries (usually wrist and finger sprains). In both cases the mechanism of injury causes either the wrist or the fingers to be bent back farther than normal. Symptoms are pain in the joint. (Beware of the rules about taping the band during competition. These muscles stabilize the shoulder during the action of throwing. These sprains occur when the weight of the shot causes an overextension of the joint. (Poor technique is often the result of fatigue at the end of a throwing session. and referral to a physician. swelling. 144 . compression.) Rotator Cuff Tears.

swelling. Treatment for inversion ankle sprains is I-C-E. rest. Cartilage Tears. flexibility exercises. As the knee flexes and extends. Effective preventive measures for inversion sprains include training on safe surfaces. the cartilage can catch between the two bones in such a fashion as to tear it. Due to the nature of the jumping events. The ankle may need to undergo a strengthening program and be taped prior to returning to training.) The best prevention for joint injuries is a wellbalanced weight training program. Symptoms are pain in the joint. rest. Low Back Pain. and limited function.Inversion Ankle Sprains. and referral to a physician if pain persists. emphasizing proper technique. Once torn. The best prevention for low back pain is a good stretching/flexibility program and a well maintained landing pit. 145 . These often result from either a severe twisting motion or a hyperflexing action as one might see in a long jumper’s landing. (This can be a season-ending injury. and utilization of a well-balanced strength program. and referral to an M. and referral to an M.D. cartilage rarely has the capability to heal itself due to its lack of blood supply. The mechanism of injury is landing with the sole of the foot turned inward. These generally occur upon landing or when planting at takeoff. Back pain frequently results from the jarring impact jumpers experience upon landing. The pain may be caused by stiff muscles in the least severe cases or by a disc or nerve injury in more severe cases. Treatment for back pain is ice. Symptoms are tenderness around the outside lateral ankle bone where the ligaments attach.D. discoloration. and locking or clicking of the joint. Treatment for a cartilage tear is I-C-E. The cartilage is the joint cushion that sits between the tibia (shin bone) and the femur (thigh bone). it is impossible to eliminate the jarring impact the spine experiences upon landing. tenderness when palpated (rubbed) along the joint line. instability. if the pain persists. Symptoms range from stiffness to sharp pain sometimes radiating down into the legs.

The athlete should be asked daily. a gradual re-entry to training can begin. with 10 being the worst?” When the response is 0. If you could only have one thing available to deal with injuries at a practice or a track meet. do not attempt to move the athlete! A severe neck injury is a medical emergency! If the athlete expresses concern about mooing or is experiencing tingling sensations in the arms. We most often see neck injuries in the High Jump and Pole Vault. If you have any question as to the severity of the injury. swimming. Until that time. do not move the athlete! Call the paramedics immediately.Neck Injuries. Preparing for Injuries You should always be able to answer yes to the 10 questions posed at the beginning of this chapter. sometimes. When dealing with young athletes (who in many cases have never experienced an athletic injury before). or feet. it is your responsibility as coach to be the voice of reason when there is not an athletic trainer on staff to help make those decisions. “How does your pain rate on a scale of 1 to 10. Those fitness activities can include cycling (or stationary bike). it should be ice! You should also have a well-stocked training kit on hand. parents to get the athlete back into competition and training too soon. coach. Returning an Injured Athlete to Competition Athletes should be free of injury symptoms before you allow them to return to competition. injured athletes should be involved in a rehabilitation program and other fitness activities to maintain their conditioning. or running in deep water with a life jacket if those activities do not stress the injury When an athlete attests to O-pain and can pass tests that assess the function of the injured body part. 146 . he or she is ready to return to competition. It is always better to be overly cautious than to make a mistake that may have a youngster paralyzed for life. There is a natural temptation on the part of the athlete. and. finger.

EIA can be recognized by coughing. the type of exercise. Others suffer asthmatic symptoms daily. There is an increased prevalence of EIA among African-Americans versus caucasians. If you suspect an athlete has EIA. boys vs.A basic training kit should contain the following medical items: • Band-Aids • Disinfectant • Antibiotic ointment • Scissors • Athletic tape • Elastic wraps for compression • Underwrap • Tape adherent • Gauze pads • Vaseline or shin lube • Q-tips • Cotton balls Other Health Issues EXERCISE-INDUCED ASTHMA Exercise-induced asthma affects approximately 7% of youths in the United States. and the responsiveness. rural children. or shortness of breath during or following exercise. and/or chronic coughing. EIA may restrict physical activities. or result in the continual use of medication. affect school attendance. refer that athlete to his or her family physician and discuss the potential problem with the parents. 147 . asthma means wheezing. EIA does not mean the end of an athletic career. The predisposition to EIA symptoms is influenced by the climate (with cold. girls. Some individuals experience asthmatic symptoms only when exercising. and urban children vs. or twitchiness of the airways. shortness of breath. Many successful Olympians have EIA and control the condition with medication. dry conditions being the most likely to produce EIA). To the adolescent patient. wheezing.

They are readily available. Every sport governing body from the National High School Federation to the International Olympic Committee condemns the use of performance-enhancing drugs as cheating.PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS Performance-enhancing drugs are a realistic choice for today’s high school athlete. 148 . There is no gray area when it comes to drugs in sports. Steroid use among adolescents has become almost epidemic as non-athletes try to get that buffed look without strenuous exercise. It is ironic that Track & Field’s leadership among sports in providing deterrent testing and penalties for illegal drug use has contributed to the decline of public interest in what is now perceived to be a “drug sport. The question we must pose to our athletes is. There has been a shocking increase in the use of steroids by high school athletes looking for a competitive edge. This is symptomatic of the overemphasis on winning at even the lowest levels of sport in our country. the same as for cocaine. The federal government recently reclassified the sale and distribution of steroids as a Class A felony. and always has been. and they work. These are dangerous drugs that can cause permanent damage to vital organs of the body Steroid abuse has damaging emotional side effects and can result in death.” The most frequently used performance-enhancing drugs in Track & Field are anabolic steroids. Are such drugs an ethical or healthy choice? This is. a moral and ethical issue. It is your responsibility as a coach to protect the well-being of your athletes and the integrity of your sport by talking to them about steroids.

End of Chapter 149 .

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Eating for 151 . you can guide your athletes towards healthy eating. Food is the fuel of athletic performance.Health & Performance G ood nutrition is an important component of any successful training program. To do so. This chapter is a primer to help you address some of the nutritional demands and problems faced by your athletes. you must be acquainted with the basic facts of proper nutrition. Though you cannot control the food your athletes eat.

Young athletes. vitamins. minerals. The Athlete’s Diet A balanced diet provides all the necessary nutrients and calories the body needs to function properly. Studies show that athletes perceive their coaches as power-ml influences on their behavior. better performance.S. Most nutritionists agree that dietary principles promoting good health in the general populace provide the foundation of a good diet for athletes.” Just as there are many racing strategies that can achieve victory. Fundamentally. in particular. there are a number of dietary patterns that provide good nutrition. The following sports nutrition information will help you guide your athletes toward better eating and. Those dietary guidelines recommend the following be eaten each day: Important. and is less susceptible to illness. (This is roughly the size of a deck of playing cards. tend to admire. ultimately. respect. protein. The daily total of meat should be about 6 ounces. nutrition is important for normal growth and development and for maintaining good health. and seek advice from their coaches. recovers more quickly. Because of their larger body size and/or higher level of training. 152 . trains harder. Coaches often want to know exactly what constitutes a “balanced diet. and water. As a coach. fat.) You can occasionally substitute cooked dry beans and peas for meat. The U. As a minimum. athletes should eat the lesser number of daily servings suggested from each food group. A healthy athlete feels better. you can sway your athletes’ views of nutrition and influence their eating habits. Those nutrients are carbohydrates. government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans are national guidelines for healthy eating. 87% reported their coaches greatly affect the types of food they eat. The bottom line is that you can make a positive impact on your athletes’ attitudes about nutrition and the daily food choices they make. but nutrition affects the athlete in many ways. some athletes may need more than the larger number of recommended servings. In a recent survey of 1004 teenagers.Success in sports is determined primarily by athletic ability and proper training.

CHEESE MEAT POULTRY. and protein. rice. FISH DRIED BEANS & PEAS. and starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn OFTEN. a weight gain or loss will occur. calorie consumption should balance energy expended. YOGURT. nectarine or banana • 1/ 2 cup small or diced fruit • 3 / 4 cup juice (IMPORTANT: Eat dark-green leafy or deep-yellow vegetables. The minimum requirement for high school athletes should be roughly 1800–2000 calories a day. CEREAL. This can leave them feeling weak and listless. PASTA 6–11 • 1 slice of bread • 1/ 2 bun. Therefore. peas. age. it is almost impossible to prescribe a universal daily caloric requirement for athletes. Many young female athletes are concerned about their appearance and eat less than they should in an attempt to appear thin. restricting calories can have a negative impact on both health and performance because. RICE. If an athlete is maintaining his or her ideal competitive weight.) FRUIT 2-4 MILK. orange. bagel. If calorie consumption is consistently above or below an athlete’s individual energy requirements. or muffin • 1 ounce dry cereal • 1/ 2 cup cooked cereal. plum. FOOD ITEM(S) DAILY SERVINGS COUNTAS1SERVING BREAD.CALORIE REQUIREMENTS FOR ATHLETES Calorie requirements vary greatly from person to person and are greatly affected by the level of physical activity. as calorie consumption decreases. adequate calories are being consumed. so does nutrient consumption. Athletes eating less than 1800 calories a day likely consume insufficient amounts of vitamins. body size. LENTILS 2-3 • 1 cup milk or yogurt • 1 1/ 2 ounce cheese • 3 ounce cooked lean beef or chicken 2-3 153 . and climate. minerals. However. A number of factors shape the calorie intake of adolescent athletes. or pasta VEGETABLES 3–5 • 1 cup raw leafy vegetables • 1/ 2 all other vegetables • 1/ 2 cup cooked beans or peas • 1 medium apple. peach. beans. Ideally.

minerals and fiber. eating several small meals and snacks becomes an important source of nutrients. breads. To determine how much carbohydrate an individual athlete needs. and the result is fatigue or a feeling of staleness. especially if they are training soon after eating. On the other hand. Like calories. and cereals. vegetables. their glycogen stores quickly become depleted. body size. rice. their major contribution to an athlete’s diet is to supply energy for training and competition. jumpers. and pole vaulters engaged in explosive events requiring short bursts of energy need about 5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight (or a minimum of 250 grams) per day to maintain their muscle glycogen stores. Athletes who compete in events requiring a longer. sustained expenditure of energy may need more — up to 8–10 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight daily for marathon runners. the lactose in milk products. carbohydrate needs vary among athletes. For example: • 150 pounds ÷ 2. Starch. 154 . pasta. and the fructose in fruit and juices are simple carbohydrates. CARBOHYDRATES Carbohydrates are an important energy source for both health and performance. is a complex carbohydrate.Some athletes find it difficult to increase their calorie consumption because the bulk of a larger meal causes them discomfort.2 to get the weight in kilograms.2 = 68 kilograms body weight • 68 kilograms x 5 = 340 grams of carbohydrate needed Carbohydrate is found in two forms. rice. depending on the intensity and volume of training. and fruit contribute essential vitamins. and event specialty Throwers. the body has a limited ability to store carbohydrate as readily utilized glycogen. Although carbohydrate foods such as breads. Sucrose (table sugar). starches and sugars. Both types of carbohydrate are effective in replenishing glycogen. such as potatoes. Then multiply that number by 5 to 8. depending on event and training demands. Although muscles need energy to perform. pasta. athletes juggling a heavy academic load with training and a part-time job often find they have no time to eat. cereals. sprinters. When athletes don’t eat enough carbohydrate. divide his or her body weight in pounds by 2. For these athletes.

. . .. Banana 1 whole .. . . . . White Rice . . . . . . . .. . 1/2 . . . . Bar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . 1/2 . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . tablespoon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. cup. . . . . . .. . .. .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..57 . . 1/2 cup . .1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . whole.. .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . .11. . . . . 1/2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .Pasta . . . .11. . Gatorlode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . whole. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .. . . Milk.. Corn . . . . .. . . . . . Yogurt . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . cup. .. . . . . .. . .1. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . ... . . . . . . . . ... . . .cup. . . .. . . .. .. . .. . ..13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .. . .. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 1/2 . 1. . . ..Cantaloupe ... . . . .. . 1/2cup.. . . . . . . . . . . .. . Peas . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . .. . 1 whole . . . . .. . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . ..cup. . . .. . .. . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1/2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . English Muffin 1 whole .. . . . . ... . . . ... . . . . .. .. . .. . . . . 2 .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . . ..Fig. .. . .Nutrament . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .Green. . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . .Exceed. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bread . . .. . .. . ... . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .” Carbohydrate loading has not been proven effective for athletes in sprint and power events. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. .cup. . . .. . . . . Plain Popcorn . .. . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . .16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... Wheat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . .. .. . .. . ... . . . ..13 . . . . . . The operative words here are “endurance athlete... . . . . . . .. . . .. . Potatoes 1/2 cup . . .Reg. .. . . .. . . . . whole. . . . 1. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . Some endurance athletes find they perform better if they carbo-load. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .12 . . . . . . . . . ... cup . . . . . . . . . ...Carrots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . 155 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .Carbohydrate Loading Carbohydrate loading is a process of altering an athlete’s diet and training to increase glycogen stores.. . .. . . . . . . .. . . . .. . . . . . . . .. .. .. .. . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . ... . .. . . . .cup. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . Orange Juice . . . . . . . .15 . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 . . .. . .. . . .67 . . .. .. . . Tortilla . . . . . . . .. . . ... . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .. . .15 . . . .cup.. . . .. . . . ... . . . . 1 whole 21 . . .Flavored .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . .. .1. .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .13 . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . .. . . . . .. .. . .. .. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .42 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . cup. . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. .. . . . .Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . Gumdrops . . .1. . . . .. . . . . . .Apple. . . . . . . . . . . . ounce. .Cereals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . ... . . . . 8. . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .15 . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .12 . . . . ... .. . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .Orange . . . . . .. . . .. . . . .. . . . . 1. .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . .27 . . . . .. .. . . . .. . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . Crackers 1 whole . . . . . . . .. . .. .. . .. . whole. . . . . .. .. . .. . . . . . ... . . .. . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . .cup. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .. .. . . . . . ... . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. .17 . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shell . .. . .. . . . 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . ... .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 . .. 1/2 . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . ...17 . . . . . . .. ..1. .. . . . . . . . . . . 1 cup Exceed Hi-Carb 59 . . . . .Grapes. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1/2 . .. . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Soft . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ......cup. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. ... . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. .. 8. . . . . .. . . . . . . . cup .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . CARBOHYDRATE FOOD SERVING SIZE GRAMS OF CARBOHYDRATE ..cup. . . . . . . . .16 . . . . . . . .47 . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .cup .1.. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. ... . .. . . . . . .. . . ... . . . . . . .. . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . 1. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . .... 1/2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8-13. .. . . . . . . . . . . Watermelon 1/2 cup 6 . .. . piece . . .. . .. . . . .. . . . . . . 1. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . cup . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . .. . . .. . . . .. . . . . . . . Kidney Beans 1/2 cup . . . . . . .Skim. . . . . . ... .. . . .. . .... . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . . Yogurt . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . 7... . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. . . . .. 1/2 . .. . Bar . . . .. . . . .26 . . .. . . . . . .. .. . . .. . . . . . .. . . .. . . .Raisins. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. .. . . . . .Plain. . . . . . . . .. . . . .. .. cup . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . Jelly ..Drinks . .25 . . . . . . . . . Gatorade . . . . . . . Pancake . . . . . . . . . . . 1. . .Granola. .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1. .. . .. cup. . . . . .. . . .. .. ... . . . . . .9. . . . . . . .. .

For a 150-pound (68 kilogram) athlete.0–1. It is not recommended that a carbohydrate-loading regimen be tried the first time before a major competition. cheese. will need to plan their diets more carefully to meet protein requirements. weight gain. yogurt or eggs will have little problem meeting his or her protein needs. including increased water retention. cramping. which may be as high as 2. Current research on protein requirements suggests athletes need approximately 1. muscle stiffness.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. Studies of carbo-loading have shown potential negative side effects in test subjects. fish. poultry.5 grams per kilogram of body weight recommendation is based on a diet containing animal proteins. An athlete who eats meat. 156 . The final day before competition requires total rest and maintaining the high carbohydrate intake.Here’s how carbo-loading works: For 3–5 days prior to competition. the athlete eats a high-carbohydrate diet of 8–10 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight while tapering his or her training load. milk. Athletes have a slightly higher protein need than non-athletes. This amount is adequate for athletes who are involved in both explosive and endurance events. but this demand is usually met by a normal diet unless they already aren’t getting enough calories.0–2. however. Protein requirements increase when calorie consumption is insufficient to meet the body’s needs because some of the consumed protein must be metabolized to provide energy instead of building and repairing tissue. The 1–1. It also provides energy during long endurance events. and digestive problems. PROTEIN The body uses protein for muscle repair and growth.5 grams per kilogram of body weight. that is 68–102 grams of protein a day. Athletes who are strict vegetarians. The type of protein eaten also affects the amount of protein needed.

.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Roasted Peanuts 1/2 cup 18 ........................................................... Cooked Navy Beans 1/2 cup 7 .................................................................................................................................... nine of which must be obtained from the food we eat....................................... Yogurt 1 cup 8 ........................... FAT All athletes need a certain amount of fat in their diets and on their bodies............................................. some may require slightly less than 30% of their calories fromx fat............................................. and increase muscle mass............................ Amino acid supplements have become popular among some athletes because they have been told they will improve performance................................................... Skim Milk 1 cup 8 .................................................................................................................................. Luncheon Meat 1 ounce 5 ........................ Green Peas 1/2 cup 4 ...... PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS Amino acids are the building blocks of protein................................................................................................................... 1 whole 6 Egg .................................................................... Macaroni & Cheese 1/2 cup 9 .............................................. as are all extra calories................................................................................................................................................... Since the body cannot store extra protein...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................P R O T E I N FOOD SERVING SIZE GRAMS OF PROTEIN Lean Beef 3 ounces 24 .......................................................... Broccoli 1/2 cup 2 ............................................................................................................................................................................................................. Cheddar Cheese 1 ounce 7 ..................................................... Banana 1 whole 1 ..... The challenge is eating a diet that provides the right amount.................................... Baked Potato 1 whole 3 .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Chicken Breast 3 ounces 24 ........................ extensive research has not been able to show that amino acid supplements have any beneficial effects on athletic performance................................................................................................................................................................................................... However........................................................... Wheat Bread 3 1 slice .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. The body uses 20 amino acids to synthesize tissue proteins............................................................................................................................................................ consuming far more amino acids than needed from their diet alone............................................ The American Heart Association recommends that no more than 30% of our calories come from fat........... 1 whole 1 Orange ......................... 157 ..... Because athletes differ............................. excess protein is broken down and stored as fat.............. Whole Milk 1 cup 8 ............................................................... Fish 3 ounces 21 ..................................................................... Peanut Butter 1 tablespoon 4 .................................................................................................... supply extra energy......... Many athletes already eat more than the recommended amount of protein..................... Bran Flakes 1 cup 4 ......................... Pork Chop 3 ounces 22 ..............................................

However. bone and joint pain. On the other hand. 158 . As little as five times these amounts can cause severe headaches. To lower fat intake. and even liver damage. dry flaky skin. Taken in excess. and fat. vitamins provide no performance enhancement to the athlete who is healthy and eating a balanced diet. For example. Fried foods and high-fat snacks should be avoided. and low-fat dairy products. Moreover. athletes who have a high-fat diet often eat less carbohydrate. Many athletes cannot get the calories they need without consuming some extra fat. poultry.Fat provides certain vitamins and minerals and adds flavor to food. High-fat diets also increase the risk of heart disease and some cancers. which is detrimental to good health and high performance. and development. a vitamin/mineral supplement supplying 100 percent of the RDAs may be appropriate for athletes with extremely low calorie intakes or for those who avoid certain basic food groups. fish. In fact. too much fat contributes excess calories to the diet which can lead to weight gain. growth. athletes should choose lean meats. Fat and oils should be used sparingly in cooking. Generally. they help metabolize energy from carbohydrate. VITAMINS Vitamins are nutrients needed in small amounts for normal metabolism. Although vitamins do not serve as a direct source of energy. excessive vitamin supplements can be harmful. protein. the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 1000 retinol equivalents (RE) for men and 800 for women. athletes who consume more than 1800 calories a day get enough vitamins from their food.

..................................................................................................................................................................5 Raisins ............. While a nutrient-by-nutrient review is not necessary for the purposes of this chapter...............................8 ............................................................................................................................................................. IRON FOOD SERVING OF IRON MILLIGRAMS OF IRON 3 ounces 17..................................................................................... or as micronutrients or trace minerals................ Spinach 1 cup 2..................................................................................6 ...................................................................................... 3 ounces Chicken Liver 6........................ minerals present in relatively large amounts in the body....................................... Sardines Packed in Oil 1 ounce 1....................................................1 ................................. 3 ounces 8...................................... iron and calcium deserve some special mention because of the importance of these two minerals in an athlete’s diet.......................... 4................................................................... 159 ...................................................... 3 ounces 4............... 2.................4 1/2 cup Peas ....... 1/2 cup 3......................................0 ..................7 Pork Liver .......................................................................................... They help maintain normal body fluid balance................ Eggs 1 large 1.................................. Mustard Greens 1/2 cup 1............. minerals activate several of the body’s enzymes and hormones.................................. they are used as building blocks for tissue growth of bones..................... 1/2 cup 2..........................................................................................................................................................................................................9 Dried Prunes ................................................................ copper..............MINERALS Minerals perform major functions in the body................................................................................................... A balanced diet sufficient in calories should provide adequate levels of minerals................................................................. 1/2 cup 4................................................................. teeth.....................................................................0 ............................................................................... phosphorus............................................................................................. 1...................................................................8 Dried Dates ................................................ Minerals play an important role in managing exercise.........................................................................2 ................................5 Dried Apricots 1/2 cup .. 3 ounces 6............ and magnesium....................................................................................................................................................................................................... such as calcium............................................................. Lima Beans 1/2 cup 2... Minerals are often classified as macronutrients...................................................2 . muscle contraction............................0 .......................................................................2 1/2 cup Dried Figs ......................................................... Turkey 3 ounces 5........................................................... Hamburger 3 ounces 3..... such as iron................................ 2..........5 .......................................................................................................................................................... and zinc...4 Oysters ...............................................0 Kidney Beans ................................... which are present in small amounts in the body.............................................................0 ................ 5...................... 1/2 cup 3................................ muscles................................................................. Baked Beans w/ ....................................................... and red blood cells................................9 Beef Liver .........................................................5 Pork Chop ............................. and blood clotting.............................................................................................................9 Prune Juice 1/2 cup ................................... First........................... Second.......... 1/2 cup 3........ Pork & Molasses........................................................................................................7 1/2 cup Soybeans ............. Beef 3 ounces 4...................................................................................................

The impact of thousands of hard foot strikes also destroys red blood cells and can contribute to iron deficiency among distance runners. Vitamin C-rich foods. If one of your athletes appears to be iron deficient.Iron is crucial for athletes because it assists oxygen transport in the blood and utilization by the muscles. a routine use of iron supplements by all athletes is not recommended. and 10 milligrams a day for males. or fresh fruit each day. CALCIUM Calcium is important not only because of its role in preventing osteoporosis (bone deterioration). there is an increase in plasma blood volume. contributes to iron depletion in both adolescent male and female athletes. This is a serious health risk. especially running. With heavy training. Young women who train strenuously to the point of amenorrhea (absence of menses) are susceptible to such bone loss. It is recommended that coaches see that their female athletes have hemoglobin levels checked at least once a year. Athletes should be aware of the foods which provide iron. you should consult your team physician for diagnosis and treatment. such as orange juice. are at risk of iron deficiency because of increased iron losses through menstruation and typically low dietary iron intake. Exercise. green leafy vegetables. it can never be regenerated. The use of enriched cereals and breads provides additional iron. but also because it helps maintain bone density. 160 . which prevents stress fractures. Supplemental iron may be prescribed for individuals whose lab tests indicate iron deficiency. The RDA for iron is 15 milligrams a day for females. A lack of iron directly affects performance by decreasing the capacity of muscle to use oxygen. in particular. However. Once bone matter is lost. Their diets should contain at least 1–2 servings of meat. Young female athletes. which dilutes the number of red blood cells and lowers hemoglobin levels. enhance iron absorption.

Broccoli 1/2 cup 67 ......................................................................... 1/2 cup Cabbage 49 ......................................................... 1/2 cup 152 ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Oysters 1 cup 343 ............................................ Cottage Cheese 1 cup 282 .............................................................................................................................................................................. or green leafy vegetables each day.................................................... Mustard Greens 1/2 cup 183 ................................................. White Beans 1/2 cup 50 ...................................................... Inadequate dietary calcium increases the risk of brittle bones in some individuals............ Turnip Greens 1/2 cup 184 ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Sardines w/Bones 1 ounce 74 .............. 1 medium 62 Orange ......................................................................................... Peanuts 1/2 cup 54 ....................... An athlete’s calcium needs are greatest during adolescence................................................................................................................................................................. The diet should be evaluated before calcium supplements are taken......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... One glass of 2% milk contains 300 milligrams of calcium....................................................................................CALCIUM FOOD SOURCES SERVING SIZE MILLIGRAMS OF CALCIUM Plain Yogurt 1 cup 415 ............. Whole Milk 1 cup 288 .......................................................................................................... when the bones are growing.. 161 ................................................................................................. Swiss Cheese 1 ounce 248 ................................................................ yogurt.................................................................................. Prunes 8 large 90 ................................................. 1/2 cup 152 Almonds ................................................................ Salmon w/Bones 1 ounce 86 ............ Lima Beans 1/2 cup 38 ................................................................................... 1/2 cup 43 Pecans ................................................................................................................. Mozzarella Cheese 1 ounce 207 ..................................................................................................................................................... a calcium supplement may be necessary.............................................................................................................................................. Ice Cream 175 1 cup .............. Walnuts 60 1/2 cup .................................................................................................. 1/2 cup Carrots 37 ........................................................ Spinach 1/2 cup 83 ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Kidney Beans 1/2 cup 48 .......................................................................... The RDA for calcium is 1200 milligrams a day for males and females ages 11–18 years old..... If an athlete does not consume at least four servings of calcium-rich foods such as milk................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 1 large Tangerine 40 ....................................................................... Skim Milk 1 cup 296 ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ cheese........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Cheddar Cheese 1 ounce 204 ........................................................................................... Collard Greens..........................................................

almost always has a negative outcome. the athlete will feel quite comfortable if the meal is eaten 2-3 hours prior to competition. Pre-competition eating requirements vary greatly from athlete to athlete. and they must understand that the pre-meet eating regimen of the current Olympic champion in their event may not work well for them. The primary requisites of the precompetition meals should be: • That it consists of foods the athlete likes and tolerates easily.Pre-Competition Meals The primary purpose of the pre-competition meal is to provide fluid and energy for the athlete during the performance of his or her event(s). The pre-competition meal should consist of food and beverages the athlete likes and enjoys. and thinks will help him or her win. ordinarily eats. • That it consists of foods the athlete usually eats. Encourage them to include any foods they believe will help them win. Athletes may have to do some advance planning to ensure they have access to their familiar foods before competition. Since many athletes experience abdominal discomfort if they have food in their stomachs during competition. 162 . They may need to bring a sack lunch to school rather than choosing from the school cafeteria’s entrees or a restaurant menu. • That it includes the consumption of plenty of fluids. tolerates well. or depriving yourself of usual foods in an effort to enhance performance. some runners find they need to eat something as close as 30 minutes prior to their event. In most cases. However. the timing of the pre-competition meal is important. Eating foods you do not like before competition. It cannot be overemphasized that the ideal pre-competition meal is a matter of individual preference. The day of competition is not the time to experiment with new foods.

163 . others fight to keep pounds off. high-fat snacks. Eating Disorders Many coaches impose weight restrictions on athletes because a lean physique often gives the athlete a distinct edge in performance. age. gaining weight or keeping it on can be a problem. Making changes in the amount and types of food eaten and increasing the frequency of meals usually solves the problem. The recommended rate of weight loss is one-half pound a week. Genetics.Achieving Ideal Competitive Weight Weight control is a problem for many athletes. it is simply a matter of not getting enough calories. For athletes trying to lose weight. However. and training all affect body weight. sauces. which requires a deficit of 250-300 calories a day. Most often. This can lead to dangerous eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. the body will compensate by reducing its metabolic rate and reducing the number of calories needed. The problem is that some athletes can become obsessed with losing weight. Paying attention to the amount and types of food eaten is important. As a result. Diet and lifestyle also play an important role. gravies. Males should not consume fewer than 2000 calories a day. Eating fewer high-fat foods such as fried foods. eating less will decrease calorie intake. if calorie intake drops too low. Females should not consume fewer than 1800 calories a day. Increasing your activity level in conjunction with reducing calories usually results in weight loss. A safe level of calorie restriction depends on the athlete’s normal dietary intake. This sabotages the athlete’s attempt to lose weight. and desserts can significantly reduce calorie intake. Young athletes with busy schedules tend to have irregular eating habits and sleeping patterns. Athletes who want to gain weight need to eat at least five times a day. While some struggle to keep weight on.

It is very important that coaches be informed about them. athletic administrators. Victims of eating disorders usually have a history of low self-esteem and difficulty solving problems and handling stress. it is possible for an eating disorder to be triggered by a single episode or comment from a person who is very important to the athlete. in fact. • Strives to achieve a weight below his or her ideal competitive weight and continues to lose weight during the off-season. such as distance running. and especially teammate peers-are significant people in an athlete’s life. Athletics are often accused of causing eating disorders. however. The cause of an eating disorder. they can be life-threatening. is not athletics but underlying personal stress. • Often eats secretively. Abnormal eating patterns do not always mean that an athlete has an eating disorder. his or her weight is below average. All members of the athletic team family-coaches. While athletics don’t cause eating disorders. Although it is unknown whether the incidence of these eating disorders is higher or lower among athletes. 164 . these individuals have the power to be a helpful or harmful influence on susceptible adolescents. cause for concern if an athlete shows the following signs or behaviors: • Comments often about being or feeling fat and asks questions such as. anorexia or bulimia are coping mechanisms. These activities have become a normal part of many successful athletic programs. • Avoids eating with the team. Twenty percent of anorexics die from their disorder. trainers. It is estimated that 4–5% of all teenagers and adult females have either bulimia (binge/purge syndrome) or anorexia nervosa (self-imposed starvation in an obsessive effort to lose weight and become very thin). it appears to be much higher in specific sports or events. especially after a large meal. however. HOW TO IDENTIFY AN ATHLETE WITH AN EATING DISORDER There is a big difference between being thin and being anorexic. Consequently. There is.Eating disorders can be life threatening. At first. Coaches need to know how to identify athletes who might be at risk and ensure they get the help needed. Fingers have been pointed at coaches who impose weigh-ins and weight restrictions for their athletes. “Do you think I’m fat?” when. In advanced stages. • Often disappears immediately after eating.

or to impose excessive pressure on the athlete to show weight loss immediately. you should consult a physician who will assist you with the situation. An eating disorder is a very complex problem which requires professional medical treatment. The risk of triggering an eating disorder is increased when the numbers are used to set unrealistic goals for rapid weight loss. It is not even the numbers that the scale reveals. D. If you have. a great deal of caution should be given to the process of weigh-ins. Grandjean. It is not the act of stepping on the scale that triggers an eating disorder. athletes with eating disorders. to browbeat or ridicule the athlete for gaining weight. attempt to diagnose or treat athletes with anorexia nervosa or bulimia. or have had. Your role should be to help the athlete contact an eating disorders specialist for professional consultation.In an effort to eliminate these triggering events. As a coach. along with some appropriate methods to lose and gain weight. International Center for Sports Nutrition 165 . we recommend you provide them with the basic nutritional information that appears in this chapter. To prevent eating disorders among your athletes. you can play an important supportive role in helping your athletes deal with the emotional and physical stresses of attaining and maintaining weight by: • Not overplaying the impact of weight on performance. however. It is how the numbers are used that can cause a problem. rate of weight-loss and reasonable target weights. good eating habits and sensible weight control will optimize athletic performance. Ed. we recommend you evaluate the weight maintenance policies and procedures of your Track & Field program. —by Ann C. Also consider the behavior of your coaching staff to ensure they haven’t contributed to the development of the problem. If the athlete denies having a problem but the evidence appears conclusive. Do not. • Emphasizing that long-term. • Setting realistic weight-loss goals which address methods of dieting.

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The ability to host a well-run home track meet is the measure of a coach’s ability to organize. Organizing a 167 .Home Track Meet High school athletes and the sport of Track & Field deserve wellorganized and smoothly run competitions. appeal to spectators. Events that are held on schedule. and offer challenges to the athletes show the sport at its best. The dual meet is the lifeblood of high school Track & Field. One of your primary duties as a coach is the planning and conducting of home dual and invitational meets.

• Events of more than 400m: Assign athletes positions on an international curve start line from fastest to slowest beginning in lane 1. You and the opposing coaching staffs should be left free to coach and organize your athletes during the meet. Those competing in the first and last events can help set up or put away equipment. block crew. hurdle crew. Enter your athletes’ names from your Team Entry List in odd-numbered lanes for heats of the running events and in alternating positions with your best performer last in flights of the field events. • Place your running event forms in event order on a clipboard for your Clerk of the Course. pit rakers. and taking team splits. (Include first names for your announcer!) Note: For an 8-lane track. t Fill out Event Forms for each event (see sample). Have at least one adult official for each of the field events. three adult timers and pickers. and one adult to compile results on the Scoresheet and score the meet. CIF Order of Events • 4x100mRelay • 1600 Meters • 100m/110m Hurdles • 400 Meters • 100 Meters • 800 Meters • 300m Hurdles • 200 Meters • 3200 Meters • 4 x 400m Relay 168 . All athletes should have an assignment after they have completed their last event and warmed down. t Post your team assignments for setting up and putting away equipment. seed sections of the running events as follows: • Events of 400m or less: Assign athletes from fastest to slowest in lanes 4–5–3–6–2–7–l–8.How to Prepare for Your Meet CHECKLIST FOR TWO DAYS BEFORE YOUR MEET t Confirm your officials’ assignments. Tape a copy of the order of events to the back of the clipboard. result runners.

t Post the Order-of-Events in several locations around your track CHECKLIST FOR MEET DAY t Set out your jumping pits.t Place your Field Event Forms on separate clipboards for your field event officials. t Check out your PA system. t Mark the following: q Finish Line q Starting Lines for the 110m hurdles and 100m q Start Staggers for the 200m. rakes. Lubricate them with WD-40 if necessary to enable the peddles to slide easily. t Turn over and rake the sand in your jump pits. t Place all meet materials in a large cardboard box for distribution to your officials and helpers as they arrive at the track (see Meet Materials Checklist). and shovels at the long jump pits. t Place a shopping cart with your starting blocks by the start lines for the 4x100m relay and 100m hurdles (the first running events of the meet which require blocks). CHECKLIST FOR THE DAY BEFORE YOUR MEET t Stack your hurdles at the 33-inch heights on the edge of the track at the girls’ 100mH hashmarks (for first hurdle event). crossbars. and 400m q Exchange Zones for the 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay q Curved Starting Line for the 800m/1600m/3200m races. and brooms at the shot/discus circles. t Chalk your shot and discus landing sectors (if you do not use plastic sector tapes). t Supervise the dragging of the track and marking of the lanes. Tape a summary of the Rules of Judging the event on the back of the clipboard. t Place cones at the 100m break line for the 800m-1600m-3200m races (if applicable). 300m hurdles. t Use a chalk shaker-can or spray paint to mark the hurdle hashmatks and acceleration zones for the 4x100m relay. standards. 169 . Check the rulebook for instructions.

recording each of your athletes’ performances in the meet. t Briefly critique your team’s performance and highlight any new PRs.CHECKLIST FOR BEFORE THE START OF THE MEET t Be on hand to greet opposing Coaches as they arrive. t Call in the results to your local paper. t Confirm your officials’ and workers’ assignments as they arrive and issue them their meet materials. You should also post your team results. CHECKLIST FOR AFTER THE MEET t Supervise the collection and storage of all meet materials and equipment. Give the running event forms to your clerk and the field event forms to your respective head field-event judges. Ask them to fill in the names of their entries on your Running Event Forms and Field Event Forms. multiple event winners. you have to be prompt and consistent in calling in your results -win or lose!) Make note of outstanding performances. including split sheets for the distance races and relays and field event series for the jumps and throws. school records. and assign them a team area. etc. school records. answer any questions they may have. (If you want press coverage. 170 . t Post the meet results and scoresbeet for your team to look over before your next day’s practice. etc.

OFFICIALS’ AND WORKERS’ ASSIGNMENTS SHEET Track Events (Your School) (vs. ) Date Starter/Referee Head Timer Announcer Clerk of the Course Scorer Result Runner Timers & Place Pickers: 1 st place 2nd place 3rd place 4th place watch # ( watch # ( watch # ( watch # ( ) ) ) ) Starting Block Crew: lanes 1-2-3-4 lanes 5-6-7-8 Lap Cards: 4 x 1OOm Relay Inspectors: 1 st exchange 2nd exchange 3rd exchange 4 x 400m Relay Inspectors: front back 100m/110m Hurdle Crew: fliqht 1 fliqht 2 flight 3 flight 4 fliqht 5 fliqht 6 flight 7 fliqht 8 fliqht 9 flight 10 300m Hurdle Crew: flight 1 fliqht 2 fliqht 3 flight 4 fliqht 5 fliqht 6 flight 7 fliqht 8 Team Timers & Split Takers: 171 .

Landing Judge: Triple Jump — Head Judge: Pit Raker: Landing Judge: Shot Put — Head Judge: Retriever: Landing Judge: Discus — Head Judge: Landing Judge: Retriever: Landing Judge: .OFFICIALS’ AND WORKERS’ ASSIGNMENTS SHEET Field Events Pole Vault — Head Judge: Pole Catcher: Bar Setter: High Jump — Head Judge : Bar Setter: Long Jump — Head Judge: Pit Raker.

. t . .. . forms. ..... .. . . .Entry. . .. . . . . .. . Officials’ . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. . . .. ... . . ] . . . . . . . . . . . .. ... ... .. ... . .. . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . .Clipboards. . .. ...t. . . . . . ... . .. . . . . . . . . . ..... . ... . . . . Scoresheets .. .t.. .. . .. .. . .. . .. .. . . . . . . . ...] .. . . . . .t. . . . . . .. . . . .. . .. . . . . . . . .. . . .t. .... ..[ . . . . . . ... .. . . . . .Entry. . . . .Sheets . . . . . .. . .Measuring. .. . . . . .. . . .. . .Track . . . ... . .. . . t . ... ... . . .. . . .. . . . . ]... . .. .t. . . . . . . .. ... .. . . . .. . . . . . . Sheet . . [ . . . . .. .. . Records . . . . . . . ... . . .Order .. .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . ... .. . ... .. . . . . &. . . . .. . .. . . .. . ... . ]. . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . t . . . . . . .Lists... .. ... . ..... . . . . . .. . . . .. . . . .. . .. .. . . . .. t Red/White Flags for Relay Inspectors [ ] 173 . . .. . . . . .Preview . . . . . .. t . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . .. . . . .MEET MATERIALS CHECKLIST Paperwork Materials [total number] ] . . . . . .. .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . ]. . . .Starter . ..t. . .. .. . .. . .t... . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . .. . [ . .. . .. . ... ... ... . . . . . .. . . .Release . . ] t First-Aid Kit [ ] t Scotch Tape [ ] .. . . . . . . . ... Medical. ... .. [ . . . . . .t. . . . . . . . . . . . .. ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [ . .. . .. . . . . .. . ... . .[. . ... . . . . .. . . .. . . . .. . . . t Team Split Sheets [ ] t Marking Spikes [ t Lap Cards [ t Bullhorns [ ] ] t National Federation Rulebook [ ] ] ] t Whistle [ ] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . .. .. . . .. . . .. .. . . . ..field. . . . . . . .Field .[ . . .. .. . .[. . . .. . .. . . . . . . .. . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . Event .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . . .. . .t. . . . .. . .. .. . . . . . . .. . . ... . . . ... .. .. . . . . . ] . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .[ . . . . . . ...... . . .... . .. . . . . . . ... . . . Entry .Forms.. . .Tapes .. ... . . .. Cards... . . .... .. . . . . .[ .. . . . . ... .. . ... . . . .. . . . . . .. . . .. .. .. . .. ... .. . . . . .. . . . . .. .. . .. . . ..... ... . [ .... . . . . .. . ... . . . . . . . . .. . . . . of . . . . . . .. ... . . . . . . . ... .. .. . . . . . .. . . .. .. . . . . .... . . . . .. . .. . . . . .. . . . . .. .. . ... .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . ... ... . . . . . ... . . .. .. . . . . . .. . . . . .... . . t Pencils [ ] t Stopwatches [ ] . . . . . .. . Event . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . .. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . .. .. ... . . .. .. . . . . . . ] .. ... . . ...for. . . . . . . . ...t. . . . . . .. ... . . . . . . . ..Batons . . . . .. . . . .. .[. . . . . . . .. . . . ... . .]. ... . ... .. . . . . .. ... . . . ..... . .. . . .... . . ..CIF . . . . . . . . ... . . . Pens. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .... . . . . . .. . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . Events . .. .. . . .. . .. . . . . . . . . . .. . .. . . . . . .. . . ..[. .t. .Team. .. . Sheet . . . . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . Numbers. .. . . . . . . . . . ... . .. .] . ... .. Check.. . . . .. . . . . . .. .. . . .. .. . .. .. . . . ... .. . . . . . . . .. . . . Phone . . . . .. . . .... . .. .. . .. . .... .. . . .. . .. . . . . . . ... .....] . . . .. . School . ...] .. .. . . . . . . .. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Assignments. .. .Track . . .. . . Emergency. . . ]... . [. . . . . . . . . ... . . . . . .. . . . .[.. . ... .. ..

4 x 4OOm B RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. 4 x 100m B RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. .TEAM ENTRY LIST MEET DATE STARTING TIMES: Field Events Track Events Boys’ Varsity 4 x 100m A RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. 1600 METERS SHOT PUT 110M HURDLES DISCUS 400 METERS LONG JUMP 100 METERS TRIPLE JUMP BOO METERS HIGH JUMP 300m HURDLES POLE VAULT 200 METERS NOTES 3200 METERS NOTES 4 x 4OOm A RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt.

4 x 400m B RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. 1600 METERS SHOT PUT 110m HURDLES DISCUS 400 METERS LONG JUMP 100 METERS TRIPLE JUMP 800 METERS HIGH JUMP 300m HURDLES POLE VAULT 200 METERS NOTES 3200 METERS NOTES 4 x 400m A RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. 4 x 100m B RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. 175 .TEAM ENTRY LIST MEET DATE STARTING TIMES: Field Events Track Events t Boys’ Frosh-Soph Entries t Boys’ Junior-Varsity Entries 4 x 100m A RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt.

. 1600 METERS SHOT PUT 100m HURDLES DISCUS 400 METERS LONG JUMP 100 METERS TRIPLE JUMP 800 METERS HIGH JUMP 300m HURDLES POLE VAULT 200 METERS NOTES 3200 METERS NOTES 4 x 400m A RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt.TEAM ENTRY LIST MEET DATE STARTING TIMES: Field Events Track Events Girls’ Varsity 4 x 100m A RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. 4 x 400m B RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. 4 x 100m B RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt.

4 x 400m B RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. 1600 METERS SHOT PUT 100m HURDLES DISCUS 400 METERS LONG JUMP 100 METERS TRIPLE JUMP 800 METERS HIGH JUMP 300m HURDLES POLE VAULT 200 METERS NOTES 3200 METERS NOTES 4 x 400m A RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. t Girls’ Junior-Varsity Entries 4 x 1OOm B RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt.TEAM ENTRY LIST MEET DATE STARTING TIMES: Field Events Track Events t Girls’ Frosh-Soph Entries 4 x 100m A RELAY 1 2 3 4 alt. 177 .

Relays. and Hurdles CONTESTANTS SCHOOL LANE OR POSITION NUMBER ORDER OF FINISH PLACE 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th NAME SCHOOL NUMBER TIME TEAM PONTS .ENTRY FORM FOR RUNNING EVENTS EVENT MEET DATE Runs.

TRIALS FIRST DISTANCE FL IN. THIRD DISTANCE FT. IN. IN. IN. IN. IN. SECOND DISTANCE FT. BEST MARK DISTANCE FT. PLACES 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH 5TH 6TH 7TH 8TH NAME SCHOOL NO. IN.ENTRY FORM FOR FIELD EVENTS EVENT MEET DATE FIELD JUDGE Long Jump / Triple Jump / Shot Put / Discus CONTESTANTS SCHOOL N O . DISTANCE TEAM POINTS 179 . THIRD DISTANCE FT. SECOND DISTANCE FT. FINALS FIRST DISTANCE FT.

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181 .

TEAM SPLITS SHEET DISTANCE SPLITS MEET DATE .

2. 3. 2.TEAM SPLITS SHEET Sprints / Hurdles / Relays t VARSITY BOYS MEET t F-S BOYS t VARSITY GIRLS t JV GIRLS DATE TIME 100m 4OOm 200 TIME 200m 300m HURDLES 100/110m HURDLES 4 X 100m RELAY A 1. 3. 3. 4. TIME 4 X 100m RELAY B 1. FINAL TIME 200 400 183 . 4. 4. 4. 2. FINAL TIME 200 400 4 x 400m RELAY B 1. EXCHANGES E = Excellent G = Good P = Poor 4 x 400m RELAY A 1. 2. 3.

. . . . .. ...... .... Roberson . . . .. ..... ... .. . . ... Southeast . .... . .. . .... . . 10:13. . . . ... . .. .. . . .. .. . ... .. ...... 12 . .. ... your pride........ . .. . . .... 10... . . .. .. Leonard . .. .. . . . .. .... .. .. . . . .... . .. .. . plus 65 Individuals and 19 relay Teams ranked among the Top 10. .. .. . ...7. .. .. .. ..... .. 5. . Our best is yet to come! INDIVIDUAL SCORING: 10-8-6-4-2 all events (164 points/20 scorers) . . . . . . ... .. ... . . .... . . ... 1 2 . ... . . . . . .. . .Central... . .. . .. .SAMPLE MEET CRITIQUE THORNRIDGE TRACK RESULTS: 10th Annual TTT Track & Field Classic q Friday. . .... . .. ..... ..... .. . . . . • All but 1 of our 21 entries scored! • We scored in every one of the 18 events. .... . . .. .... . ... .... . . ... . . .. .. . .. .. ... .... . ..... ... . ... . .. .. .. . . .. .. .... .. . ....... . . .. ... . . . . .. . . ... . . . . ... .. . .. ... . .Spivey . . .. 1.. ... .. .. . . .. 4. ....59.. . ... ... . . . .. . . .. .... . . .. .. ... .. . .... . . .. .. . 1600m [#7] Glenn Jackson 2 1 . .... ..... . .. .Lail... .. . . ... ... ...... ... . . ..... .. ..Sullivan.. . ..Ruddy ... .... .. . ... .. . . ... .... . ... .....2 2 . . . .... .. .. . . ..... . .... ...... ..6... . resilite SCORES: ..... . . . . 1/2 .. .. . ... ... .. . . . . . . .. . . ... ... .. except the Pole Vault! (2nd place Bloom scored in only 9 events) • We won 7 events! ... .. 0 . . . .. .... . . . . . . .... . . .. . .. ... . April 25. . . . . . . . . .. ... . . . .. .. . . . . . . .. . .9.. .... . ... .. .. . . 2 .... .. . TJ[#1] . . ..... . ... ..2. . . . .. ... we don’t have a single individual or relay foursome that believes they have approached their maximum performance or potential.. . . .... .. ........ ... .. . . ... ... .. .. . . .. . ... . ...... .... .. . .... . . . .... . .. . . .. .... . . . . ........ . . ..1:57... . 10 Greg Benford 1 1/2 Dave Rickert 7 1/2 Larry Young 1 1/2 Lenny Kinnebrew NEW PERSONAL RECORDS: THORNRIDGE ALL-TIME OUTDOOR RANKINGS IN [ ] . . .. . . .. . .... . . . . PRIDE-POISE-CONCENTRATION-MENTAL TOUGHNESS We’ve only just begun. 3........ .. .. . . . . . .... . .. ..... .... ..... .. . ... . .. .... . TJ[#3]. ..Kirk .... . .... . ... . . . . .. ... .. . . .. . ... .. ... .. Greg.. . . .. .. .. . . . ..... 5 . . . . . . . . . . .. .. ... .....Put[#2]. . . .. . . . . . .. . .. . . ... ..... . .. . ... . . . . . . . .... . .... ... .. . [#10]. .. . ......... Jump. . .... .. .. .... .. . .. . Jackson. . .. . . . . . .. ..... Senior .... . . . . . . . .. . .. .. .2. ... ... .. ....... . Spivey . .. .. .. .. ... ... ... . . . . . . . .... . Hall .. . . .. .. .... .. .. . .. ...... • Our Iowest placing in 17 events was 4th! • We scored enough points in the running events alone to win the meet! From talking with you.... .... .. ..... ... ....... .... .. your poise... . .. ........ .. . . .... .. . .. .. .... . .. .1 . ..5 .Perry . ... . Mike.. . . Shot ... ... . . ... . . .. . ....... .. . .. ... .. . .. .. .. Dexter... .... .. .. .. .. ... . .. .... .. . . . .. . . Jim.. .. ... . .. . 8 .... . . . .. . . .. .... ..8....... ... . .. ... ... .. . . ... .. . ... .. ......... Perryman. . . . Springfield Lanphier 12 NOTES: Congratulations! Our # 1 State Ranking was NO FLUKE. . ... . . ... . ..8. . .. . . . 1/2.. . ...[#1] . . ... .. .... ... . . .. .. . . . [#7] ........... .. ..... 18 Dennis Strong 4 Leon Fuller . .. ..1.3 NEW SCHOOL RECORDS: Varsity . 20 Jim Lail 5... .. ... . .... . .. . .......... . ...... .. .. . . ... 46’10” .. . ... . .. . . . . . ... .. ........ ESL Lincoln 50 11.. .... . .2. . .. . .... .. ... ... . .... . . . . . . . . .5. ... . .. . .... ... . . . . .. .. . . . .... . . ..... .. ..... . .. . .. . . LJ .... .. .. .. . . .... . ... . ... . . ...... ... ..... . ... . . Steeple.. . .. .1 ..... . ... . . . .... .. . .. .. . . .. . .. ... . .......... .. .. ... .. .. ... ... . . . . .. . ........ ...... . ........ . your competitive savvy and your great performance were magnificent!!! . .... ... . . ....... .. ..... Young ..... ... . Kemp ... . . .. .. ... .... .. . . ...46’10” .. .. .... . . .. .. ... .... . ...... . .. .. . . . . ... . . .. . ... ... . .. . ... .. Manny .... . . .. ... . ... . . . . . ..... ... . . .. .. . 10 .. .. .... . .. . . ... . ... . .. . ......Triple. . . .. ... ... ..Cliff .. .... 16 .. . . .... . . ... . . ... . . .. . . .Capello. . .. ... . .. . .. ..... Bob. .. . . .. . ... .... . .. . .. ... ... . ... Ali . .. . . . . .. . . .. . .. .. .. Mike ... .. . ... .... .. . .. . . Springfield . .... . .5 Sylvester Baugh 38 Mike Shields . .. . ... NE winds 10-15 mph • Track 440 yards... . . . . . . . . . .. .. .. ... . .. . . . ..164 . .... . ... .... 8 .... . . . .. .. . . .... .. .....7 ..... ....... .. . .... . . .. . ... . . . .. . . ... ..... . . . .... . ... . . ... ... . Bob. .. .. ... . ... . ... ... . ... ...... .. ... . . .. . . ....... ... . .. . . .. . ..r ... . ... . . .... ......... . . Jim.. ... . Larry ... .. .... . . Bloomfield .... . Mike . . ... .. . . ... ... .. . ..... .... ... . .. . .. . Thornwood. . ... .... . Varsity 3200m Run 8:..0 800m 8 0 0 m [#9] Strong. . ...... ....5.. . .. 1991 • Thornridge Field • Conditions 45°...... . . .. . . . . ... . .......6. .... Mike. .. . . . Sullivan... . . . .... ... .. . . .. .. . .7 Mike Kirk .. . .. . . .. .. .45’7-3/4” .. ... .. ........ ... . ... . . . .... . . .. .. . .. .. ... . ... ..... . . .. ... . ... . . . . . . .. .. .. .. . ... . ... . .. . . . . . . . .... . .. . . .. ... .. .. .. .. ... . . . ...... .... . .THORNRIDGE. .. .. ... .. . .. .. .. . . . 6 .... . .. ... ..... . .. . .. ... ... ... . .. . . .. . . . .. . . .. . .. . .. .. .... ... . .. .... . .. . Steeple... ..14 . . .. . .. .. .. .. . . .. . .. .... . .. . .. . . .. . . .. . . ..20 .. .. .. .. . . Dion.. . . . .. . . . .. Rich . .. . .. .1/2. . ..... .. ... .. .. Dennis. 8 r Bob Hines 10:22. . . . . . .. ... ... 4:21.... .... .. . ... .. . . ... . . .... .. . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . ..... . . . .... . . . ...... . . . . ... . .. . .. . . ... ... . . . .. 3200m. .Riverside-Brookfield . . .. ... ... . . . .. . . . ... . . . . .. . . .. ... .... .... 8:59. .. ... . ...... . . ... 1 . . . ... . . .. .... .. ... . .. .. .. .. Bloom. . ... .. .. .... 2. .... .. . ... .Gregg .. . . . .... . . . .. . . . ... . .. . ESL . . . 56’8-1/2”. . .. . . . .. . .. .. .. .... .... .. . .. . Mike Shields 22’3-1/2” 66'7"HJ[#4] Dave Rickert 2:00.. . . . ... . . ... .. .. ... . . .. . . . . . ... . . .Kirk . ........ . .... . . . . . . ...... .... .... ... .. . . . .. Glenn .. ... . .. .. ...1. .... . . . .. . . . . . . . ..[#3] ... ... . . .. . .... . .... . ..... ... Benford .. .... . .. 0 ... ... Asauskas. .... ..... . . ... . . ... . . .. .. .Craig . ..... . ... . Benford... .... . . And you can add Illinois’#2-3-4-8 and 11 rated teams to the list of believers!! In a field that included State Leaders in 8 events.. . ... .. . . ... ... ... ... .. ... . .. . .. .. . . . . . . . . .. ......... . .. .. . ...... . ....... .. ... . . . .... . ..

While students can and should be utilized to assist with the mechanics of conducting a track meet. or procedures which will affect officiating in the coming season. page 420. Many of these programs require their students to serve internships at local schools or to provide community service. • Team alumni. Impress upon them how important adult officials are to making your meets quality events. Ask your athletic director to distribute a sign-up sheet listing your home meets to all these school personnel. TRAINING YOUR OFFICIALS Each spring we recommend you have a mandatory pre-season meeting with all your officials.How to Recruit and Train Adult Officials It takes a cadre of competent. Place-picker or Field Event Judge. • Parents of your team members. 185 . see Appendix. Make a pitch to all your seniors who plan on staying in your area after graduation. We believe this practice trivializes and devalues the sport of Track & Field. Although your administrators would find it unthinkable to use students to officiate your school’s football or basketball contests. and coaches in off-season. there is widespread use of students to officiate track meets. For ordering information. • PE or coaching majors from your local community college or university Put in a call to the school’s Physical Education Department chairman. it is irresponsible to allow the judgment and expertise of a high school student to influence or determine the outcome of even a single event in one of your meets as an Official Timer. rule interpretations. at which time you: • View an excellent 30-minute video on Track & Field officiating for meet volunteers. SOURCES OF ADULT OFFICIALS FOR YOUR MEET • School faculty. staff. Many will be eager to stay involved with your program as a meet official. (The tape costs $30. dependable adult officials to conduct a home track meet.) • Distribute and discuss any new rules. Distribute an officials sign-up sheet at your pre-season parents meeting or give sign-up sheets to your athletes to take home. Try to speak personally with as many as you can about serving as Track & Field officials.

This enables competitors to take their starting positions immediately upon the completion of the prior event and saves the Starter from having to take the time to position and instruct the participants for every race. culminating with an open-book test on the rules of Track & Field officiating. fourth. This also gives you time to find replacements and provide them with the necessary instruction and information. fifth. and records the results and times on the results sheet after each race. 186 . • Recommend your officials become USATF-Certified Arrangements can be made with Southern California USATF to provide your officials with a free one-day workshop. while those in the following race are receiving instructions from the COC. While one race is in progress. etc. • Record your officials’ preferred officiating assignments. • The key to having an efficiently-run finish line is the Head Timer/ Finish Judge. The Head Timer also coordinates each race with the Starter. With USATF certification your officials can qualify to officiate the CIF Championship series and major USATF meets throughout the season. • The key to conducting a quick-paced track meet which runs on schedule is having a Clerk of the Course. The COC assembles the participants for each running event in a staging area located near the starting line and gives them their lane assignments and final instructions prior to the race. The Head Timer assigns the places to be picked and timed by the other Timers. so your most experienced Timers should be assigned third. KEYS TO WELL-OFFICIATED TRACK MEETS • The key to having a full compliment of officials is notifying them of their assignments and time to report well in advance of the meet.• Ask for and answer any specific questions regarding officiating or your home-meet procedures. • Provide a one-page summary of the rules and judging instructions for each official’s assignment preferences. The easiest places to pick and time are first and second. those in the next race should be waiting to take their starting positions. • Ask your officials to recommend others who might be interested in becoming officials for your home meets.

He or she should be able to call each race and identify the leaders. Such qualifications almost always preclude your Announcer from being a high school student. and announce the unofficial winners and times immediately upon the completion of the race. 187 . read split times. • Serve as the Agent of Appeal for all protests. Your Announcer should be knowledgeable about Track & Field. You should look for potential announcers among those who announce your football and basketball games and faculty members in your English. • Interpret and apply all rules governing the competition. before receiving the official results sheet. This will ensure the Starter will not have to interrupt the running events in order to hear and rule on a field-event rule interpretation. drama. dispute. we strongly recommend you designate a separate Head Field Judge to serve as Referee for the field events. He should keep spectators informed about what is happening in the field events and the running team scores during the meet. All other officials can only report violations to the Referee for a ruling. • Verify and sign any record applications. and your league. enthusiastic. He or she should also be equipped with knowledge or information to relate performances to your school and stadium records.• The key to making your track meet a spectator event is having a good Announcer: Your PA system should not be used to call participants to the starting line for each race. • Disqualify contestants. If possible. YOUR MEET REFEREES The Starter is the Meet Referee unless someone else is designated as such. and seasonal league and state bests. all-time lists. or disqualification. and debate departments. and comfortable in front of a microphone. The Referee’s responsibilities are to: • Follow and enforce the rules of Track & Field established by the National High School Federation. • Resolve any question or dispute during the meet which is not covered by the rules. the CIF. That is an administrative function which should be performed by the Clerk of the Course armed with a bullhorn.

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Training Sprinters
Track & Field is mostly a sprint sport. All things being equal, speed
usually wins the race. The pure sprint events include the 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, and the 4x100 and 4x400 relays. Sprint speed is also a crucial component of the hurdles, horizontal jumps, pole vault, and middle distances. All told, these comprise 12 Track & Field events. To have winning teams, you must be able to teach and train your athletes to run with speed.

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A Philosophy for Coaching the Sprint Events
There is an old saying that “Sprinters are born, not made.” This is no more true than saying, “Distance runners are born, not made”; “shot putters are born, not made”; or “high jumpers are born, not made.” There are many kinds of movement speed: forward speed, lateral speed, starting speed, stopping speed, speed in changing directions, hand speed, foot speed, and hand-eye speed. All these kinds of speed are genetically coded. That code is a human potential of wide parameters. Sprinting speed is achieved through a combination of stride rate and stride length. With training and practice, anyone can significantly improve his or her stride rate and stride length. Whether students can improve enough to become competent sprinters depends on their individual talent and the training and coaching given to them. Athletic training is more than what a person does on the track or in the weight room. As a person becomes an athlete, training becomes a lifestyle. Athletes should be taught to recognize that our lives are ruled by the habits we adopt. As such, training must focus on creating good habits in exercising, movement mechanics, eating, and sleeping. Although specificity must be applied to sprint training, all beginning high school sprinters should be grouped as 100m–400m runners. You can never have enough runners to cover the three sprint events and two relays, so challenge each of your athletes to become a complete sprinter. Only when an athlete shows exceptional talent in the short sprints or longer sprints should he or she specialize. This embodies an overall sprint coaching philosophy of moving from the general to the specific: • Slow to fast • Easy to difficult • Quantity to quality It is also important for sprinters to race at distances above and below their best event. This creates a training effect that cannot be achieved solely in workouts.

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Principles of Training
Training accomplishes two things. First, it increases the body’s capacity to perform higher levels of exercise. Next, it increases the athlete’s ability to use a greater degree of his or her capacity to exercise. The latter aspect combines two factors: motivation and training. The more you want to do it, the more you’re willing to extend yourself — a point that, obvious as it may seem, is crucial to athletic training. Training for all Track & Field events should reflect the following principles. OVERLOAD The body makes a specific adaptation to gradually imposed demands. This is called the SAID principle. ALLOWANCE FOR RECOVERY Training must allow for days of rest and recovery. Racing fitness is enhanced by improving the quality of your athletes’ hard training sessions. However, they must recover from yesterday to be able to train hard again tomorrow! Training hard for several days in succession inevitably leads to injury, illness, or loss of motivation. TOUGHENING Part of an athlete’s training must prepare him or her for the demands of all out racing. (Athletes have to do some training at maximum effort.) SPECIFICITY The body makes specific responses to the demands imposed upon it. Form follows function. When you function habitually in a specific way, your body adapts in response to those demands. Training should therefore be specific to the demands of the event.

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Methods of Training for Sprint Events
A well-designed program to enhance running speed can achieve significant results over time with workouts designed to improve strength, power, technique, stamina (speed endurance), and specialized speed. Due to individual differences among athletes, there is no one best system of training sprinters. A successful training system will use a variety of training methods. Sprint training should be a gradual process because it places tremendous demands on the muscles, connective tissue, and cardiorespiratory system. The workload of a training session is determined by the speeds, distances, number of repetitions, and rest intervals employed. These factors must be carefully monitored during the workout. Don’t hesitate to adjust your workouts on the spot when unforeseen factors such as poor weather conditions, muscle fatigue, or soreness arise. Speed is not, however, a characteristic entirely dictated by musculature. The actual control of the muscles lies within the brain and its ability to send appropriate messages to the nervous system, which in turn triggers the muscles to respond. The training process must therefore include extensive repetition in order for the body to accommodate the total movement of sprinting. WEIGHT TRAINING Speed is related to power (the ability to apply a great deal of force in a very short moment of time). Power is related to strength. Sprinting strength can be greatly enhanced with weight training to develop the gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles, which are the primary movers for explosive hip extension and maximum acceleration. Strengthening the abdominal muscles and hip flexors improves acceleration and stride length. (See the strength training discussion in Chapter 3.) WARM-UP Because sprinting is a maximum output activity, there is no event area for which a thorough warm-up is more important. Every training session should begin with a running warm-up of 5–15 minutes in duration (800-2000 meters). Easy, steady running increases blood flow throughout the body and eliminates lactic-acid residue and other waste products from the muscles.

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Your sprinters’ warm-up for competition should follow the same sequence as your daily training routine: • Continuous jogging and striding • Stretching • 94 speed striding and technique revision • Full speed bursts of running • Relaxation and focusing for 5–15 minutes before a race STRETCHING After your sprinters are warmed-up (i.e., perspiring freely), they can begin to stretch. Your stretching routine should include exercises that develop balance, flexibility, and mobility. Balance refers to the equal function of the muscles which work in opposition to each other (e.g., the quadriceps muscles on the top of the thigh and the hamstring muscles on the back of the thigh). Flexibility refers to the elasticity of the muscles. Mobility refers to range-of-motion. All three of these aspects significantly affect the body’s ability to sprint. Improving flexibility in the hip flexors (the ability to separate the thigh levers while running) is one of the greatest enhancers of sprinting speed. RUNNING DRILLS FOR SPRINTERS After stretching we recommend your athletes perform the following running drills. These drills teach rhythmic and ballistic skills and prepare the muscles to sprint after cooling off somewhat during stretching (several acceleration runs should follow these drills to complete the warm-up). Power Skipping. These skips are done with an active arm-action, concentrating on driving the knee forward and up while driving off the ground forcefully. Example: 2-3 x 50m. High Knees. Short, quick strides with active arms using the quadriceps and hip flexors to pull the knees up hip-high. Example: 2 x 100 meters alternating 10m high knee and 10m slow jog. Jogging Butt Kicks. The foot leaves the ground and the heels pop the butt in rapid sequence. Example: 2–4 x 30m. Ankle Bounces. This drill concentrates on the action of the ankle during footstrike. Bending the knees as little as possible, bounce off the ankles with short, quick steps. Example: 2–4 x 30m.

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Backwards Runs. Begin with short strides and gradually increase stride length and speed. Example: 3–5 x 50m. AEROBIC RUNNING Off-Season and Pre-Season Training Sprinters must regularly do some aerobic running as part of their off-season and pre-season preparation. Steady runs at a moderate pace increase the body’s capacity for training and decrease the recovery time the body needs from training. CIRCUIT TRAINING Early-Season Training By combining different distances, drills, and paces into one continuous run, you build both endurance and stamina. The following sample circuit takes between 30–45 minutes to complete and focuses on all aspects of sprinting — speed, strength, technique, acceleration, endurance, and stamina. Examples: • 1 mile warm-up jog • 500m stride for technique • 300m recovery jog • 5 x 100m, each with a 100m recovery jog between: 1-high knee skipping, 2-bounding, 3-high knees, 4-backward running, 5-skipping. • 400m recovery jog • 5 x 60m acceleration runs with a 60m recovery jog • 300m paced run • 150m recovery jog • 4 x 100m, each with a 100m recovery jog: l-bounding, 2-open stride, 3-leap frog, 4-bounding • 400m recovery jog • 5 x 50m acceleration runs with a 50m recovery jog

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• 500m paced run • 1 mile warm-down jog CONE CIRCUITS Early- and Mid-Season Training Place traffic cones at 50m, 80m, 100m, or 133m intervals around the track. Examples: • 2 x 3 laps of jog 50m-stride 50m-sprint 50m-walk 50m with 200m walk recovery between sets • 5 x 5 laps of sprint 80m-jog 80m-sprint 80m-with 200m walk recovery between laps • 4 x 1 lap of jog 100m-stride 100m-sprint 100m-walk 100m • 3 x 1 lap of jog 133m-stride 133m-sprint 133m with a walk or jog 200m recovery between laps SPEED ENHANCEMENT DRILLS Sprint-Assisted Training — Mid and Late-Season Training Downhill Sprinting (using a slight downhill slope). Gravity helps stimulate the nervous system to send nerve impulses to the muscles demanding a 5-6 strides per second leg turnover. This can be accomplished with a sub-maximum energy output so the athlete can sprint relaxed and loose. The athlete must lean forward slightly so the foot does not strike heel-first (Fig. 9-l). Example: 5 x 50m. Tow-Training (using rubber tubing with a waist harness at each end stretched between two runners). The pair stretches out the tubing a distance of up to 50 meters. Both athletes begin running on command, with the lead runner striding. The trailing athlete sprints toward his partner as the hose, recoiling at a constant rate, enables him to generate a greatly increased stride frequency (Fig. 9-2). Example: 5 x 60m.
Fig. 9-2. Tow Training.

Fig. 9-1. Downhill Sprinting.

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REPETITION TRAINING Basic All-Season Training Repetition training is the foundation of training for all running events. Repetition training involves running a specific distance, in a specific time, with a specific amount of recovery, and repeating it a specific number of times. Examples (for a 22.5 Sec 200m Sprinter): • Basic Repetitions: • 10 x 50m @ :06.0/decelerate, 50m-walk back to start or • 10 x 60m @ :07.4/decelerate, 40m-walk back to start or • 8 x 100m @ :12.5/walk & jog, 1:30 recovery or • 6 x 150m @ :19.5/walk & jog, 2:00 recovery or • 5 x 200m @ :27.0/walk & jog, 2:30 recovery or • 4 x 300m @ :42.0/walk & jog, 3:00 recovery or • 3 x 400m @ :58.0/walk & jog, 5:00 recovery or • 2 x 500m @ 1:15.0/walk & jog, 7:00 recovery • Progressions: 50m–100m–150m–200m–250m with a 2:00 recovery interval • Regressions: 250m–200m–150m–100m–50m with a 2:00 recovery interval • Pyramids: l00m–200m–300m–200m–100m with a 3:00 recovery interval SPEED-ENDURANCE TRAINING Mid- and Late-Season Training In the 200 and 400 meter sprints, loss of speed is as limiting a factor as lack of speed. Speed-endurance training is used to develop the anaerobic energy system. Speed-endurance is developed by sustaining maximum or near-maximum sprint speed over a relatively long distance. The intensity of such a training session requires a full recovery between repetitions. Examples (for a 52.0 Sec 400m Runner): • 2 x 500m @ 1:15.0 or • 3 x 400m @ :56.0 or • 4 x 300m @ :40.5 or

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walk & jog 3:00 between sets PEAK SPEED TRAINING Late-Season Training Peak speed training involves sprinting short distances at maximum speed. Since maximum sprint speed can only be sustained for 30–40 meters. (These workouts can be performed on the straight. For the 200m and 400m events. This training involves coupling two fast repetitions with a very short recovery.0 Female 400m Sprinter): • 2 x (2 x 300m @ :52. Quality. rather than quantity.0 w/60 second recovery).) Examples: • 6 x 40m or • 5 x 50m or • 4 x 60m or • 3 x 80m 197 . curve or from blocks. forcing the athlete to contend with incomplete recovery and high-lactate presence on the second repetition. walk & jog 5:00 between sets or • 4 x (2 x 100m @ :16 w/30 second recovery).and Late-Season Training Sprinting is an anaerobic activity and produces a large amount of lactic acid in the muscles. Peak speed training should never be attempted until the athlete is racing-fit. there is no reason to do this training at distances beyond 100 meters.0 HIGH-LACTATE TRAINING Mid. and never more than twice in any given week of training. is the objective of this training.0 or • 5 x 200m @ :25. sprinters must develop a high-lactate tolerance.• 4 x 250m @ :31. Examples: (for a 62. walk &jog 8:00 between sets or • 3 x (2 x 200m @ :33 w/30 second recovery).

Coaching the Mechanics of Sprinting
RUNNING POSTURE The classic forward lean of sprinting (Fig. 9-3) is a function of acceleration (i.e., when sprinters accelerate, they lean forward). When acceleration ends (after 40–60 meters in a 100m race and sooner in the longer sprint races), the torso should be upright with the head and shoulders directly above the hips. Attempting to lean forward when not accelerating will actually cause a sprinter to decelerate by lowering the center-of-mass and knee lift, thereby shortening the stride. You don’t need to coach forward lean. Posture Checklist • Head held straight with no bouncing or wobble • Eyes focused straight ahead • Shoulders relaxed (not hunched), level and square • Torso sitting erect on the hips Coaching WordCues • “Head up — chin slightly tucked.” • “Chest out — shoulders back.” • “Sit up and lift your knees.” • “Let the shoulders hang loose and relaxed.” ARM-ACTION The arms control running. The cadence of the arm stroke sets the stride cadence. The hands and shoulders must stay relaxed and loose to cue the body to relax. The angle of the arms should be somewhat less than 90 degrees to give the sprinter short, quick levers. Arm-Action Checklist • Arms swing slightly across the body toward the midline. • Hands move from a position behind the hip, past the pocket, and up to shoulder height. • Hands loose and quick.

Fig. 9-3 Correct sprint posture

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Coaching Word Cues • “Hands up — thumbs up.” • “Loose hands — loose jaw.” • “Drive your elbows.” FOOTSTRIKE When sprinting, the foot should strike the ground on the ball, or forefoot. The heel should never strike first and may not even touch the ground when sprinting at maximum speed. The foot should leave the ground, fully extended, off the ball of the foot. Footstrike Checklist • Feet touch down directly below the hips (not in front) onto the ball, or forefoot. • Drive forward with a full extension of the leg and push off the ball of the foot. Coaching Word Cues • “Reach down and feel for the track with the balls of your feet.” • “Drive off the balls of your feet.” SPRINTING FORM DRILLS • Running on the Lane Lines • Shuttle Relays • Continuous Relays • Tempo Sprints (emphasizing the arms setting the leg cadence)

Coaching the Sprint Start
The start is a very important component of the short sprint and hurdle races. All too often, the key to a good sprint start seems locked in a complex mystery of technique and style. In fact, a strong consistent start always fulfills the basic biomechanical demands of sprinting. Understanding those demands are the key to developing good starting ability in your sprinters.

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The sprint start has two very basic functions. The first is to enable the runner to explode from the blocks or starting position as quickly and powerfully as possible. The second function of the sprint start is to put the runner in a position from which he or she can accelerate most effectively in the early portion of the race. Both functions are aimed at the central goal of sprinting: to overcome inertia and achieve maximum velocity over 100–200m. Fig. 9-4. A good deal of research has been devoted to the appropriate mechanics of the sprint start. Technique for the sprint start focuses on a number of features: block setting, weight distribution, application of force, optimal “set” position, movements upon commands and the gun, the first strides from the blocks, and practicing starts. SETTING THE BLOCKS Finding the proper block setting for an athlete is a matter of determining the correct posture for the most effective reaction and application of force. It is not a process of finding a position that makes the athlete feel comfortable in the blocks. In fact, the correct starting position is inherently uncomfortable. It should be. The goal of the start is to get the athlete out of the blocks quickly, not make him or her feel at home. Three body angles determine the proper block setting: • The angle of the knee joint of the forward leg should be 90 degrees in the set position (Fig. 9-5). • The knee joint angle for the rear leg should be 120 degrees. The distance between block placements will be determined when these two angles are reached in the set position. The distance between blocks is usually 14–18 inches. This block setting is often referred to as the medium-elongated start (Fig. 9-6). (Novice and weaker athletes may want to use larger joint angles.) • Holding these angles, the athlete should now move his or her hands so that the line from each hand to shoulder is perpendicular (90 degrees) to the ground. In this position, the distance between the hands, or start line, and the front block is determined. In a set position, the arms should be perpendicular to the track, shoulders directly above the hands, and the front and rear leg angles 90 and 120 degrees, respectively (Fig. 9-7).

Fig. 9-5.

Fig. 9-6.

Fig. 9-7.

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The initial movement of the point of the hip joint at the start determines whether this basic position should be modified. During the drive from the blocks, the hip point should move forward parallel to the ground (see Fig. 9-8). This indicates that force is being applied efficiently from the blocks through the body’s center of mass. If force is applied away from this direction, the hips will raise or lower in order to keep the athlete from losing balance and falling. If the hips are too high at the start, they will drop down during the drive from the blocks. Conversely, if they are too low in the set position, their initial movement at the gun will be up. Observing hip movement during the drive from the blocks helps tell the coach if the block and leg positions should be adjusted. More sophisticated starting blocks will allow the athlete to adjust the angle of the block pedals and, sometimes, the lateral spacing of the blocks. The angles of the block pedals should be roughly 45 degrees for the front pedal and 65 degrees for the rear. Heel blocks shouldn’t be used because they prevent powerful eccentric contractions of the lower legs The best way to set starting block spacings is to measure the appropriate distance from the starting line to the block pedal (Fig. 9-4). (Use feet and finger width to measure. For example, two feet and one finger to the first block pedal.) Employing this method avoids problems encountered when using different types of starting blocks. If the athlete can use his or her own starting blocks, counting the holes back to the front pedal and the holes between the front and back pedals, let him preset the pedals to the correct spacings. By placing the blocks on the track the length of his shoe from the starting line, he can quickly set them down in the same position every time. POSITIONING THE HANDS The common hand position at the start has the thumb and index finger placed just behind the start line. The other fingers help create a bridge that lets the athlete push up onto the tips of the fingers.

Fig. 9-8

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We recommend a slightly altered position of the hands. The thumb is set behind the start line in the usual spot. Then, however, the fingers should be fanned and rotated so that the little finger aligns with the thumb pointing straight ahead. This turns the inside of the elbow to the front. During the initial arm drive the thumbs should stay up, and not be allowed to turn down.
Fig. 9-9.

Fig. 9-10.

There are several advantages to such hand and elbow placement in the starting position. First, a forward thumb and open elbow create a more powerful arm drive than the standard position. It is akin to throwing a hook or uppercut punch. Try it yourself. First, drive your arm from the standard placement with the thumb and elbow turned inward. Then do the same with the altered placement of thumb and inner elbow aligned forward. The second should be significantly more powerful. In the modified position, the athlete gains use of the powerful biceps and pectoral muscles, whereas the standard placement relies primarily on the deltoids.

Other advantages of this finger placement include better stability in the set position, keeping the athlete high on the fingers and taking pressure off of the thumbs.
WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION

In the past, coaches encouraged sprinters to place a major share of their weight forward on the arms and hands. This often resulted in the athletes leaning out past the hands. The rationale was to exaggerate a falling motion, hoping that it would cause the runner to accelerate faster. This thinking was just wrong. The most explosive starting animals are cats. They never start with the majority of their weight on the front paws. Starting with weight too far forward causes the athlete to rotate forward, thus making the hips drop in order to maintain balance. The proper weight distribution should allow the athlete to drive forcefully from the blocks with the hips moving straight forward. Approximately 25 percent of the athlete’s body weight should be supported by the arms. Figures 9-9 and 9-10 show correct starting position from the side and front.

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APPLICATION OF FORCE The amount and speed of force applied to the blocks determines the rate of acceleration at the gun. Contrary to what some believe, the rear leg does not generate a lot of force against the block. The vast majority of force is applied to the blocks through the front leg. The speed of the rear leg and arms as they move forward and up determine the amount of force that is applied to the blocks by the front leg. As the arms and leg drive forward, force is applied back toward the ground through the front leg. This action causes the front leg to absorb great force creating a very powerful eccentric muscular contraction. As the arms and rear leg stop driving forward, momentum is transferred through the front leg. This transfer of momentum combined with the powerful eccentric contraction of the front legs result in tremendous force being applied to the blocks. These mechanics repeat themselves as the athlete accelerates down the track. OPTIMAL “SET” POSITION The optimal “set” position in the crouch start is one that allows the greatest and most efficient application of force from the legs to the blocks. From our earlier discussion, we know that the best position will have knee joint angles of 90 and 120 degrees for the front and rear legs combined with a perpendicular position of the arms to the ground. For force to be applied optimally, its direction must match the angle of acceleration. The angle of acceleration is the line from the ball of the foot to the center of mass when the knees are together in mid-stride. For most sprinters, this angle is about 50 degrees as they leave the blocks. (This angle increases as acceleration decreases and speed increases.) The problem with the crouch start is that it puts the body at an angle somewhat less than the typical angle of acceleration. This inhibits the application of force. However, this inefficiency can be minimized if the athlete keeps his center of mass as high as possible in the “set” position. While maintaining proper leg angles the athlete should do the following to raise the center of mass: (see Fig. 9-8.): • Round the back as high as possible. • Round the shoulders upward keeping the neck up, as well.

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• Keep the head in line with the body, not dropped. Eyes should focus slightly behind the starting line. • Extend the arms fully. • Keep the arms directly under the shoulders, perpendicular to the ground. • Stay as high on the fingers as possible. • Keep the feet as low as possible in the blocks. MOVEMENTS UPON COMMANDS Good starting technique is, in good part, a matter of routine and consistency. Sprinters must continually practice the specific elements of the start. Muscle memory must be reinforced through many repetitions. Athletes must be able to feel the correct positions upon command. Establishing a routine will help develop consistent starting technique. It will also make your sprinters more confident and secure in the blocks. The following routine is suggested: At the Command “Take Your Marks” • The athlete walks in front of the blocks and places his or her hands a couple feet out in front of the starting line. • The rear leg is placed into the block with the foot straight, not angled. The toes should touch the ground. On all-weather surfaces, the two front spikes should touch the track. • The rear foot is placed into the back block with the toes touching the ground. (Note: As the rear foot is placed onto the block, the calf can be stretched by pushing back on the hands. The front calf will have to be stretched on the track.) The knee of the rear leg is lowered to the ground. • The hand on the side of the rear leg is placed directly under the shoulder and up to the starting line. • The opposite hand is placed under the shoulder and up to the starting line. • Make sure both knees are inside the arms. • Body weight is distributed to hands and legs before the “set” command.

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On the “Set” Command • The athlete should raise the hips by pushing against the blocks. Weight should be balanced laterally. • Setting the appropriate leg angles usually puts the hips slightly higher than the shoulders. In the right posture, the base of the head will just touch the the trapezius muscles of the upper back and shoulders. Remember that the correct “set” position is not supposed to be comfortable. The important thing is to be in position to apply maximum force to the blocks. • Once “set”, the athlete should focus on what he or she will do at the firing of the gun, not on the sound itself The athlete must react to the sound, not think about it. At the Firing of the Gun • The athlete should be frightened from the blocks, but should not anticipate the gun. Anticipation causes false starts and poor mechanics from the blocks. It also shifts the sprinter’s focus from what he will do when he will “go”. • The first movement at the gun should be an explosive punch of the arm on the front leg side. This starts the action of falling forward, triggering a reflex which causes the legs to thrust forward off the block pedals. When the rear leg extends and leaves the pedal, it should be pulled through as fast as possible directly beneath the body. This first stride should be fast and long, although the length should be the result of a powerful drive, not reaching with the foot. THE FIRST STRIDES FROM THE BLOCKS The second function of the sprint start is to provide optimal acceleration in the early portion of the race. Proper positions and mechanics in the blocks lead to good acceleration. Remember, the explosion from the blocks is only one small moment in the race. The start’s contribution to good acceleration is much more important.

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A short first stride will cause the runner to fall further forward as the center of mass races out in front of the base of support. For example. Remember that improvement in speed follows good mechanics. if the hips are too low in the “set” position. This accounts for the body’s forward lean as it accelerates out of the blocks. This results in the athlete dipping down in an attempt to move the hips back over the feet. it is a matter of proper practice. Forward lean is an effect of acceleration. and athletes must prepare for the intensity of competition. Consciously attempting to stay down or lean forward during the acceleration phase only hinders the athlete. Conversely. the athletes posture becomes more upright. accelerate quickly. Starting is physically and emotionally intense. of acceleration decreases (as the sprinter approaches full speed). the athlete will rise up at the gun in order to balance. while others find it frustrating.Acceleration is the process of shifting the center of mass forward at an increasing rate of speed. Standing up at the start is a product of poor mechanics and execution. success will be limited. Without good technique in any event. Forward lean will almost disappear as the sprinter reaches full speed somewhere between 40 and 60 meters. period. Keep these thoughts in mind: • The start is the most technical aspect of the sprint. if the sprinter accelerates he or she will lean forward. Some sprinters find starting very natural. and relax with good sprint mechanics during the deceleration phase to the finish line. dipping at the start is a product of having the hips too high in the “set” position or not getting adequate drive from the first stride. PRACTICING SPRINT STARTS Practicing the sprint start should be a matter of specific and specialized training for your athletes. Sound sprint mechanics and turnover create good acceleration. There is no great secret to starting. like other skills. Technique development requires repetition. The frequency of sprint start practice must be determined by the coach. maintain maximum speed. The key to successful sprinting lies in the athlete’s ability to start explosively. 206 . As the rate.

The goal is to maximize the speed of the baton. While 12 starts may not be feasible. Having great sprinters means nothing if the baton is not passed efficiently without loss of speed. sprint start practice should simulate competition. It is more than technique drill. Such training needs to incorporate the emotional and neurological intensity of the competitive start. It’s better to spend half a workout once a week doing 15 starts than doing a small number two or three times a week. When practicing starts. Coaching the Relays 4 x 100 METER RELAY The objective of the 400m relay is to move the baton around the track as fast as possible. have your athletes sprint through the acceleration phase to a distance of roughly 40 meters. 207 . Don’t work on sprint starts the day before an important meet. regardless of event specialty. Too many coaches and athletes only work on the reaction to the starting gun. the speed of the runners only serves that purpose. • Sprint starts are physically demanding when done correctly. have it be part of the ongoing training regimen. Team Selection Your six best sprinters. Coachability and the willingness to practice baton exchanges are prerequisites for 4 x 100m relay runners. • Once basic mechanics are learned. an athlete should do a number of starts on the infield or track before ever touching the blocks. should be the group from which you choose the four members of your 4 x 100m relay from meet to meet. Taking three or four starts in practice is inadequate. Research has shown that the 12th start is the fastest. a good start warm-up is as important as a good running warm-up.• The sprint start has two phases: explosion from the blocks and acceleration. Developing mechanics and an efficient acceleration pattern contributes much more to sprint success. Before a race. Developing starting technique is part of sprint training.

the non-altemating upsweep exchange. who are anxious and tired. the two sprinters must mesh at one exact moment. 2nd Leg. Any success has really been the result of having far better sprinters than the rest of the world. Both methods are discussed here. mechanics. This places tremendous demands of accuracy on young runners moving at full speed and effort. and consistency. He or she must handle the pressure of anchoring. the alternating downward exchange. and have a strong enough ego to deal with being caught and passed on occasion. 3rd Leg. we prefer a variation of the alternating upsweep pass. dropped passes are endemic with this method. 4th Leg. Look for a runner who receives and passes the baton well.” In fact. Mishandling the baton on the 3rd leg spells defeat in the 400m relay. so many Olympic teams place their fastest runner in the second position. seems quick in its execution. we recommend a slightly modified version of the alternating upsweep pass for its advantages of speed. Although the downward exchange is the most commonly used passing method. This is the only leg that is run almost entirely on the straight. and the hip exchange. This should be your best competitor. apparently adds some free distance. we believe it is an inferior method of passing. 208 .Placement of Individuals 1st Leg. Look for a good starter and curve runner. the downward or overhand pass is used widely. The alternating downward exchange is the most common baton passing method. However. For the overhand pass to work well. The record of USA relay teams in international competition over the years should be sufficient evidence. have the competitive spirit to close a gap. All have been used effectively in international competition. Passing the Baton There are several different methods of passing the baton: the alternating upsweep pass. and possesses the pizzazz of verbal commands with its ubiquitous “stick. Ideally this should be your best curve runner and baton handler. This is also the spot for a runner who does not receive the baton well. Certainly. As coaches see time and again.

On the rare occasion that this actually occurs. Let’s address these claims point by point. sprinters think that the slap of the baton with its accompanying verbal commands is fast. any extra distance had greater significance. The outgoing runner does the same with the added inhibition of leaning forward. if we compare two perfectly executed overhand and upsweep passes. • A quick downward slap. As with the sprint start. comfort doesn’t indicate proper mechanics. some extra distance may be gained. of the baton doesn’t mean the exchange is keeping the baton moving fast. thereby slowing acceleration. If the initial passing attempt is missed. Nonetheless. the receiving hand is in poor position to grab the baton easily. the advantage is probably no more than a foot or two. In addition. Hitting an open. 209 . Once the incoming runner reaches out with the baton.The argument for the overhand/downward exchange is that it is quick. This is usually the case until the baton tumbles onto the track with its familiar ringing sound. But. Moreover. or flick. an arm extended backward and held up to shoulder height tends to move around as the sprinter accelerates. Holding everything still inhibits sprinting. With so little room for the outgoing runner to build speed. • Many runners like the overhand exchange because it is comfortable and closer to eye level. both runners are forced to slow in order to pass the baton within the exchange zone. A hand in this position is hard. comfortable and provides added free distance as the baton is passed with outstretched arms. • Many advocates of the overhand pass point to the free distance gained by passing at full extension. The better acceleration potential and safety of the upsweep pass are worth far more than a meter. waving hand at full speed with a baton moving down and back is very difficult. The supposed advantage of free distance actually was conceived before the acceleration zone was added to the event. he or she slows down because good sprint mechanics have been abandoned. meaning that the baton is likely to hit the wrist or butt of the palm rather than the soft crease of the thumb and index finger.

the more fragile structure of the downward exchange requires the baton to be passed earlier in the zone at lower speed. Its mechanics allow the baton to be passed with greater accuracy and safety. The upsweep pass. As with the downward exchange. #114). the Soviet relay team. done correctly. This allows the incoming runner to maintain speed and the outgoing runner to accelerate fully. 210 . it is clear that we recommend the alternating upsweep pass. using an upsweep pass. an underhand pass enables both runners to run through the zone with strong sprint mechanics. eliminates switching the baton from one hand to the other. Because of this safety. In fact. allows the baton to be passed safely in the last half of the zone when both runners are at high speed. Track Technique. Let’s examine the features of the upsweep pass. the baton is passed right hand to left hand to right hand to left hand. By passing the baton with an upsweep motion. missed passes yet still won because speed was maintained throughout the zone.The Alternating Upsweep Pass From the above rebuttal. upsweep. if the initial pass is missed. sprint rhythm. These advantages fulfill the specific requirement of the event: to get the baton around the track quickly. the incoming runner does not lose speed by reaching far out with the arm. and most important. an object put into a hand held palm down closes almost automatically. Third. Winter 1991. the outgoing runner presents a more stable target with the hand held down. The particular version we offer here is actually called “the alternating. twist pass” (see John Tansley’s article. Alternating. the baton can be passed at greater speed. its premise and execution are simple. This allows the first and third legs to run close to the curve. In the 1988 Olympic final. the baton can still be passed at full speed. An underhand pass has several distinct benefits. and helps avoid trouble if the sprinters run up on each other. Even if the incoming runner “runs up the back” of the outgoing runner. Underhand. it does not break the passers. later in the exchange zone. The Alternating Upsweep Pass The upsweep pass has two overwhelming advantages. Upsweep. Moreover. In comparison. babies are born with a primitive reflex that closes the hand when something is pressed onto the crease of the palm. straight-tube. underhand. First. Second. While the term is certainly a mouthful.

the outgoing runner also knows to start. is the twisting of the baton up in the hand after the pass. By creating a patch. With an underhand pass. If the incoming runner straddles the patch. Patch passing has the outgoing runner mark a patch of 1. bent over. One of the unique features of this passing method. Some relay teams using the upsweep. Patch passing allows the outgoing runner to start with full acceleration at the same moment in every race. the outgoing runner only needs to react to a much simpler stimulus. it only takes two or three simple twists of the thumb and fingers to put the baton in the hand properly. full speed practice is required to determine the correct patch placement on the track. Given that the runner is usually anxious. 211 . Patch Passing. the baton does not turn end-overend with each pass. thus demanding some very rapid judgment or proprioception on the part of the outgoing runner. Of course. the centrifugal force of arm action actually makes this quite easy. but requires a very close and solid pass. Patch passing makes the “go” point consistent and easy to see. the outgoing runner need only to watch for the foot of the incoming runner to touch the ground within the patch. albeit one that can be used with an overhand method. One of the most important features of the passing method we recommend can be incorporated into any other method. Try it for yourself.5 meters or 4–5 feet instead of a takeoff mark Usually. and a teenager. that can be a pretty hefty demand. This does not lend any particular advantage. Rarely does the incoming runner actually land on that point. the outgoing runner is forced to judge when the incoming runner reaches the takeoff point. Instead of judging. Twist. It is the concept of patch passing. Minimizing anticipation and judgment creates a safe and consistent pass with good acceleration. try to pass hand-to-hand. That is quite acceptable. Usually. This allows the runner to receive any part of the baton without having to tap it against the body. Although some coaches will be dubious. looking backward.Straight-Tube.

the incoming runner grips the bottom portion of the baton and passes it with a downward sweep to the outgoing runners who extends his arm back. and right-to-left at the third exchange. The outgoing runner may begin his or her runup into the exchange zone from anywhere in the acceleration zone. Passing by verbal signals is often subjective and inconsistent. a predetermined patch or mark. left-to-right at the second exchange. it is passed right-to-left at the first exchange. The Exchange Zone The baton must be passed within a 20-meter exchange zone marked on the track by lines which cross the width of the lane. The baton must be received within the exchange zone to be a legal pass. The exchange zone is preceded by a 10-meter acceleration zone marked on the track by a triangle in the middle of the lane. he knows to slow somewhat until the baton is there. so the 1st leg runs in the inside half of the lane. The Alternating Downward Exchange With this method. verbal signals can even be eliminated. back goes the hand. the outgoing runner only needs to respond to his or her own acceleration. The baton always travels down the center of the lane.With the strong predictability of patch passing. If the baton does not arrive immediately. Once the runners hits the patch. the 2nd leg runs in the outside half of the lane and 3rd leg runs down the inside of the lane. palm up. 212 . within the exchange zone can be laid. close races. With good patch passing. In large. it is very easy for these signals to be lost amidst the noise and confusion. This allows the 1st and 3rd legs to run the shortest distance around the curve and permits relay members to run up to each other without getting their legs tangled. That way. Rather than changing hands with the baton.

and never look back • After the race. • Do not extend the baton until you have focused on the hand. Body lean is forward with weight equally distributed over both legs. • Place your “go” patch all the way across the lane that will be used by the incoming runner. Don’t grab for the baton. Factors affecting the speed of the incoming runner and the acceleration of the outgoing runner in every meet include the wind and the condition of the running surface. • When the incoming runner hits the patch. soft hand when he or she calls for it (slightly cupped). The finger of one hand should touch the ground. Both heels should be off the ground with the head turned looking back. turn and accelerate all the way through the exchange zone. 213 . Adjustments in the position of the “go” mark will then have to be made as the two runners practice the exchange. Responsibilities of the Outgoing Runner: • Remove all other “go” marks from your lane. • Give the incoming runner a steady. depending on the speed of the incoming runner and the accelerating skill of the outgoing runner.The Outgoing Runner The starting position of the outgoing runner should be both knees bent for good leg angles and both feet pointing in the direction to be run. discuss the execution of the passes with your incoming and outgoing partners and how you might be able to improve for your next relay. Responsibilities of the Incoming Runner: • Catch the outgoing runner! • Stay in your half of the lane. and never lean to reach the hand. • Stay in your half of the lane! • Do not extend your hand back for the baton until the incoming runner calls for it or you reach your mark. Never slow or float to receive the baton. Do not decelerate. The Incoming Runner It is the duty of the incoming runner to get the baton into the hand of the outgoing runner.

keep sprinting. whether they are 100/200-m specialists. • After the race. Relay Practice Tips • Practice baton exchanges at realistic racing speeds. should be the group from which you choose the four members of your 4 x 400m relay from meet to meet. (If the two runners were invisible. your 1 and 2 runners in Lane 2 and your 3 and 4 runners in Lane 5). 4 x 400 METER RELAY The 4 x 400m relay is the last running event in the track meet. so the 4 x 400m relay can be pivotal to both teams in a dual meet. a losing team effort can be uplifted by winning the last event. your 3 and 4 runners in Lane 4.) • Practice exchanges in different lanes. you should not see the baton slow down. and get it into the hand on the next stroke. As with the 4 x 400m relay. • Emphasize maintaining the speed of the baton through the zone. so the results can determine the outcome of the whole meet. including Lanes 1 and 8! • Do some baton practice with runners in adjoining lanes to simulate the congestion and distractions they have to deal with in the zone (e. Using a short runup into the zone. • Sprint all the way through the zone. Team Selection Your six best 400-m runners. Conversely. regardless of where you complete the exchange! • Stay in your lane until the outgoing runner in every other lane has passed you.• Shove the baton up into the crease of the palm hand • If you miss completing the pass on the first stroke.g. and how you might be able to improve your next relay race. 214 . your 1 and 2 runners in Lane 3. a team that passes the baton well can gain on every exchange over a team that does not. hurdlers or 800-m runners. many high school teams waste time practicing baton exchanges at speeds they cannot possibly achieve during the actual relay. discuss the execution of the passes with your incoming and outgoing partner.

so it is not a spot for an 800m runner. For the purposes of this manual. then reach back thumb-up to take the baton in their left hands. you want a 2nd leg who will run aggressively for the first 100 meters to position your team well after the break. just as they would judge the speed and trajectory of a fly ball when playing center field. But if your third best runner is good at hanging onto the leaders or closing gaps. the lead off runner begins with the baton in the right hand. When the outgoing runners judge it is time to go. 4th Leg. 3rd Leg. This should be your best 400m sprinter. third. As with the 4 x 100m relay. they turn to face down the track. This enables the outgoing runners to quickly assess their adjoining lanes and avoid the confusion which often occurs after the 1st leg. if he or she can handle the pressure of anchoring and has both the competitive spirit to chase and a strong enough ego to deal with being caught and passed on occasion. when the relay is no longer run in open lanes. we will detail the safest pass: The Semi-Visual. Outgoing runners must judge the incoming runner’s position and finishing strength (read fatigue). Non-Verbal Exchange With this method. The reason for the second. accelerate quickly for three strides. In multi-team meets which use a three-turn stagger for the 4 x 400m relay. 2nd Leg. This is where most teams try to put their slowest runner. and fourth runners receiving the baton in their left hands is that it allows them to face the inside of the track. which means runners must quickly change the baton from the left to right hand after receiving it. Passing the Baton The objective is to pass the baton from one runner to the next with no loss of speed. 215 . Usually your second best 400m runner who can give you the lead or put you at the front of the field. there are several different methods used for passing the baton in the 4 x 400m relay. This leg is run in lanes all the way. you may want to place your slowest leg second.Placement of Individuals 1st Leg. All passes are made from the incoming runner’s right hand to the left hand of the outgoing runner.

there is no acceleration zone. • Do not try and place the baton in the hand of the outgoing runner.Because of fatigue and blurred vision often experienced by incoming runners. After three strides. Make the baton a steady target and let the outgoing runner take it from you Responsibilities of the Outgoing Runner: • Take the baton in full sprinting stride from the incoming runner. look back and take the baton from the incoming runner with your left hand. thumb-up. 216 . It is the outgoing runner’s responsibility to take the baton from the hand of the incoming runner! The Exchange Zone The baton must be passed within a 20-meter exchange zone marked on the track by lines which cross all lanes. and the outgoing runners must stand within the 20m zone to await the incoming runner. • Begin accelerating from the back of the zone looking straight ahead. their only responsibility is to run through the zone and extend the baton once he gets close enough to make the pass to the outgoing runner. not standing still. • Immediately change the baton from your left hand to your right hand (2nd & 3rd legs). Responsibilities of the Incoming Runner: • Drive all the way to the finish line and through the exchange zone. The baton must be received within the exchange zone to be a legal pass. Do not decelerate as you extend the baton to the outgoing runner. • Do not extend the baton until you are close enough to make the pass to the outgoing runner in the zone. Unlike the 4 x 100m relay.

always address mental preparation and emotional control. Emphasize this with your athletes. rather than worry about their opponents.Tactics and Strategy for the Sprint Events When talking about success and winning with your athletes. We must emphasize that 90% of competing well is just showing up — showing up with all your concentration. we also have to talk to them about losing. and totally focused in the blocks and throughout their race. they have given away a piece of their competitive selves to their opponents. In all areas of sport we find less-endowed athletes achieving success. talent alone is not a valid predictor of success. We must help them recognize that losing is not failure when they compete well or show improvement. There is also a fear factor in sprinting that we don’t see as often in other events because the sprints are almost always the most closely contested races in every track meet. and staying relaxed. Have your sprinters concentrate on things they can control: a good warm-up. recognize mistakes or weaknesses. COACHING HINTS Acquiring concentration and poise in competition begins in practice. and all your determination intact. One of the difficulties in improving sprint performances is the small margin of improvement available to our best athletes. If we are going to talk to our athletes about winning. all your poise. and come back even more committed to achieving success in the future. Teach athletes that when they worry about their performance or that of others in the race. setting their blocks properly. so even in the sprints. The best way to deal with a loss or disappointing performance is to analyze the race. Emphasize those skills in every phase of your daily warm-up and training routines. usually only tenths or hundredths of a second. This can create problems for a sprinter who has experienced significant continuous improvement as a developing athlete. Help them to concentrate on what they want do instead of worrying about how they are going to do it. Sprinters have to be able to relax and focus on the task at hand. loose. 217 .

The Start (first stride out of the blocks): • Train for a rapid. • Move quickly into the “set” position so you aren’t left in the blocks by a quick gun. give your athletes some long and short holds in the “set” position.Do not emphasize head-to-head competition in training until your sprinters are fit and have mastered sprinting under control. run your race! Don’t focus on your opponents and forget to run your own race. Use handicapped races in training to accustom your sprinters to making up gaps and holding off challenges. 218 . • Do not concentrate on the gun! Concentrate on what to do at the gun! Drive the arm opposite your back leg off the starting line to begin the action of falling forward. • Don’t chase. • Think beyond the first stride! Visualize yourself running out of the blocks and accelerating down the track. consistent reaction to the gun. 2. • Get yourself into a good “set” position and trust your ability to react. which in turn triggers the reflex of the legs exploding off the block pedals. HELPFUL WORD CUES • “Relax — concentrate — stay in control.” APPLYING STRATEGY TO THE SPRINT RACES 100 Meters The three phases of the 100 meters are: 1. The Acceleration Phase (first 50–60 meters): • Maintain relaxation by concentrating on being quick and light. When practicing block starts. not on digging holes in the track.” • “Be smooth and loose — relaxed and quick.

4. not before or after the line. run through the finish! • Practice your lean so it occurs at the finish line. • All other considerations for the 100m start apply.3. so prepare yourself by training in Lane 1 often. 2. 3. so practice accelerating on the curve from the blocks in every lane. 77–100m into the race depending on the lane): • Lean into the curve to create a slingshot effect when you enter the straight. The more you have to lean into the curve. 219 . The Stride/Lift Phase (final 130–150 meters): • Maintain your speed by maintaining your mechanics and relaxation. 200 Meters The four phases of the 200 meters are: 1. the more difficult the transition into the straight will be as you right yourself. Never struggle! • Don’t run to finish. • Practice making the transition from the curve into the straight in the inside three lanes (the tightest curves). The Start (first strides out of the blocks): • Angle your starting blocks tangent to the top of the curve. Never struggle! • Don’t run to finish. • Don’t concede the race if you draw Lane 1! It is the longest and tightest curve to run. The Stride/Lift Phase (final 40–50 meters): • Maintain your speed by maintaining your mechanics and relaxation. not before or after the line. The Transition Phase (from the curve into the straight. run through the finish! Practice your lean so it occurs at the finish line. The Acceleration Phase (first 50–70 meters): • In the 200m the entire acceleration phase occurs on the curve.

. . . .5–2.0–2. • Warm-down immediately after your race to flush the acid buildup out of your muscles. start fast and work no harder over the final stages of the race than is necessary to advance to the next round or final. . . best 200 + 4. put on your track suit immediately to avoid cooling off too quickly. for the first 200 meters of the race: • • • • F-S Girls . Your objective should be to advance to the final without your opponents knowing exactly how fast you are capable of running. . best 200m + 2. . . The ability to judge pace. .400 Meters The 400 meters is a specialized speed-endurance event. . Varsity Girls .0 sec. .0 sec. 3. OTHER TACTICAL ADVICE FOR SPRINTERS • In meets where you must run preliminary rounds. F-S Boys .5 sec. The ability to adjust pace. The ability to maintain sprint mechanics in fatigue. . The ability to maintain rhythm. Warm-up thoroughly for your next race. • If you have another round or event to run. 4. . . Varsity Boys . best 200m + 3. 220 . These are the ‘“racing weapons” you must have to be a successful 400m sprinter: 1. . best 200m + 1.0 sec. . . Recommended pacing for high school 400m runners. . 2.

... electrostimulation....................... Research has shown that 4-6 week appears to be the maximum sustained period of improvement for any single type of training..... We cannot overemphasize the key role a complete warm-up and warm-down each day plays in enhancing restoration. T... Therefore.. but they cannot replace the body’s need for recovery time between bouts of hard training................... and Jacuzzi can be helpful......... (6 weeks) Early Season ........ (6 weeks) Mid-Season ........ (4 weeks) Each period should have specific objectives and employ different training methods...................... FINAL THOUGHTS You must recognize that sprinters cannot train at high intensity and compete in 13-18 meets over the course of 20 week without the likelihood of becoming injured........ May .. April.. Other restoration enhancement methods... sauna.. January to Mid-February....... (4 weeks) Late Season ..............4 W K P H A S E 2 Pre-Season 1 2 Early Season 3 4 Mid-Season 5 6 Late Season 7 P ReM A R Y E M P H A S I S I Aerobic Running Circuit Training Repetition Training Repetition Training High-Lactate Training Speed-Endurance Peak-Speed Training SECONDARY EMPHASIS Circuit Training Aerobic Running Speed Drills Speed Drills Speed Endurance High-Lactate Training High-lactate Training 221 ....................... Mid-February through March...... Sufficient recovery after each hard training session and track meet is crucial for a sprinter to develop and attain his or her training objectives and performance goals.... your system of training sprinters should follow a seasonal training plan which uses a variety of training methods... such as massage......Training Periodization Plan for the CIF Season The high school Track & field season can be divided into tbe following four periods: • • • • Pre-Season .

PLANNING AIDS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR TRAINING SYSTEM SPRINTERS WORKOUT Sequence RUNNING WARM-UP: Group: Date: Pre-stretch plus: FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: t Static Series BUILD-UPS: t Swing Series x60m x80m x100m x120m x150m BLOCK STARTS: WORKOUT: t Sprint-Float-Sprint t Lean Drills t Interval Sprints t Repetition Sprints t 400m Speed Play t Uphill Sprints t Downhill Sprints t Curve Sprints t Degressing Reps t Pyramid Reps BATON EXCHANGES: WARM-DOWN: RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS WEIGHT TRAINING: x x Reps or Meters Reps or Meters .

Ben -Walter Desiree ...Michelle BATON EXCHANGES: 6 WARM-DOWN: 800m RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS x x Reps or Meters Reps or Meters 7 WEIGHT TRAINING: 1 x upper body set 223 . 16OOm Surge straights last two laps FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: Static Series BUILD-UPS: Swing Series Plus Rhythm Drills 3 x60m 2 x80m 1 x100m x120m x150m BLOCK STARTS: 5 WORKOUT: t Sprint-Float-Sprint t Uphill Sprints t Downhill Sprints t Curve Sprints t Degressing Reps t Pyramid Reps t Lean Drills t Interval Sprints t Repetition Sprints 400m Speed Play 4 x (100m jog-stride-100 jog-100 sprint) Walk 200 between each set Fred.Pamela .SAMPLE 100 M SPRINTERS WORKOUT Sequence RUNNING WARM-UP: Group: 100m Group Date: Mon April 9 1 2 3 4 5 Pre-stretch plus.

Lana .45 Sjoni .Carlyn @ 50 .Dustin .60 sec.50 5 6 BATON EXCHANGES: 4 x 400 R 3 x ea.SAMPLE 200M SPRINTERS WORKOUT Sequence RUNNING WARM-UP: Group: 200m Group Date: Mon April 9 1 2 3 Pre-stretch plus: 1600m FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: Static Series BUILD-UPS: x60m x80m x100m Surge straights last two laps Swing Series x120m 4 x150m BLOCK STARTS: 4 WORKOUT: t Sprint-Float-Sprint t Lean Drills t Interval Sprints t Repetition Sprints t 400m Speed Play t Uphill Sprints t Downhill Sprints t Curve Sprints t Degressing Reps t Pyramid Reps 2 x (300m . .Leo @ 45 . between sets Will .300m) 8 min. exchange WARM-DOWN: 8OOm RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS x x Reps or Meters Reps or Meters 7 WEIGHT TRAINING: 1 x upper body set .

5.150 .Gniesha .Wade-Chris @ 27 .100 same distance) Recovery Jay.SAMPLE 400 M SPRINTERS WORKOUT Sequence 1 2 RUNNING WARM-UP: Pre-stretch plus: 1600m Group: 400m Group Date: Mon April 9 Surge straights last two laps FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: Static Series Swing Series 3 BUILD-UPS: x60m x80m 6 x100m x120m x150m BLOCK STARTS: 4 WORKOUT: t Sprint-Float-Sprint t Lean Drills t Interval Sprints t Repetition Sprints t 400m Speed Play t Uphill Sprints t Downhill Sprints t Curve Sprints Degressing Reps t Pyramid Reps 3 x (200 .13 Shelly .19.Angel @ 33 -24 . exchange WARM-DOWN: 800m RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS x x Reps or Meters Reps or Meters 7 WEIGHT TRAINING: 1 x upper body set 225 .15 5 6 BATON EXCHANGES: 4 x 400 R: 3 x ea.100 /jog.

SAMPLE 4-WEEK 400M TRAINING PLAN. APRIL 1-28 226 .

End of Chapter 227 .

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The hurdles are a test of athletic versatility. poise. 229 . Hurdle events are not jumping events. muscular strength and stamina are qualities needed for the hurdle events. but the ability to express speed within a rhythmic pattern is more important. Technique.Training Hurdlers T he hurdle events are rhythmic events. Speed is a basic requirement for hurdling. mobility. Racing over hurdles demands an elongated sprint stride with as little deviation from correct sprint form as possible.

6’6”-7’6” 140-205 Add 2.5 meters 10 yards 35 meters 35 meters 10. poise. technique. rhythm. flexibility (which includes range-of-motion).5 sec.03. 6’6”-7’6” 230 .54.5 meters 15 yards 10 meters 10 meters 8-9 8-9 22-24 21-23 3 3 15-18 14-17 5 6 5 5 50-51 Add 2. all but the hurdler’s body type can be greatly enhanced by proper training. HURDLE REFERENCE CHART Girls’ 1OOm H Hurdle Height Number of Hurdles Distance t o First Hurdle Distance Between Hurdles D i s t a n c e f r o m Last Hurdle to Finish Strides to First Hurdle Strides Between Hurdles Strides from Last Hurdle to Finish Total Strides Flat Time vs. Of these nine factors.02. stamina (to maintain proper technique). Nine factors contribute to successful hurdling: speed.02.0 sec.5 sec.5 sec. This is where rhythm becomes a key ingredient. 5’3’-6’4” 51-52 Add 2. 5’-6’ 140-195 Add 2. The key to success is maintaining speed between hurdles. strength. and body type (especially leg length). Hurdle Time Take-off Distance to H 13 meters 33 inches 10 Boys’ 110m H 39 inches 10 Girls’ 300m H 30 inches 8 Boys’ 300m H 36 inches 8 15 yards 4 5 meters 4 5 meters 8.A Philosophy for Coaching the Hurdles The hurdler’s most important physical asset is speed.

• Forward lean must be maintained over the hurdle until touch-down to maintain forward velocity. • At take-off. • Hold forward lean until lead foot touches down. • The eyes should look up during take-off and focus on the next hurdle. 231 . • Head no higher than normal sprinting position. the lead leg creates a short moment-of-inertia by leading with the knee to the hurdle. HURDLE TECHNIQUE CHECKLIST Head and Chest • Chest over lead thigh in advance of the lead leg knee. • Hurdle clearance is accomplished by transferring speed (horizontal momentum) vertically at take-off. Improper arm-action creates compensating actions which result in off-balance landings. • The lead arm and trail leg should act as short.Teaching the Technique of Hurdling FUNDAMENTAL MECHANICS • Hurdling is sprinting over the hurdle. • Shoulders level and parallel to the hurdle. • Sprint speed can be improved by increasing either stride length or stride rate. quick levers over the hur- dle to accomplish a rapid clearance. The center of gravity is actually raised very little to clear the hurdle. rather than jumping over it. • Forward lean at takeoff transfers vertical momentum into a flat. parabolic flight of the body over the hurdle. • Eyes focused on the next hurdle at take-off. Hurdling speed can only be improved by increasing the efficiency of hurdle clearance and the stride rate between hurdles. • A short last stride helps the body accelerate into the takeoff. This allows the athlete to return to the ground in sprint position.

not the hip. reaches the hurdle. Trail Leg • Pull the knee through under the armpit. • Begin snap-down when the lead foot. • Drive the lead leg straight at and over the cross piece. not pointed. • Lead arm bent 120 degrees during reach and pullback. • Active cut-step into takeoff at the next hurdle.Lead Leg • Drive the knee. • Pull the knee over the hurdle and push the foot down. 232 . Lead Arm • At eye level during take-off. to the hurdle. • Full extension off the ball of the foot into takeoff. • Do not drop onto the heel. Between Hurdles • Vigorous drive off the hurdle into a long getaway stride. • Land on the ball of the foot. • Drive off the ball of the foot into the getaway stride. • Lead toe pulled back. not flat across the top of the hurdle. Don’t “hook” the hurdle. Keep the foot dorsiflexed with the toes pointed up. • Good high-knee sprint action on the balls of the feet. • Reach a bent lead leg over the hurdle. • Straighten the lead leg during snap-down. The heel passes close to the hip. rather than kick the foot. • Lead hand sweeps back below the trailing knee. • Upper arm parallel to the thigh of the lead leg.

The take-off distance to the hurdle should be about 6½–7½ feet. The hurdler should drive off the front block with a full extension of the leg for a long. hurdler (shadow figure). In the “set” position. Taking off too close to the hurdle forces a vertical takeoff to clear the hurdle.Stages of Hurdling: Girls’ 100m and Boys’ 110m The Start The lead leg should be positioned in the back block if an even number of strides are taken to the first hurdle (preferably eight strides). leg length. For female 100m hurdlers. 10-l). The take-off distance to the hurdle should be approximately 6 feet. the hips should be slightly higher than the shoulders with the arms supporting the shoulders directly above the starting line. the further he or she must take off from the hurdle for a flat. slower parabolic flight over the hurdle. quick first stride. The hurdler’s “set" position should be comfortable without too much weight over the hands. the race is run over barriers 33 inches high. resulting in a higher. For male 110m hurdlers. Hitting a hurdle or landing off-balance will result in a loss of speed which can never be recaptured in a race of 100 to 110 meters. 10-1. 233 . Each successive stride to the hurdle should lengthen until the cut-step into the takeoff (see Fig. stride length and forward velocity. depending on the athlete’s height. Fig. The center of mass should be high going into the take-off. The First Strides The hurdler must move to a tall sprinting position by the time he is two strides out from the first hurdle. Sprint Start for sprinter vs. and the trail leg should be in the back block if an odd number of strides are used. fast clearance. the race is a sprint over 39-inch barriers. Figures 10-2 and 10-3 illustrate the take-off and action over the hurdle. The taller the athlete. The Take-Off The take-off at each hurdle is crucial because it must be part of a continuous acceleration through the initial stages of the race.

and foot all on the same horizontal plane. heel. or float. Trail Leg Action Over the Hurdle Once the take-off leg leaves the track. not the hip. bent lead leg. 10-2. The lead arm should reach slightly across the body to keep the shoulders square to the hurdle.The lead leg action is initiated by driving the knee towards the top of the hurdle. The shoulders remain square to the hurdle throughout. with the knee under the armpit and the heel close to the hip. aiding the powerful extension off the takeoff leg. The lower leg is relaxed and tucked under the thigh as the lead leg drives upward. The lead leg should be nearly straight by the time the foot touches down below the hips on the other side of the hurdle. without a pause. Lead Leg Action Over the Hurdle The peak of the hurdler’s parabolic flight should be achieved prior to reaching the hurdle. quick lever over the hurdle. The lead leg should remain slightly bent over the hurdle. Boys' 110m Hurdle Clearance. The lift of the lead knee should be explosive. Fig. the lead arm will swing to the side in wide arc as a response to the trail leg action. This tucking action gives the hurdler a short. The foot should be dorsiflexed with the top of the foot pulled up toward toward the shin. it becomes part of the trail leg. Avoid a “flat” position with the hip. The action of the trail leg should be a continuous movement during the hurdle clearance. and helps shift the center of mass forward over the hurdle. Snap-down should begin as soon as the lead foot. has passed over the hurdle. 234 . Once over the hurdle. The heel of the trail leg should come to the buttocks with the toe pointed out to the side so the foot will avoid hitting the hurdle. For a short. the objective is to get back down to the track as quickly as possible. This is accomplished by a snap-down action of the lead leg. quick. over the hurdle. As the trail leg pulls through. trail leg position should be high and tight.

Fig. The hurdler should land on the ball of the foot and not drop to the heel (which creates a braking action). no two of the four strides used over and between two hurdles are the same.Touch Down At touch-down. in hurdle events. The trail leg knee must drive forward. This puts the athlete in position to drive forward off the ball of the foot into the getaway stride. for a long first stride to the next hurdle. Run-In After the Last Hurdle In a close race. not drop to the side. Strides to the 1st Hurdle (Boys’ 11Om/Girls 100m). Proficient high school hurdlers will take eight strides to the first hurdle and three strides between hurdles. has the best chance of victory. The getaway stride is relatively short. COMMON HURDLING MISTAKES AND CORRECTIVE TECHNIQUES • Decelerates at the hurdle: Caused by a long stride into the takeoff. Sprinting Between the Hurdles Unlike flat sprinting. so the hurdler with the quickest stride rate will have the greatest success if his or her technique is equal to that of their opponents. 235 . the hurdler who is first to return to sprint form off the last hurdle and best times his or her lean into the finish line. and the third stride is a cut-step to accelerate the center of mass into the takeoff for the next hurdle. 10-3. The second stride is the longest. Correct by emphasizing attacking the hurdle with a short cut-step. the hurdler’s center of mass should be directly over or slightly ahead of the lead foot.

Correct by keeping the shoulders square to the hurdle and driving the lead arm forward. High school boys normally take 21-23 strides to the first hurdle. the lead leg should be placed in the rear block. head high and slightly across the body. girls 22-24 stride. • Wild straight-arm paddle : Caused by a flat trail leg recovery of the lead arm on the opposite side. The number of strides taken from the start to the first hurdle is a good indicator of the stride pattern to the following hurdles: Strides to 1st Hurdle Strides Between Hurdles Required Stride Length 21 21-22 22 22-23 24 25 13 14 15 16 17 18 8'0" 7'6" 7'0" 6'6" 6'1" 5'5" 236 . For an odd number of strides to the first hurdle. Correct by pulling the trailing knee through high and driving forward for a long first stride off the hurdle. (22 strides to the first hurdle equates to a 15-stride pattern between hurdles. rather than the knee.• Insufficient lean into the hurdle: Usually caused by a straight lead leg (driving the foot. Correct by maintaining lean into touchdown. to the hurdle). the lead leg is placed in the front block. STAGES OF THE 300M HURDLES Start to the First Hurdle The hurdler uses a normal sprint start from the blocks. • Off-balance at touch-down: Caused by shoulders turning as lead leg dri- ves to the hurdle. Correct by bringing the trailing knee up under the arm pit and keeping the heel close to the hip. • Cannot 3-step between hurdles: Caused by a short first stride which results from dropping the trail leg as it clears the hurdle.) When the hurdler takes an even number of strides to the first hurdle. Correct by emphasizing a bent lead leg and leaning the chest to the thigh as the knee drives to the hurdle. • Drops to heel at touch-down: Caused by sitting up on top of the hurdle.

30 inches for girls). never chopped. Fig. a hurdler should count each time the takeoff foot hits the ground. Hurdle Clearance With the lower hurdle heights (36 inches for boys. The last three strides to the hurdle should be consistent in length. This event is a 300m sprint around a curve with a 180 degree change of direction and eight interruptions! The hurdler’s stride pattern is going to be influenced by having to run into the wind. It is essential that beginning hurdlers count their strides to establish their optimum stride pattern and rhythm. 10-4. running around a tight curve in an inside lane or long curve in an outside lane. with the wind to his side. Strides Between Hurdles 15 to 17 strides is the usual stride pattern used by high school boys. Hurdling on the Curve Using a left lead leg is preferable because it allows the hurdler to run closer to the left border of his lane. It is essential to maintain rhythm and quick. and accelerate to the hurdle. 10-4. 300m Hurdle Clearance 237 .). For high school girls 17 to 19 strides is typical. efficient hurdle clearance to perform well in the 300m hurdles. which will result in disqualification. The only way most 300m hurdlers can consistently maintain speed and rhythm in this event. Rather than count each footstrike. with the wind at his back. hurdle-to-hurdle. race-after-race. is to learn to hurdle using either leg as a lead. Most important is clearing the center of the hurdle to avoid bringing the trail leg outside and below the plane of the hurdle. Stuttering before any of the eight hurdles (chopping strides to bring the desired lead leg to the hurdle) will cause the hurdler to lose speed that can never be recaptured during the race.The speed to the first hurdle should be slightly slower than flat 400m pace due to the controlled stride pattern demanded by hurdling. and by fatigue. the forward lean required to drive the center of mass over the hurdle is minimal and the stride over the hurdle is not a dramatic departure from the sprint stride used between hurdles (see Fig.

This is a skill that will serve all hurdlers well in the 300m event. HURDLE TOUCH-DOWN TIME CHARTS An effective method to evaluate the various stages of a hurdle race is to record your athlete’s touch-down times after each hurdle. the 300m hurdler must make a conscious effort to accelerate into the last two hurdles. Use lower hurdle heights and shorter hurdle spacings to allow novices to hurdle with speed and rhythm from the onset. • Constantly emphasize that hurdling is a sprint over barriers. Methods of Training for the Hurdle Events CONSIDERATIONS IN TRAINING HURDLERS • Hurdle training must emphasize the following areas: • Technique • Rhythm • Speed • Stamina • Ballistic strength • Flexibility • Training must be adapted to meet the needs and skill levels of your athletes. • Beginning hurdlers should be taught to lead with either leg.Run-In to the Finish Line To counter the fatigue experienced in the final straightaway of this race. and that hurdle mechanics should deviate only slightly from sprinting mechanics. The charts on the facing page cover a wide range of performances for boys’ and girls hurdle events. Many 13-14-year-old freshman/sophomore hurdlers have to 4-step and alternate legs in the 100m and 110m hurdle events. 238 .

6 3.2 12.6 10.4 14.9 7.3 35.7 4.0 13.2 32.4 40.3 36.3 10.1 20.0 11.9 7.0 10.5 10.3 8.4 7.0 12.9 6.0 2.4 31.2 12.0 6.7 11.0 6.3 12.0 9.6 4.6 4.6 48.6 34.9 4.2 46.3 26.1 29.8 13.7 45.9 24.8 14.6 2.4 12.6 4.4 35.8 15.0 11.8 3.0 13.5 32.0 GIRLS' 1OOm HURDLES TARGET TIME H1 H2 H3 H 4 H 5 H 6 H7 H 8 H 9 H10 FINISH TIME 13.8 5.3 BOYS' AND GIRLS' 300M HURDLES TARGET TIME H1 H2 H3 H 4 H5 200M SPLIT H6 H7 H8 FINISH TIME 36.9 5.9 26.0 14.6 2.7 10.7 3.3 14.7 17.7 3.5 16.9 10.3 14.9 23.5 26.0 7.1 9.7 28.2 13.4 36.9 13.3 28.0 39.1 6.0 15.2 7.6 3.8 42.6 2.1 8.5 2.8 18.8 15.6 28.2 6.4 9.2 11.6 14.8 9.5 20.0 11.6 2.0 5.2 43.1 16.7 38.4 8.2 14.9 46.5 16.5 36.3 40.4 27.6 9.5 30.6 10.6 31.8 10.6 5.0 12.6 15.2 22.8 4.6 22.6 38.2 33.2 7.9 8.0 14.5 9.7 5.5 9.1 10.8 7.7 45.9 13.8 12.3 9.4 30.0 12.8 8.6 29.5 6.3 9.8 23.6 14.1 19.6 3.5 31.8 6.1 7.5 9.8 42.7 2.4 6.7 42.5 44.8 14.7 4.0 39.BOYS' 110m HURDLES TARGET TIME FINISH TIME H1 H2 H3 H4 H5 H6 H7 H8 H9 H10 13.7 27.6 8.6 3.2 34.9 8.4 239 .7 11.8 15.0 15.6 19.5 22.1 9.8 3.7 5.0 11.6 3.4 40.5 2.6 3.8 8.0 6.4 12.4 12.7 27.2 11.0 7.3 11.2 23.7 5.1 43.5 2.6 4.3 8.2 15.2 40.6 3.2 43.9 11.2 46.1 5.6 48.0 13.6 12.7 7.9 11.3 17.3 6.6 6.4 18.2 11.6 38.0 39.6 7.3 7.1 8.8 6.6 15.7 10.6 14.7 4.0 14.8 25.9 4.5 29.8 6.0 2.0 14.8 21.5 33.1 7.6 16.0 24.2 25.2 13.7 11.0 39.2 8.8 3.6 12.8 12.6 25.2 10.5 2.4 14.6 2.8 38.6 7.4 14.9 5.4 10.8 6.

240 . is an important aspect of hurdle training. and occasionally 12 hurdles to fully develop the stamina necessary for hurdling. Technique usually begins to deteriorate after the seventh hurdle. Recording hurdle split times in training and races will help you pinpoint weaknesses in your athletes’ performances and design workouts to address them. or stamina. Trail Leg Circles. Lead Leg Punch-Ups. the point at which most races are won or lost. have them practice it at full racing speed.• As soon as hurdlers become proficient with a drill. The trail leg is pulled through over the side of the hurdle high and tight. 10-6. Introduce drills over low hurdles so basic hurdle mechanics can be practiced easily at sprint speeds. Hurdlers must train over six. 10. eight. The hurdles are sprint events and little is accomplished by practicing hurdling slowly! A good method to ensure that the hurdler trains at racing speeds is to use the touch-down timing charts in this chapter as a training guide. • Trail Leg Circles (hurdle placed two feet from a wall or fence): Fig. 10-6). • Lead Leg punch-Ups (hurdle placed against a wall or fence): Fig. As the foot passes over the hurdle. with the knee coming up underneath the armpit. • Speed-endurance. 10-5. STATIONARY HURDLE DRILLS Drills which isolate specific hurdling techniques should be part of every day’s hurdle training. 10-5). Bent leg straightens out to thrust hurdler back to his or her takeoff mark (see Fig. and the heel drawn close to the hip. the knee pulls through high and is driven toward the wall. Hurdler stands with the lead leg beside and forward of the edge of the hurdle. The foot then sweeps down and begins another circuit over the side of the hurdle (see Fig. Hurdler takes one step into takeoff driving the knee to the hurdle and unfolding the lower leg so the ball of the foot meets the wall or fence directly above the hurdle. the foot dorsiflexed with the small toe pointed up. leaning forward with hands on the wall or fence. Take split times when the lead foot touches the ground after clearing each hurdle.

prancing strides between hurdles. • Trail leg knee is pulled forward and then the trailing foot pushed down during the clearance phase of the hurdle. • High point of the take-off trajectory is achieved directly above the hurdle. Fast lead leg over the hurdle with five short. Fast lead leg over the hurdle with 5 short. • 3-Step. • Trail leg circles the hurdle without pause. Coaching Points • Heel moves quickly to the buttocks as soon as the takeoff foot leaves the ground. • 3-Step. • Trailing foot is dorsiflexed with the small toe pointed up throughout the arc of the trail leg. • Knee drives to the top of the hurdle with the heel tucked under the buttocks and the foot dorsiflexed. ¾ speed with shorter hurdle spacings. • 3-Step. prancing strides in between. Full speed with normal hurdle spacings. (Have the hurdler imagine that the lead leg and trail leg are racing each other. in one continuous motion from takeoff to touch-down.RUNNING HURDLE DRILLS Over-the-Side Drills: 3-5 Hurdles Lead Leg • Quick-Step. • 3-Step. Full speed with 10-12 foot spacings. Full speed with normal hurdle spacings. ¾ speed with shorter hurdle spacings. • Lead leg aggressively snaps down coming down off the hurdle. • Quick lead leg attack of the hurdle. • l-Step. Coaching Points • Active cut-step taking off into the hurdle. Full speed with 10-12 foot spacings.) 241 . Trail Leg • Quick-Step. • l-Step.

Full speed with normal hurdle spacings. During a two-to-four-week training phase. When you plan your training. secondary emphasis should be given to another type of training. The remaining days should be easy training and recovery days. when the body rebuilds to adapt to the stresses that have been introduced. Other types of training are not neglected. plan how you are going to introduce and manage that stress. primary emphasis should be given to one type of training. • 3-Step. three to four weeks seems to be the maximum period during which athletes can sustain improvement with any one type of training.Over-the-Top Drills: 3-5 Hurdles • Quick-Step. The components of hurdle training are numerous and complex. Within any training phase. 242 . As a rule. it is unwise to include more than three quality training days per week. and somewhat less emphasis (maintenance training) to a third. • 3-Step. After that. Training Periodization Plan for the CIF Season Training for all events should employ periodization which divides training into a cycle of several phases. training yields less improvement. Full speed with 10-12 foot spacings to the ground. Periodizing training allows hurdlers to emphasize particular types of training and skills during a specific period of the season. • l-Step. ¾ speed with shorter hurdle spacings. Remember that training is stress. Fast lead leg over the hurdle with five short. Recovery is an essential component of all training because improvement occurs during recovery. including races. prancing strides in between. but are emphasized less during that period.

Late Season Hurdle training emphasis through your league meet and state qualifying meets should focus on low-volume. general sprint conditioning. 243 . with some attention to speed. sprint mechanics. Mid-season training should conclude emphasizing speed through quality sprint reps and hurdle drills at full racing speed. and flexibility. Early Season Training emphasis should be on refining hurdling technique. and sprint stamina through interval training. Mid-Season Training emphasis shifts to hurdle stamina using drills and repetitions over 6-12 hurdles. high-quality technique training. The following is recommended as a hurdler’s training cycle for the CIF high school track season: PRIMARY EMPHASIS SECONDARY EMPHASIS 2-4 WK PHASE Pre-Season 1 2 Early Season 3 4 Mid-Season 5 6 Late Season 7 Aerobic Running Circuit Training Repetition Training Repetition Training High-Lactate Training Speed-Endurance Peak Speed Training Circuit Training Aerobic Running Speed Drills Speed Drills Speed Endurance High-lactate Training High-lactate Training SUMMARY Pre-Season The training emphasis for hurdlers should be on establishing an endurance base. recovery and racing. enhancing rhythmic skills strength.TRAINING HURDLER5 WITH A SYSTEM A system of training uses several methods of training within a seasonal training cycle.

PLANNING AIDS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR TRAINING SYSTEM HURDLERS WORKOUT Sequence RUNNING WARM-UP: Pre-stretch plus: FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: t Static Series t Swing Series Date: BUILD-UPS: STATIONARY HURDLE DRILLS: ____Lead Leg TECHNIQUE SPRINTS: ____Trail Leg Circles RUNNING HURDLE DRILLS: _____x 1-Step Drills over _____H _____x 3-Step Drills over _____H _____x 1 Alt.Bounding .Hopping . Lead Drills over ____H _____x Fast-Step Drills over _____H _____x Lean Drills over last_____H WORKOUT: t _____Block t t t Starts over_____H _____x Full Flights Hurdle Progressions Sprint Workout WARM-DOWN: RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS WEIGHT TRAINING CIRCUIT: Running .

SAMPLE 100M/110M HURDLERS WORKOUT Sequence 1 2 3 4 RUNNING WARM-UP: Pre-stretch plus: Date: Mon.5m spacings for F-S) ___x 1 Alt.Bounding . April 9 1600m surging straights of last 2 laps FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: Static Series BUILD-UPS: STATIONARY HURDLE DRILLS: Swing Series TECHNIQUE SPRINTS: 8 x 60m 10 ____ Lead leg ____Trail Leg Circles 10 5 RUNNING HURDLE DRILLS: 5 2 ____ x 1 -Step Drills over____H 5 2 ____ x 3-Step Drills over ____ H (9yd/7. Lead Drills over ____H ___x Fast-Step Drills over ____H ___x Lean Drills over last ____H 6 WORKOUT: 5 Block Starts over____H t __ x Full Flights Hurdle Progressions 2 x 3H-5H-7H t Sprint Workout 7 WARM-DOWN: 800m RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS Running .Hopping 8 WEIGHT TRAINING CIRCUIT: 245 .

Hopping 8 WEIGHT TRAINING CIRCUIT: .SAMPLE 300M HURDLERS WORKOUT Sequence 1 2 3 4 RUNNING WARM-UP: Pre-stretch plus: Date: Mon. rest-200m). 5 min. Lead Drills over____ H ____x Fast-Step Drills over____H ____x Lean Drills over Last-H 6 WORKOUT: Block starts over ____H 2 (in lanes 5-6-7) t ____ x Full Flights t Hurdle Progressions 2 x 3H-5H-7H Sprint Workout 2x (200m-30sec. between sets 7 WARM-DOWN: 800m RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS Running .Bounding .5m spacings for F-S) (20yd spacings) 5 4 ____ x 1 Alt. April 9 1600m surging straights of last 2 laps FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: Static Series BUILD-UPS: Swing Series TECHNIQUE SPRINTS: 8 x 60m STATIONARY HURDLE DRILLS: Both Legs! 10 ____Lead Leg 10 ____Trail Leg Circles 5 RUNNING HURDLE DRILLS: ____ x 1 -Step Drills over ____H ____ x 3-Step Drills over ____H (9yd/7.

push foot to track. • Hold forward lean until foot makes contact with ground. • Toe pointed forward-not back. • Takeoff approximately 7 feet from hurdle. • Full extension from takeoff leg. • Don’t ‘hook” hurdle. • Eyes focused on the next hurdle at take-off. • Pull knee over hurdle. Between Hurdles • Vigorous drive off hurdle into long first stride. • Upper arm parallel to lead thigh. • Arm bent 120 degrees during reach and pull-back. • Reach bent leg over hurdle. to the hurdle. • Toe pulled back-not pointed at hurdle. don’t drop onto heel. chin in advance of knee. Lead Arm • Eye level at takeoff. • Slightly shortened last stride to hurdle. 247 .HURDLE TECHNIQUE CHECKLIST Head and Chest • Chest on thigh. Trail Leg • Knee tucked under armpit-not flat over hurdle. • Head no higher than normal sprinting position. • Heel close to hip. • Good high-knee sprint action on balls of feet. • Hands sweeps back below trailing knee. don’t kick foot. • Shoulders level and parallel to the hurdle. • Begin snap-down when heel-not hips-reaches hurdle. • Drive off ball of foot. Lead Leg • Drive knee.

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Distance runners develop gradually.Distance Runners For high school athletes. The distances distinguish themselves from the other events in Track & Field by their reliance on aerobic fitness rather than raw speed or power. But like all athletes. This difference requires special forms of training that demand a special dedication to training and competition. Training 249 . but to compete. often taking years to reach their potential. the distance races are those events 800 meters or longer. distance runners must train not only for fitness.

and mastering such nuances as how to run in a crowd. All gains from training are realized during periods of recovery.A Philosophy for Coaching the Distance Events Your coaching philosophy will determine what methods of training you use. when you use those methods in your training plan. Coaches must build easy days into their training programs to give runners the recovery needed to increase the overall quality and intensity of their training. The difference is that racing forces runners to compete against tactics! • Rest and recovery are the most critical aspects of training for distance races. The following is an example of a coaching philosophy for the distance races: • There are no magic training mileage figures that guarantee success. Training is a program of planned stresses which create adaptive changes in the body. The first objective of training distance runners should be to enhance their ability to run with the leaders. and how that training will lead to improved racing performances. 70. surging. Improving performances in the distance races gets down to simply sustaining greater speed throughout the race. a good sprint-finish. These include the ability to sustain a fast pace from the start of the race. 250 . It also means training to acquire racing weapons. Improving sub-maximal aerobic endurance with 60. • In distance running there is an enormous difference between training and racing. how to stay out of boxes. slow running contributes very little toward elevating an athlete’s race pace over distances of 800-3200 meters! • Coaches should train their runners for racing. When the body is torn down a little in training. it responds by rebuilding itself a lot. or even the magic “100 miles-a-week” of long. not mileage or speed. • In a distance race. Training for racing means looking beyond objectives of elevating aerobic/anaerobic levels of fitness. how to pass. how to run up and down hills. it is far easier to stay up than catch up. why you use them. and how to hold off a challenge.

There is no place in a distance race. Inevitably. just as proper techniques in other sports and Track & Field events are not acquired through sheer repetition alone. but like distance run- ners. and a short. Introducing speed training for the first time at the end of the season most often results in soreness or injury.Moreover. quick armswing. those athletes become injured or emotionally burned-out and fail to make it to the starting line for their most important races at the end of the season. runners should finish even their hardest training sessions feeling they could have run a little faster. One of the most common mistakes coaches make in training distance runners for speed is encouraging them to run like sprinters. rather than sharpening a runner for important races. a mid-stance footstrike. injury-free. overtrain by running hard day-after-day. aggressively driving the arms. This needs to be an ongoing process introduced early in the training cycle. season-after-season. or done a few more repetitions if needed. • Distance runners need to be able to run fast. run a little farther. • Distance racing is a movement skill. where a distance runner can run like a sprinter — up on the balls of the feet. Even small mistakes in running mechanics have a significant negative impact on performance in distance races when they are repeated with every stride. Training to increase speed involves training to increase stride length. frequency (leg turnover). Distance runners need to learn to run fast with distance running mechanics — an upright posture. not sprinters. 1200 or more times per mile! • Distance runners do not peak with speed work. month-after-month. ballistic and rhythmic skills. not just aerobic exercise. Too many distance runners summon their best racing efforts for a hard training session. and speed-endurance. or even worse. Those are speed mechanics which distance runners can apply after already having run 75-90% of a race. Proper mechanics often have to be learned or relearned by individual athletes. Efficient distance running mechanics are not acquired through a process of simple adaptation. Distance runners will always make the greatest progress by training and racing week-after-week. 251 . from 800 meters on up.

they must recover from yesterday to be able to tram hard again tomorrow! Training hard for several days in succession inevitably leads to injury. 3200 METERS There are many different methods of training for the distance races. Part of your athletes’ training must prepare them for the demands of all-out-racing. the key to an effective training program is detailed planning. Allowance for Recovery. The specific demands of racing at distances of 800-3200 meters and your runners’ strengths and weaknesses should determine what you do in training. each varying in purpose. illness. Toughening. intensity and duration. and a gradual increase in training intensity and duration. Training must provide days of rest and recovery. this is called the SAID principle. training must be specific to the demands of the event. Methods of Training for the Distance Races 800 METERS. Regardless of the methods you use. Specificity. However.• The most important time for you spend as a coach is not the time you spend with your athletes on the track It is the time you spend planning what to do with your athletes on the track! Universal Principles of Training Training for all events should recognize the following principles: Overloa d. 1600 METERS. To be effective. They have to do some training at maximum effort. or loss of motivation. Racing fitness is enhanced by improving the quality of your athletes’ “hard” training sessions. 252 . the judicious use of rest and recovery. The body makes a specific adaptation to gradually imposed demands. As discussed in previous chapters. early season training should target areas of weakness and late season training should focus on exploiting your athletes’ racing strengths. As a rule.

The purpose of tempo runs is to train at an intensity level just short of hard-pace running. improving the capillarization of muscles. running is designed to train runners at their lactate threshold.” Long. with short recovery intervals of one-minute or less in between. usually lasting 90 seconds to 8 minutes. Distances of 600-2000 meters are usually used for tempo reps. Continuous threshold training is usually referred to as tempo running. Continuous running at tempo-pace usually can be maintained for 20-40 minutes. steady runs should be done at a pace that can be maintained for 40-60 minutes with relative ease. Segmented threshold training is also referred to as tempo reps or tempo intervals. TEMPO-PACE (THRESHOLD) TRAINING Tempo-pace. A 40-60 minute continuous run at this level of intensity has been found to be ideal for developing the cardiovascular system.STEADY-PACE TRAINING Steady-pace runs are done at a pace which some athletes describe as “comfortably hard. Tempo runs are typically 20-30 minutes long at a pace about 15-20 seconds per mile slower than 10K race pace. the level of running intensity where lactic acid begins to accumulate rapidly in the blood. This training consists of a series of shorter runs. 253 . including recovery time. Threshold training can be either continuous or segmented. or threshold. with warm-up and warm-down running included before and after the run. steady run periods of their training programs as the “base” or “foundation” phases which allow for longer. regular threshold training will enable the runner to maintain a faster race pace with no greater accumulation of lactic acid. A tempo interval workout could last as little as 30-40 minutes. and enhancing the body’s efficient use of its energy sources. more intense training later in the program. Scientists estimate the ideal intensity for a steady-pace run is a pace equivalent to 70% of the individual runner’s VO2 max (approximately 1 minute per mile slower than 10K race pace). Coaches often refer to the long. Theoretically.

The idea is not to fully recover.REPETITION TRAINING Repeats of l-5 minutes of fast running have been identified by exercise physiologists as ideal repetition training for distance runners. In a repetition training session. Most coaches and athletes use “interval training” and “repetition training” interchangeably. Repetition training allows the athlete to attain and sustain VO2 max repeatedly. the objective is to run specific distances repeatedly at a high-lactate blood level. is a good upper limit for a repetition training session. What is the interval in a workout? The interval is the recovery period between bouts of running. 254 . The recovery ratio should be 1 or 2:l run to recovery. so the recovery ratio is 2:1 run to recovery. Repetition training is designed to increase running efficiency by decreasing the oxygen cost of running and to help the runner become more pace and rhythm conscious. but to maintain a high level of lactic acid in the blood throughout the workout. The intensity of interval training should be faster than race pace because its purpose is to produce lactic acid by performing the last portion of each run anaerobically. not including recovery time. The running intensity used for repetition training should be desired race pace. so the recovery ratio is approximately 1:2 run to recovery. The duration of each run in an interval session is typically 15-90 seconds (100–600m). Interval training should be included more often in the training of 800m and 1600m runners than 3200m runners because those races are 30-50% anaerobic. Repetition training enables a runner to train at VO2 max for a cumulative time greater than could be sustained in a single race. A total time of 20-25 minutes. Research also shows that middle distance runners must be able to produce high levels of lactic acid because it becomes an energy source in the absence of oxygen via the Krebs cycle. Research has shown that middle distance runners need to be able to tolerate high levels of lactic acid because it is a byproduct of anaerobic running. Regardless of the distance. In an interval training session. but they are vastly different types of training. INTERVAL (HIGH-LACTATE) TRAINING Interval training means different things to different people. the objective is to run specific distances repeatedly at race pace. a good rule of thumb is for the rest time to be twice as long as the run time.

Teaching Distance Running Mechanics The body moves as a system of levers. arm-action. that is.The purpose of interval training is to enhance the athlete’s ability to produce and tolerate lactic acid during a race. and some athletes may require 2-3 days of easy running to recover fully from a hard interval training session. SURGING TRAINING Surging is continuous running similar in design to speed play. Ideally. SPEED PLAY (‘FARTLEK”) TRAINING “Speed play” is the literal translation of the Swedish word "fartlek. surging is steady-pace running punctuated with periods of faster running up to threshold pace. The length of the fast bursts and easy recovery runs is unstructured so that the athlete has a genuine feeling of playing with speed. and footstrike. It should not be included more than once a week in a training plan. a continuous running session which includes bursts of fast running followed by periods of easy running for recovery. demanding. Interval training is intense. a surge in the midst of a steady-pace run would be an increase in pace of 30–60 seconds per mile. But while speed play alternates periods of sprinting and jogging. The purpose of surging training is to enhance the runner’s ability to initiate and respond to changes in pace and to recover at steady-pace running speeds. torso. well below sprint speed. The three primary components of running mechanics are posture. and painful." Speed play is a combination of fast and slow running. including hills. speed play is done over varied terrain. 255 . Typically. arms and legs) obeys the laws of physics and motion. depending on the length of the surge. Each of the body’s levers (the head.

Swinging the arms straight forward and back. or past the mid-line of the body. each leg swings forward-and-back like a pendulum. up to a point near the shoulders. the position of the torso should be erect. You cannot lift your knees any higher than your center of mass (one of the laws of motion). directly above the hips. shoulders back. Athletes who shrug their shoulders during armswing also create shoulder rotation. The forearm and hand should move forward and back as one piece because flexing the wrists reduces the effectiveness of using the arms as levers by turning the elbows out. When the body accelerates. A runner’s pace is set by the cadence of the armswing. When acceleration ends. head up. chin slightly tucked. When running erect. clenching your fists causes the body to tense up. To keep the shoulders square while running. with the torso directly above the hips. Acceleration is accomplished in the first several strides of a distance race. The arms control running. the weight is centered in the body just above the hips. The hands must stay relaxed and cupped. so conserving energy must be a primary objective of arm action. Leaning forward lowers the center of mass. which in turn decreases the length of the stride.RUNNING POSTURE You do not need to coach forward lean. After that. But distance runners cannot run with vigorous arm-action without paying a high energy cost. When an athlete is running. Forward lean is simply a function of acceleration. causes the shoulders to rotate. What to Teach Teach athletes to run erect. The sweep of that pendulum swing is the length of the stride. chest out. the torso should be erect. the arms should move forward and back with the hands moving forward from a point just behind the hips slightly across the chest. restricting the free swing of the hips. ARM-ACTION The arms get everything moving in the direction you want to go-forward. 256 . so lowering the center of mass by leaning forward restricts knee lift. it will lean forward. which is largely determined by the height to which the knee swings forward.

What to Teach The foot should strike flat. A full-footed footstrike puts the foot under the hips with the leg in a bent. and shortening the stride.What to Teach The arms should swing forward and back with a constant arm angle of approximately 90 degrees until the final stages of the race. with the heel making contact but the runner’s weight forward toward the ball of the foot. FOOTSTRIKE Shoes significantly alter our natural footstrike tendencies. This is achieved by closing the arm angles. This is called “overstriding. The forearm and hand should always move in one piece without any break in the wrist. Increased oxygen intake is also accomplished by taking deeper breaths. Today’s super-cushioned shoes allow runners to make those kinds of mechanical mistakes. Running with the hands positioned thumbs up recruits more muscles in the forearm and shoulder to flex the arm rapidly. This results in overstriding and a loss of speed. Most of us would not land on our heels and slap our forefoot onto the ground if we were running barefoot. quicker levers. The hands should be cupped and relaxed. A heel-first footstrike extends the foot in front of the center of mass and creates a braking action at each touch down. in a mid-stance position. BREATHING Running causes the rate of respiration to increase to meet the body’s increased demand for oxygen. Many distance runners attempt to run faster in the closing stages of a race by taking longer strides. weight-bearing position. 257 . increasing armswing cadence. Running with the hands palms down tends to lock in that arm angle. The key to accelerating off the pace is creating shorter. Important! Accelerating off the pace requires different mechanics than accelerating from a start. This enhances a rapid forward weight transfer as the leg fully extends off the ball of the foot into the next stride.” The middle of the foot should strike the ground with the runner’s weight toward the ball of the foot.

” • “Get comfortable.” • “Stay off your heels.” • “Let the arms swing from the shoulder as one piece. symmetrical running mechanics. and praise progress.” • “Loose hands — loose jaw.” 258 . and breathe through both your nose and mouth. In your role as coach.” For Correct Footstrike • “Flat landing — weight forward. teaching and reinforcing proper running mechanics must be an ongoing process if you hope to help your athletes acquire efficient. Relax. You must develop a critical eye for proper mechanics.” • “Chest out — shoulders back. HELPFUL COACHING WORD CUES For Correct Posture • “Sit up.” For Correct Arm Action • “Let the shoulders hang loose and relaxed.” • “Hands down — palms down.” • “Hands cupped and relaxed. Even those who do often lose that sense once they become fatigued.What to Teach Keep your thoracic cavity (chest) open by running erect with your chest out and shoulders back. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER Many young runners do not have a good feel (kinesthetic sense) for how their bodies move.” • “Head up — chin slightly tucked. correct errors.” To Relax • “Run smooth and loose. take deep abdominal breaths. rhythmic.” • “Run tall.

and unforeseen events in the race. and whether they feel most comfortable and in control when leading or following. the farthest from reaching his or her physiological limits • the most efficient. At the race’s end.” Tactics and Strategy for the Distance Races Although much is said about tactics in distance running. If several runners in a particular race are of roughly equal ability. and the fastest finisher wins the race. fatigue.” • “Hands up — thumbs up. The racing position runners choose should be determined by their ability. the runner who is the strongest mentally and can tolerate the most discomfort when at the limit of his reserves. However. but the one who slows down the least! The winner of this type of race will be: • the most highly trained. the runner who has been most successful at conserving energy during the race • the toughest. pain. Runners with good finishing speed usually attempt to run for position behind the leaders.To Accelerate and Sprint • “Quick arms — short strides. there are in fact only a few strategical maneuvers that can be used in a race. 259 . Most will have some energy in reserve.” • “Drive off the balls of your feet. however. it will not be the fastest sprinter who wins. RACING POSITIONS There are two basic strategies in a distance race front running and position running. The great tactical runner is the one who can execute strategy despite emotional stress. theoretically they will all reach the end of the race in a similar state of fatigue. Strong runners without good finishing speed usually attempt to control the race from the front. a fast aerobic pace at which runners can meet their oxygen requirements. what they know of their opponents. if the race has been run at a pace fast enough that each runner has experienced an incremental increase in oxygen debt. because the middle stage of most high school distance races is run at what is called a steady state. each runner tries to initiate a surge to the finish line. and fatigue.

THE STRATEGIES OF FRONT RUNNING AND POSITION RUNNING It is important to understand the reasoning behind using specific racing strategies. conserve as much energy as possible for a sprint to the finish. The object of this tactic is to surprise the field by dramatically increasing the pace well before the finish (usually after approximately 500m in an 800m race. In this case. he or she can employ some short bursts of faster running to initiate a break. The leaders in a race usually assume front-running positions and force the pace because they believe they are more likely to be beaten by faster finishing opponents in a slow-paced race. A front runner wins by breaking away from the field and wants a fast pace from the-start. The first rule of position running is Never lose contact with the leaders! A finishing sprint is of little use if it does not enable a runner to catch opponents — let alone pass them! Kickers must stay close to the leaders throughout the race. Runners who use a long finish often beat runners of equal or greater ability because they are stronger mentally and have trained to push themselves to greater limits in the closing stages of the race. This tactic is called surging. They lead and push the pace to force the rest of the field to fall behind (lose contact) or tire to the point of being unable to increase the pace at the end of the race. or 2400m in a 3200m race). a front runner tries to show opponents he is the strongest and toughest competitor in the race and no one can run with him. A position runner wins by staying close to the leaders and out-sprinting them to the finish. 1000m in a 1600m race. If a front runner has not been successful in breaking away by the middle stages of a 1600m or 3200m race. However. another position-running strategy called a long finish can be effective. This strategy is based on the premise that front runners will be demoralized by losing the lead at that stage of the race and that other position runners will lack the confidence or toughness to respond with so much distance remaining to the finish. By surging. this simple strategy is complicated by the fact that there are always several other runners in the race with the same plan. 260 . and pick a point in the race from which they can maintain a sprint all the way to the finish line.

they go a long way toward overcoming challenges even before the race has begun. but all lacking the courage to attempt a long-finishing tactic? 261 . the best strategy is to plan the race around running a pace which will result in the athlete’s best time. This brings us to the dilemma of runners sticking to their race plan. and not just the best times. and knowledge of opponents. PLANNING A RACE Every runner should go to the starting line armed with a race plan. previous racing performances. then slow to the point where opponents stay with them without difficulty? How often do we see a runner with a great finishing kick allow the leaders to open a 30m gap. The effect of surprise is often worth several precious meters and can be the margin of victory at the end of the race. coaches are lucky to find five or six natural front runners who can dominate races. Despite the advantages you may attach to position-running tactics. In the course of a coaching career. However. or when you know your runner is outclassed by much of the field. When this is the case. Coaches should help their runners devise race plans based on current training. Final Thoughts Some athletes are natural front runners. of their opponents. do not make the mistake of discouraging your runners from taking the lead and setting the pace if that is where they feel most comfortable and in control in a race. Coaches should also try to learn as much as possible about the tactics. How often have we all seen front runners set a fast early pace. You can then work out a plan for situations that are likely to occur in the race. When runners expect certain tactics and have prepared themselves mentally. then make up 29 meters of it on the final straight? And how often do we see runners bunched at the front in the closing stages of a race. each knowing only one can win the final sprint to the finish. coaches often find their distance runners in large fields about which they know very little. position runners have the advantage of being able to choose the time and place to make their move to the front of the race.In addition to being able to key off the leaders and avoid the burden of setting the pace. individual strengths. Anticipate how the race is likely to develop.

even when they feel they risk being unable to sprint at the finish by doing so. 262 . Only when they themselves are well-extended will the position runners in the race begin to approach their breaking points. Many intelligent athletes behave irrationally under the pressure and emotional stress of competition. often beat less poised opponents who may be physically more talented. This is an especially important consideration in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter races. At other times running wide is a needless waste of energy. DISTANCE RUNNING TACTICS In addition to basic strategies. rather than how they are going to do. when the race is at a stage where everyone is tiring. Running in the 2nd lane of a 400m track for one lap adds 7 meters to the length of the race. There are times when it is important for position runners to be at the outside shoulder of the leaders to avoid being boxed-in when preparing to strike. Runners who use a long-finish must remember that the strategy is most effective when opponents are unprepared for it. a long-finishing drive must be convincing from the outset and open a lead that can be carried all the way to the finish line. front runners are also at a crisis stage of the race and may be ready to slow the pace at any time. To be successful. This is the time when front runners must make their greatest effort to maintain the pace or surge! Position runners who hope to win must hang on to the leaders at all costs. It is less effective when the others are willing to try to increase the pace over the remaining distance to the finish. Runners who maintain their composure and concentrate on what they want to do. Avoiding Running Wide This is the most common mistake committed by distance runners at all levels.Front runners must be made to realize they will not often break away from the field early in the race. there are several tactics all runners can use to their advantage in a race. They must be made to realize that when they are near the breaking point.

This boxes in those runners trailing in inside lanes and prevents them from being able to move out and pass. it would be more efficient to close it by running a full lap :02 seconds faster than to try to make up :02 seconds within 100 meters. If a :02 gap was created. 11-1. and by moving to the outside border of lane one when closing the gap behind the leaders. but even within 100 meters this tactic can be used. it is more economical for the runners behind to close that gap slowly than with a fast surge of their own. The tactics and developments in a race may make even-pace running impossible. surging. Today the fine Kenyan and Moroccan runners are masters at utilizing this particular strategy. For example. Don't Get Boxed in. who leads which segments of the race. This can enable them all to run a fast time without imposing too much of the burden of setting up the race on any one individual. then tucking back into lane one on the curves.Running at an Even Pace Running at an even pace is the most efficient method of expending and conserving energy in a race. Avoiding Boxes Boxes usually occur in distance races when the field comes off a curve and runners move up to the outside shoulders of the leaders (see Fig. 263 . or long-finish tactics which they might not be capable of pulling off individually. Team Racing In many instances teammates of roughly equal ability can help each other by sharing the pace setting. if the leaders should surge and open a gap. A team-running strategy should be a predetermined plan of pace. Fig. Runners can avoid this situation by moving to the outside shoulder of the leaders on the straights. A team-running strategy can also enable two or three teammates to utilize front-running. Often when the front runners initiate a surge they eventually slow to a pace slower than what they were running previously. 11-1). and at what point the team-running stops and the race for individual places begins.

The biggest challenge facing an 800m runner is avoiding any interruptions in pace. this event is run so fast there is little time for tactics and maneuvering. 800m runners have to make decisions and respond to race circumstances in a split second. there is almost always a mad dash around the first curve to the break line. Runners behind at this point are at a disadvantage because they will have to run wide for much of the remainder of the race in order to gain position on the leaders. when the world record stood at 4:06. tactical errors can be irreversible. the first 100 meters of the 800m is run in lanes or alleys around the first curve. or getting out of a box will find themselves stripped of the ability to accelerate once more at the end of the race. Nevertheless. This minimizes the extra distance they have to run and avoids the congestion in the inside lanes. The crucial stage of the 1600m race for a front runner is from roughly 2½ laps (1000 meters) to 3½ laps (I400 meters). However. 1600M. In a race which proceeds at 6-7 meters per second. If a front runner can break away from the field during this stage. cut-off.APPLYING STRATEGY TO THE 8OOM. A moment’s hesitation can be the difference between winning and losing. pushed. A basic rule in the middle distance races (800m/1600m) is that a runner can only make two aggressive accelerations in a fast-paced race. A fast first 400 meters punishes the 800m/1600m middle distance-type runner more than the 400m/800m sprinter-type runner because it is closer to his or her maximum 400m speed. AND 3200M RACES 8OO Meters Even at the high school level.000 meters. In a field of 1600m/Mile runners of roughly equal ability. Runners who spend those two accelerations recovering from being tripped. but since the middle stage of the race is relatively short compared to races of 2 miles to 10. 1600 Meters (Mile) Strategy for the Mile hasn’t changed much since the 1930s. they can make the most of the situation by not breaking immediately for lane 1 or 2 from the outside lanes and running a diagonal straight line to the next curve. 264 . a front runner is unlikely to break away until the 3rd lap. In most meets. Thus. position runners are less likely to lose contact with the leaders. Much of the so-called “magic of the mile” lies in the opportunity the race gives a front runner to break away. he will have a chance to hold off the kickers over the final 200 meters to win.

• Never run in wilderness. You need to use your eyes and ears to be aware of your surroundings. but vary your routes. However. Safety Precautions for Training Alone • Run in familiar areas. • In daylight. carry change to make a phone call. the 3200 meters provides a good opportunity for a front runner to break the opposition. • Carry an ID with a phone number to call in case of an emergency. 265 . run on the left side of the road so you can observe and avoid oncoming traffic. wear some kind of of reflective clothing or markings. positions runners know that if they can maintain contact with the leaders they will have a good chance of outsprinting them to the finish. It is important that coaches and athletes recognize how much more difficult it is to force the pace through the early and middle stages of a race than to start fast. but keep your distance and keep moving. run in well-lit areas.3200 Meters (2 Miles) While there are relatively few high school runners who can dominate a good 1600m field. rural. Look directly at them and be observant. when front runners force the pace or surge throughout the middle stages of the race. typical pattern. and run on the right side of the road so that headlights will illuminate the road ahead for you. If you don’t have a telephone charge-card number. When the race follows the latter. • As a general rule. tell a family member or friend of your route and expected time of return. do not run in the dark. position runners who manage to maintain contact are far less likely to initiate a winning sprint-finish. If you must. • Girls should carry a whistle or noise-maker and not wear jewelry. rather than blind you. or leave a note. settle in to a comfortable pace. • Do not stare at strangers or react to verbal harassment. This race is the best arena in high school Track & Field for the demonstration of tactics and strategy. and sprint to the finish. • Before going out for a solo run. • Stay alert! Never run wearing a headset. or deserted areas without a partner.

primary emphasis should be given to one type of training. are illness. The long-term consequences of the coach or athlete not planning for recovery. and somewhat less emphasis (maintenance training) to another. Training is stress. Periodizing training allows runners to emphasize a specific type of training during a specific period of a year-long training program. During a 2–4-week training phase. Training needs to be as varied and multi-dimensional as possible for athletes to maintain their enthusiasm for running through a 12-month cycle of training and racing. training tends to become tedious and produces little improvement. After that period of time. The remaining days should be easy training and recovery days. A Training Periodization Plan for the Season Periodization is dividing the training year into a cycle of several phases. or athletes not listening to their bodies tell them they are not recovered. Other types of training are not neglected. each devoted to different training methods and objectives. it is not wise to include more than three quality training days per week. but simply less emphasized during a given period. When coaches plan their training. including races. secondary emphasis should be given to another type of training. 266 . or overtraining (physiological exhaustion). Recovery is an essential component of training because all improvement occurs during recovery when the body rebuilds itself to adapt to the stresses. injury. motivational burn-out.• Call the police immediately if something inordinately threatening happens to you. Within any training phase. As a rule. they are planning how to introduce and manage stress. 4-6 weeks seems to be the maximum period during which athletes can sustain improvement with any one type of training.

or touch football also provide excellent training alternatives that involve varied-pace running. But in order to capitalize on the new levels of fitness achieved during the previous Cross Country or Track & Field. it is important they not be inactive during the off-season. Runners who begin their next season in poor condition not only limit early season progress and success. 267 . It is reasonable to expect a high school distance runner to improve with each successive season of competition. demanding competitive season. All athletes need a break after a long. Inter-squad games of soccer. but they are more vulnerable to injury. athletes should be physically and mentally rejuvenated and ready to resume training. cycling. which emphasizes endurance and strength. It is imperative that an off-season training program be less intense than the previous track or cross-country season. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort for them to regain high-level performances. but distance runners who become totally inactive during their off-seasons quickly lose a great deal of fitness. Cross-country training. Off-season programs should be fun and should utilize a variety of training sites and activities to maintain interest. June through mid-August and December through January are the two offseason periods of the year for high school distance runners.OFF-SEASON TRAINING FOR DISTANCE RUNNERS Off-season training is an important component of a distance runner’s total training program. All distance runners should run Cross Country in the fall. is essential fall preparation for racing on the track at distances of 800-3200 meters. but cross-training activities such as hiking. often not getting there until late in the competitive season. This is more than a recommendation. basketball. It is a requirement for today’s high school distance runner who hopes to achieve high level performances on the track. swimming. Long. and rollerskating are excellent alternative cardiovascular activities. After a 2-3 week break from highly structured running. easy continuous runs should be the essence of off-season training for distance runners.

One strength training session every 10–14 days will also maintain strength. These sessions need only be 60-90 minutes each if the activity is continuous or quick-paced. This translates to an off-season training program of only 3-5 hours per week to prepare athletes for a successful start to a new season. The following is an example of a distance runner’s training plan for a high school track season: 2-4 WK PHASE PRIMARY EMPHASIS SECONDARY EMPHASIS MAINTENANCE Pre-Season 1 2 Early Season 3 4 Mid-Season 5 6 Easy Pace Runs Steady Pace Runs Tempo Intervals Reps Reps Intervals Steady Pace Runs Tempo Runs Reps Tempo Intervals Intervals Speed Reps Easy Pace Runs Steady Pace Runs Tempo Runs Easy Pace Runs Tempo Runs 268 .It is possible to maintain a high level of cardiovascular endurance by doing only three moderate-intensity training sessions per week. TRAINING DISTANCE RUNNERS WITH A SYSTEM A system of training uses several methods of training within a yearly or seasonal training plan.

Fridays. long runs on Mondays. • Thornridge invitational Competition Final 3 wks of Dual Meets and lnvitationals Target Races (3) • Oak Park Dual Meet • Arcadia Invitational • Mt. Add volume rep sessions on the track on Tuesdays and Saturdays. and neg-split reps on Tuesdays and open Saturdays. easy recovery runs on Wednesdays. 269 . easy runs.PLANNING AIDS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR TRAINING SYSTEM SAMPLE TRAINING AND COMPETITION PLAN 800 METERS • 1600 METERS • 3200 METERS O M I T I O N P L A N Training Break: (after Cross Country) November U-December 17 Active rest and cross-training activities. and reps on grass. and Sundays. and muscular strength Add surging runs. surging and long reps at goal pace. tempo runs. hill loops. and open Saturdays. Competition Non-League Dual Meets on last 2 Thursdays Specific Preparation Period: Phase I March 12–April 8 (4 weeks) Add speed intervals. Begin weight training 2x week. and Sundays. Fridays. Thursdays. Sac Relays Target Races (3) • May 4 League Finals • May 11 CIF Prelims • May 25 CIF Masters • June 1-2 State Meet Peak Racing Period: April 30–June 2 (4 weeks) Add 15-20 minute tempo runs on Mondays. Training Re-Adaptation Period: December 18–January 14 (4 weeks) Resume daily training regimen with long. Basic Preparation Period: January 15–February 18 (5 weeks) Increase training mileage. Competition • 7 League Dual Meets begin on Thursdays • 2 Invitational Meets on Saturdays Target Races (2) • Proviso Dual Meet Specific Preparation Period: Phase II April 9–April 29 (3 weeks) Train to race! Add reps faster than goal pace and neg-split reps on Tuesdays. Transition to Track Training: February 19–March 11 (3 weeks) Increase quality and specificity of training with track workouts. and Sundays. Speed reps on Tuesdays. Continue long runs on Mondays and easy recovery runs on Wednesdays. Easy recovery runs on Wednesdays. aerobic endurance.

DISTANCE RUNNERS TRAINING SCRIPT Sequence WARM-UP: Pre-Stretch STRETCH: WORKOUT: Group: Date: BUILD-UPS: WARM-DOWN: POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS t Hopping t Bounding RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS t Walking t Skipping t Running LEG-UPS NOTES: PUSH-UPS .

Chris E. Dave K.. Chris M. Marc. Eddie.. Gretchen. Mary GROUP 4: x3 @ 64 w/walk 400–jog 400 btw sets. Troy. April 9 + 2800m surging last 100m of laps 1-3-5 3 BUILD-UPS: 6 x 100m Russian Intervals (300m-jog 100m @:30-300m-jog 100m @ :30-300m) GROUP 1: x 4@ 48w/jog 800m btw sets.SAMPLE DISTANCE RUNNERS TRAINING SCRIPT Sequence 1 2 4 WARM-UP: Pre-Stretch STRETCH: WORKOUT: Group: 800m /1600m Date: Mon. 4sngl leg) RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS t Walking t Skipping t Running LEG-UPS 7 PUSH-UPS 25 NOTES: 7:00 am morning run tomorrow for Groups l-2-3. Chris C. Carlos. Vaughan GROUP 2: x4@ :52 w/jog 800m btw sets. Quoc GROUP 3: x4@ 56 w/jog 800m btw sets. Louise L. Robert. Michele. Wilton. Be here on time! 271 .. Annie L. Pat.. Mark... Lesley 5 6 WARM-DOWN: 1000m POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS Hopping t Bounding 2x (8 dbl leg. Bob.

Meagen.SAMPLE DISTANCE RUNNERS TRAINING SCRIPT Sequence Group: 3200m Date: Mon... Shelley. Dave VH. Janice 5 6 WARM-DOWN: 1000m POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS Hopping t Bounding 2x (8 dbl leg 4 sngl leg) RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS t Walking t Skipping t Running LEG-UPS 7 PUSH-UPS 25 N O T E S : 7:00 am morning run tomorrow for Groups 1-2-3.. Dave O GROUP 2: @ 80-90 136-46 / 14-24. Margarita. . 2x1400m surging alt 200s. Mike T. Rose. Annie S. Alison.. 1000m surging at 100s GROUP 1: @ 70–80 /33–43 / 15–22. April 9 1 2 4 WARM-UP: Pre-Stretch + 2800m surging last 100m of laps 1-3-5 STRETCH: WORKOUT: 3 BUILD-UPS: 6x 100m SURGING: 2000m surging alt 300s. Vlady (Grace: 120–1x1400–1000) GROUP 3: @90–1:45 / 1x1400 @ 42-52 / 1x600 @ 18-25. Mike S. Tom.

SAMPLE 4-WEEK DISTANCE TRAINING PLAN. MARCH 12-APRIL 8 MONDAY 12 Steady Pace Run 60 min SPR on Sullivan Loop Intervals 4x(200 -30 sec 200-30 sec -200) Jog 800 btwn sets 19 Steady Pace Run 7M Steady Run at Rollercoaster Loop 2 0 L-Reps 5 x 800 / 5 min Int at increased pace 21 Easy Pace Run 30 min EPR at Water Tower Loop TUESDAY 13 WEDNESDAY 14 Easy Pace Run 30 min EPR at Veterans Park THURSDAY 15 Race Home League Dual Meet vs Bloom 22 Race Away Meet vs Racine FRIDAY 16 Easy Pace Run 30 min EPR on campus loop SATURDAY 17 Surging 800m-1000-1200 -1000-800 Surge alt 200s 23 2 4 Race Glendale Relays SUNDAY 18 Easy Pace Run 30 min EPR on your own or Rest Day 25 Easy Pace Run 30 min EPR on your own or Rest Day Warm-Up 20 min Easy Warm-Up Run 26 Steady Pace Run 50 min SPR at River Loop 2 7 Intervals 5x(300-60 sec 300) Jog 800 btwn sets 2 8 Easy Pace Run 30 min EPR at Veterans Park 2 9 Target Race Home league Dual Meet vs Proviso 30 Easy Pace Run 30 min EPR at Water Tower Loop 31 Surging 5 x 600 / 4 min Int Surge alt 200s Easy Pace Run 30 min EPR on your own or Rest Day 1 2 Steady Pace Run 60 min SPR on Sullivan Loop 3 Intervals (2-4-6-5-3) x 150 w/jog 50 recovery jog 400 btwn set Easy Pace Run 30 min EPR on campus loop 4 Race Away League Dual Meet vs Eisenhower 5 Warm-Up 20 min Easy Warm-Up Run 6 Target Race Thronton Invitational 7 Easy Pace Run 30 min EPR on your own or Rest Day 8 273 .

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technique becomes paramount because the athlete needs to make the transition from one jump to another without a major loss of momentum or jumping form. In the Long Jump. In the Triple Jump. vertical impulse.Training Long & Triple Jumpers In both the Long Jump and Triple Jump events. and technique determine performance. horizontal velocity. 275 . horizontal velocity is the primary determinant of distance.

A Philosophy for Coaching Horizontal Jumps The most important factor in Long and Triple Jump performance is horizontal velocity. and power will benefit your jumpers most. and repetition will produce consistent approach runs. SPECIFICITY The body adapts to specific demands placed upon it. the athlete seeks to convert run-up speed into the longest “flight” possible. and shills needed to perform these events. In both events. an accurate and consistent approach run is essential. Rhythm controls the approach speed and transition to jumping. PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD In order for the physical capacity of the athlete to increase. Training that emphasizes the fundamentals of speed. training for the horizontal jumps must specifically address the requirements. Your long jumpers may range from 14–24+ foot performers. Technique plays a greater role in the Triple Jump because of the sequence of rapid contacts with the ground. Training for the Long Jump and Triple Jump As with every other event. Habitual fouling at takeoff is the result of poor preparation. strengths. As a high school coach. rhythm. this is also known as the SAID principle. 276 . Power (explosiveness) converts speed into flight. Emphasis on technical execution should increase as your athletes acquire basic jumping skills. Therefore. the specific adaptation to imposed demands. Fouling is simply a waste of good effort. Finally. you will find that the abilities and physical maturity of your young athletes will vary greatly. good sprint mechanics. A coach needs to construct a training program to encompass this spectrum of ability. certain universal principles of training apply to the Long Jump and Triple Jump. As discussed in a previous chapter. or overload. The two horizontal jumps are also expressions of rhythm and power. This cycle of stress and adaptation is the foundation of all training. his system must be subjected to stress. rhythm. The body’s adaptation to this stress results in increased capacity. Sound fundamentals.

Rhythm also allows the athlete to relax while exerting tremendous effort and provides a cadence for that effort. long and triple jumpers require plentiful rest even though they may not feel tired or worn out. are expressions of power through rhythm. Rhythm provides a reference for the control of speed and power. These events also require consistent execution of an identical run-up over repeated attempts. In a technical event like the Triple Jump. Accuracy. Speed. and controlled approach run. Rhythm Long and triple jumping. INDIVIDUALITY Respecting the principle of individuality is most important for the coach of high school jumpers. This usually entails dissecting the jump into components and performing them repeatedly with proper technique. RECOVERY In order for the body to adapt to progressive overload. and Consistency The single most important factor in Long and Triple Jump performance is the execution of a fast. A single training program based on your best jumper will not yield the greatest improvement for all your athletes. 277 . it must rest and recover from the applied stress. like most events in Track & Field. accurate. Aside from the general principles of training. Since much of the training they must do is quite demanding. there are other principles that apply specifically to the Long and Triple Jumps. the neuromuscular patterns of technique need to be enforced through repetition of movement. Accuracy and consistency are the foundation upon which jumping skills and technique are constructed.REPETITION This principle is an outgrowth of specificity requirements. Age and strength differences have profound effects on adolescents. Jumpers cannot jump every day and expect to perform well in competition. Jumpers need ample recovery for their legs to be fresh.

Drills and repetition refine this awareness. The speed of the approach and the need to preserve horizontal velocity make it impossible for the athlete to achieve the theoretically optimum angle of projection of approximately 45 degrees. 278 . Mechanics of the Long and Triple Jumps The biomechanics of the two horizontal jumps are relatively simple in comparison to many other Track & Field events. The training of jumpers needs to specifically develop this explosiveness through weight training. the Long and Triple Jumps are rapid accelerations followed by a vertical impulse in order to achieve the greatest possible distance in flight. Each phase is controlled by technique to maximize the sum of the three jumps. The athlete needs to have a feel for his or her body and how it moves. The body becomes a projectile accelerated by its own power. Body Control (Kinesthetic Awareness) To excel at the horizontal jumps. the athlete must develop the ability to control the position and posture of his or her body while in motion. The Triple Jump is actually three separate jumps in the form of a hop. LONG JUMP MECHANICS Horizontal velocity is the overwhelming determinant of performance in the Long Jump. plyometric training. This is the essence of athletics.Explosiveness and Acceleration The Long and Triple Jumps are explosions of the body off the ground. but is mechanically similar to the Long Jump. a step. and a jump. Vertical force applied at the takeoff contributes only slightly to the overall distanced achieved. the normal takeoff angle is closer to 25 degrees. and jumping. both on the ground and in the air. The Triple Jump is more complicated technically. In actuality. In biomechanical terms.

Forward rotation is created at take-off by eccentric thrust and the checking of forward momentum by the take-off foot. although there are significant differences because horizontal velocity must be preserved over three consecutive jumps. the trajectory of the jumper's center of mass is established at take-off. the Triple Jump is a series of three consecutive jumps following a fast approach run. which is followed by full extension of the leg at take-off Vertical impulse is also attained by driving the free leg and opposite arm through the take-off stride. but block in the first two phases (hop and step). not gaming height. A landing position with the arms swept to the back. A pawing motion of the foot creates a backward velocity of the landing leg. horizontal velocity is the most influential element of performance. The Hang slows rotation through extension of the limbs away from the body. The take-off angle in the Triple Jump is less than in the Long Jump (approximately 20 degrees) in order to decrease the amount of deceleration upon landing in each phase. Maintaining forward velocity is the critical factor in long jumping. The Hang and Hitchkick styles have developed over time as the predominant methods of long jumping. plays a far greater role in the Triple Jump. The arms and free leg still drive vigorously. while airborne. This requires the athlete.The take-off angle is determined by the approach velocity and by the lowering of the center of mass on the penultimate (or next-to-last) step. Trying to gain vertical impulse (height) by slowing to gather for the take-off will shorten the length of the jump. Technique is used to counter forward rotation and optimize the jumper’s position relative to his or her center of mass at landing. 279 . allows the feet to be extended far beyond the center of mass without the jumper falling back into the pit. however. The biomechanics of long jumping generally apply to this event. TRIPLE JUMP MECHANICS As its name reveals. This action increases vertical reaction off the ground with minimal slowing of horizontal velocity. As with the Long Jump. to counteract rotation in order to achieve an extended landing. Technique. helping maintain forward horizontal velocity of the body. and the head and chest dropped forward. As with any projectile. A unique feature of the Triple Jump is the action of the landing foot at the end of each phase. The Hitchkick counters forward rotation by creating counter rotation through cycling the arms and legs.

The approach run should be a controlled sprint with almost bounding strides. collapsing at the take-off. 280 . relaxed sprinting mechanics and the fluid jumping movements of rhythm plyometrics. Embedding a fluid sense of rhythm into the speed and explosiveness of young jumpers will give them a foundation for their continued progress. with the head and chest dropped forward and the arms swept back. Developing horizontal jumping rhythm focuses on both the approach sprint and the act ofjumping itself: Young jumpers should concentrate on learning sound. and relaxed. In teaching the Long Jump. the athlete uses a Hang position to counter rotation. The Long Jump contains only one explosive moment. upright.In the final jump phase. or succumbing to forward rotation. sprinting and jumping rhythm are the framework through which this velocity is converted into distance. The Triple Jump has three explosive moments that are guided by the rhythmic technique of the jump. Teaching the Long and Triple Jumps INTRODUCING THE JUMPS TO BEGINNERS Teaching the Long and Triple jumps to beginners is really the teaching of rhythmic acceleration and explosion. a coach should emphasize a consistent approach that builds to the greatest speed that an athlete can generate and still manage to jump correctly without decelerating. The Hitchkick style requires more air time than is available in the jump phase of the Triple Jump. The landing position in the Triple Jump is similar to the Long Jump. The sprint position into the jump transition should be tall. While horizontal velocity is by far the most important determinant of performance. Sprint drills and rhythm drills are the fundamentals of early jump training.

An all-out uncontrolled sprint into the take-off results in a poor jump. The flat-flat rhythm should not be the result of gathering or decelerating into the jump. and controlled. The jumper must accelerate through the short approach. the athlete attempts to change body position without losing sprint speed. In the Triple Jump. rhythmic. the jump transition is deemphasized. rhythm is also emphasized in teaching beginners. Short approach jumps. The acceleration of the approach must be gradual. which focus on the flat-flat rhythm of the last two footstrikes are helpful. while the rhythmic flow from one jump to another is stressed. Forcing the athlete to learn Triple Jump technique with a full speed approach is an invitation to both frustration and injury. or pop-ups.One of the most difficult tasks in Track & Field is performing the penultimate stride of the Long Jump correctly. THE APPROACH RUN The aim of the approach runs for the Long Jump and Triple Jump is to generate the maximum amount of speed which can be converted effectively into a jump. Teaching the jump transition to novices is done best by stressing the rhythm of the jump. Executing this maneuver well requires considerable strength and power. Here. (Refer to Chapter 5 for a complete discussion on plyometric training. Young triple jumpers should spend a lot of time doing multiple jumps in the form of rhythm plyometrics. As sound triple jumping fundamentals are learned. Here.) Such drills develop both rhythm and specific jumping strength. The goal of the transition from approach to take-off is to lower the center of mass during the penultimate stride in order to create both upward and outward impulse at take-off. Begin by having novices learn to do standing and 3-5 stride triple jumps emphasizing technique and even rhythm. 281 . you can gradually increase the length and speed of the approach.

Faster and more developed runners will be able to utilize a longer run-up. transfer the approach onto the jump runway. Fouling at take-off is a waste of training and preparation time. the jumper should be running at nearly full speed with an upright body position and high-knee lift.The length of the approach should be 12-18 strides for high school athletes. The athlete should be running tall and relaxed. When a coach notices a decrease in speed in the final strides of the approach. Practicing the approach on the track removes the distraction of the take-off board and landing pit and allows the young jumper to focus on learning rhythmic acceleration and achieving good body position at the take-off. The stride at this point may even have a bounding quality to it. the athlete should attempt to increase his or her stride turnover and accelerate into the jump while maintaining this tall sprint position. 282 . Developing the approach and its rhythm is often done better on the track than the jump runway. Over the last 4-6 strides. Continual practice of the approach will ensure consistency and accuracy at the take-off board. A coach’s check mark placed four strides from the board can be useful in evaluating the run-up during practice. When the athlete has learned these skills sufficiently. the run-up is either too long or the athlete has accelerated too quickly and cannot maintain that speed throughout the approach. Most run-up problems originate in the first 3 strides of the acceleration. but should not be used in actual competition. The approach itself is a gradual acceleration to the greatest speed the athlete can convert into the jump. much training should focus on increasing the athlete’s sprint speed and ability to convert that speed into a well-executed jump. Jogging or skipping into the approach is not recommended for high school athletes. Since horizontal velocity is the greatest contributor to distance in the Long and Triple Jumps. This approach speed and running posture puts the athlete in position to jump with a minimum loss of speed. In the final strides. Your athlete should use a stationary start to achieve consistent foot placement at take-off. The exact number depends on the strength and speed of the athlete.

Care must be taken to ensure that the longer penultimate stride is not the result of reaching with the foot or gathering in preparation for the jump. the shoulders should be slightly behind the hips with the leg extended almost fully.THE LONG JUMP The most difficult aspect of the Long Jump is performing the transition into the take-off of the jump. but also reduces horizontal velocity. Doing so helps to eliminate overextension of the take-off leg on the final stride. It should be the result of drive and accelerated turnover. which may increase vertical impulse. or flat landing on the foot. The take-off stride is shorter and quicker than the previous stride. the free leg pulls through quickly. Upon contact of the foot ending the penultimate stride. The athlete must not reach for the board with the takeoff foot. The hips ate lowered slightly through a longer stride that is the result of a powerful drive and a full-footed. In the penultimate stride. about 170 degrees. 283 . it is often helpful to have them envision running off the board and accelerating into the take-off. the foot. the body’s center of mass must be lowered in order to attain optimum position for the take-off. Upper body position remains upright and relaxed even though the center of mass has been lowered slightly. When coaching young jumpers. The leg should be pulled through fast and lower than previous strides of the approach. As the take-off foot contacts the board. creating a pulling through sensation. The contact of the foot is full-footed to transfer horizontal velocity into vertical lift more efficiently. This overextends. or blocks. This action puts the body in good position for achieving extension and vertical impulse off the board. This must be done with an absolute minimum loss of speed.

a great deal of the jump impulse will result from the powerful eccentric contraction that follows the absorption of the last stride. The purpose of in-flight arm and leg action is to counteract forward rotation. or extension. fast and forcefully.) The drive leg and opposite arm block (stop abruptly) as the thigh comes parallel to the ground and the hand comes to eye level. most of the vertical lift in the Long Jump results from the drive of the free leg. As stated earlier. while enabling them to land efficiently.Upon contact of the take-off foot. We recommend three styles of long jumping for high school athletes: the Stride. (Actually. In this style. The feel of the take-off should be both forward and up. The jump. and put the jumper into the optimum position at landing with the feet extended well beyond the athlete’s center of mass. As the jumper descends to the ground. The forward arm at takeoff remains high and in front of the body. the Hang or the 1½ Hitchkick. The foot of the free leg should be pulled through above the knee of the support leg in order to preserve horizontal velocity throughout the jump. At landing. the jumper continues to hold the stride position of the take-off for nearly half the flight. not a concerted effort to jump up. Long jumpers should adopt the in-flight technique which best preserves the speed established during run-up. 284 . while the rear arm cycles upward and then reaches in front of the body as well. maintain balance. the trailing leg pulls through and extends along with the lead leg. the athlete can substantially influence the distance of the jump through his or her technique while in the air. Nonetheless. the path of the jumper’s center of mass is determined once the athlete leaves the ground. of the take-off leg should be as fast and explosive as possible. The stride off the take-off board should be a continuation of the approach. the head and chest are dropped forward and the hands sweep backward to extend the feet far ahead of the center of mass. When executed properly. The Stride The Stride is simple and quite useful for beginning jumpers to learn. the jump is initiated with the free leg and opposite arm driving forward and upward.

the hands are swept backward to move the body forward through the sand. The Hang The Hang style is a somewhat more advanced technique of jumping. this style is highly recommended. you must ingrain proper sprint and jumping technique before concentrating on flight styles. jumpers at this level have far less time to execute more complicated movements. The hips and upper body are extended so the body is in an upright or inverted C position. The jumper should maintain this position for about half the flight of the jump. and the knees are flexed to approximate right angles. Landing position is achieved by piking the body to raise and extend the legs forward. The Hang is an effective style used by many elite level long jumpers. While the Stride is less effective in countering rotation than other styles.The Stride style is appropriate for athletes jumping less than 19 feet. Many young jumpers never develop sound runup and jumping mechanics because they continually anticipate actions to be performed in-flight. then circle overhead. Upon landing. As the coach. Doing this decreases the length of the jump (see Fig. One clear advantage of the Stride is that beginners can focus more easily on the essential aspects of the approach and take-off without worrying about what they have to do in the air. Most top European jumpers employ this method. 12-1). The Hang can also be used well by high school jumpers. If a young jumper is performing in the 20-foot plus range. 285 . The take-off leg then pulls even to the drive leg. When the athlete leaves the ground. The arms drop. The disadvantage of this technique (like that of the Hitchkick to be discussed next) is that many athletes start their in-flight action while still on the ground. In other words. many jumpers compromise their speed and jumping mechanics to prepare for what they will do in the air. It employs lengthening the body’s long axis to slow forward rotation. the drive leg is dropped almost perpendicular to the ground.

and block the take-off foot to put them in a position to complete the Hitchkick motion. While this may make the Hitchkick attractive to young jumpers.The 1½ Hitchkick The Hitchkick style is the most complex technique of long jumping. Here. A simpler in-flight technique such as the Stride or Hang is recommended for most high school long jumpers (see Fig. The arms are extended while moving backward and then are shortened as they move in front of the body. which is better suited to high school athletes. the Hitchkick will not be of any significant benefit. concentration. The Triple Jump has been referred to as “power ballet. rhythm. The cycling motions of the arms and legs keep the body upright and balanced throughout the jump. If the athlete is not jumping more than 21 feet. It counteracts forward rotation by creating secondary axes of rotation that work in opposition to the forward rotation. 12-2) THE TRIPLE JUMP In comparison to the Long Jump. balance. On landing. flexibility. All this results in a much poorer jump. Below that distance. the legs continue cycling forward as in sprinting. The technical demands of the Hitchkick are such that most young jumpers compromise their approach speed in order to set up for the Hitchkick at take-off.” 286 . the head and chest are dropped forward and the arms sweep back as the feet touch the sand. which has cycled 1½ times after take-off. They reduce speed. The Triple Jump requires speed. 12-3). the amount of forward rotation is not great enough to warrant using the Hitchkick. power. the Triple Jump requires more complicated technique (see Fig. The arms cycle overhead in balance with the legs. The Hitchkick method efficiently counters the forward rotation caused at the take-off. It is used by many jumpers. it is not necessarily the best method for them to use. Upon take-off. we will discuss the 1½ Hit&kick. and body awareness. and probably most of the elite long jumpers in the United States. the take-off leg comes forward first. It is more likely that using the Hitchkick method will actually decrease performance. gather. followed by the drive leg. As with other styles. The Hitchkick requires a substantial amount of time to complete properly.

The footstrike for the Hop and Step should be flat. or full-footed. The take-off foot should be determined by the athlete’s preference. flat landing. emphasize carrying momentum from one phase to the next with an even rhythm for each phase. Start with Hop and Step combinations on grass. Then incorporate the circling action of the Hop leg. (See the previous approach run discussion. move on to the Step and Jump phases. Follow this with multiple one-legged hops with a circling leg. 287 . slowly add steps to the run-up in accordance with the athlete’s ability to control his or her speed properly. The purpose of both run-ups is to create the greatest amount of speed that can be controlled. After learning the Hop.) With high school athletes. The distance of each bound should be relatively equal to another. add the Jump phase. The jumper should do these with a double-arm action and land full-footed. then Step. Next. the speed of the Triple Jump approach will most likely be slower than that of the Long Jump. Stress carrying momentum from the Hop into the Step. When learning the event. the jumper should try to achieve equal distance in each phase of the jump. Consecutive bounds duplicate the Step and Jump actions. then Jump from a standing start. Again. The jumper should concentrate on an even rhythm for each landing. Start teaching the Hop phase by having the athlete do a walking one-legged hop several times. Lack of strength and skill will reduce the amount of speed that can be carried successfully into the jump. Next. combine the three phases of the jump. Finally.For athletes who are just being introduced to the Triple Jump. with the landing leg knee bent slightly in preparation for take-off. break the jump into its component phases. it is best to start out with the basic movements by having your athletes Hop. Once the jump phases have been put together. The approach run for the Triple Jump is similar to that for the Long Jump. and upright posture.

The drive-leg thigh should be nearly parallel to the ground at take-off. As the athlete leaves the ground. the take-off leg stays extended behind the center of gravity with the calf held approximately parallel to the ground through mid-flight. As the athlete leaves the board. The greater the angle of extension during flight. As the thigh of the take-off leg reaches parallel. Once again. the athlete then forcefully drives the entire leg downward. and the foot relaxed. At the same time. The drive leg will then begin to rotate from in front of the center of gravity to behind it. the athlete runs off the board in an effort to maintain horizontal velocity and minimize the vertical component of the first jump phase. or Hop. with the knee joint at approximately a 45 degree angle. the take-off leg is fully extended with the drive-leg thigh just below parallel to the ground. Excessive height on the Hop will hinder the Jump because the increased absorption time upon landing reduces horizontal speed. In the Triple Jump. The foot of the take-off leg will be pulled to the buttocks. 288 . In the Triple Jump. Note: Flexibility is crucial here. the take-off leg is fully extended for a complete push off the ground. Once the leg is extended. The Ml-footed contact of the penultimate step is eased back and substantial flexing of the legs is eliminated. The Step Phase The second phase of the Triple Jump begins as the take-off foot returns to the ground. not jumping as in the Long Jump. the lowering of the center of mass in preparation to jump is very slight. the opposite leg drives to waist level. setting him. the drive leg extends with a flexed ankle (creating a long lever) and snaps downward for a quick transition into the third phase. the lower portion of that leg extends past the knee. the more air time and the greater the hop.The major difference in the Triple Jump approach is the transition into the jump. where it remains through mid-flight of the Step phase. while the take-off leg begins to pull forward. The Hop Phase The initial phase of the Triple Jump begins with the athlete running off the board.or herself up for an active landing. The angle of the knee joint should be no greater than 90 degrees. As the athlete begins to descend. with the foot dorsiflexed.

The hand should never drive higher than the nose. With the free-leg thigh driving to waist level again. thereby negating the effects of any added power. As the take-off foot contacts the ground. The angle at the elbow should be between 80 and 110 degrees. the lead arm crosses slightly in front of the body on the penultimate step. and back as the legs. In the Single-Ann method. Once in the air. The torso should be held erect. The angle of the arms at the elbows will be greater than 90 degrees in order to create a more powerful impulse forward. The Double-Arm method leads to more power at take-off. simultaneously. Arm-Action Through the 3 Phases The use of a single (speed-oriented) or a double (power-oriented) armaction at take-off depends on the athlete’s preference. legs bent at the knees to an angle of 90 degrees or less. the arms drive forward and up. as with a normal stride. For athletes just being introduced to the Triple Jump. This position is held briefly until both arms move back in preparation for the next phase. Then. With the Double-Arm method. but novice triple jumpers often reduce their approach speed in preparation. both arms drive forward and up from the body. 289 . meeting up with the trailing arm. with the chin up and eyes looking beyond the pit. When the thighs reach parallel. As the knees collapse. the legs move into a Hang position with both thighs directly below the torso. and both arms work in unison throughout the rest of the jump. This position is held through mid-flight. swing forward and the thighs rise parallel to the ground. the arm pauses next to the body rather than swinging behind. as it descends. down. The arm. with the ankles flexed and toes pointing up. The arms are extended overhead to slow rotation. The take-off leg (the drive leg in the previous phases) is extended forcefully upon contact with the ground. a Single-Arm take-off is easier to execute because of its similarity to running motion. and block momentarily when the hands reach face level. blocking when the hand reaches face level. bounces off the hip. As the take-off stride is initiated. the arm opposite the free leg drives forward and up. The athlete holds this position until his or her heels hit the sand. the legs extend rapidly. the hips rise and the athlete slides through the sand. the arms drive forward. The knees remain bent to take advantage of a shorter lever.The Jump Phase The third and final phase of the Triple Jump is a long jump preceded by a jump rather than a run.

grabbing the ground. Upon contact the body rolls forward over the foot onto the toes while pushing off the ground. 290 . Footstrike through the 3 Phases The transitions from Hop to Step and Step to Jump are of the utmost importance in maintaining the greatest velocity during each phase of the Triple Jump. When using the Double-Arm method. As with the Single-Arm method. 12-1. In an active landing. This active landing. Remember. that the emphasis here should be on preserving horizontal speed. and the entire lever pulled down. is similar to the footstrike of a tiger. the hands are blocked momentarily at face level and the drive leg is blocked when the thigh nears waist level. decreasing velocity and distance and increasing the chance of injury. Driving the arms and leg provides the needed vertical impulse off the ground without attempting to jump upward. referred to as pawing. forcefully striking the ground midfoot. the athlete’s leg is extended. they are then pulled behind the body in preparation for the Step phase. If the athlete lands stiffly on the heel. the coach must make sure the athlete is not loading up prior to the first phase by cocking both arms back at takeoff. and pulling it towards him.There is less need for upward drive with the arms because of the DoubleArm action. not gaining height off the ground. Hang Long JumpTechnique. reaching out. however. Fig. the ankle flexed. After the arms have blocked. Loading only decreases the crucial horizontal velocity. a braking action occurs.

Fig. Hitchkick Long Jump Technique. Triple Jump Technique. Fig. continued. 12-2. 12-3. 12-3. 291 . continued. 12-3.Fig. Fig.

The Triple Jump requires substantial strength to even complete at all. and proper jumping technique. • All jumpers need to develop sound rhythm and jumping coordina- tion. leg strength.Training for the Long Jump and Triple Jump CONSIDERATIONS IN TRAINING • Both the coach and the athlete must have an understanding of the physical and technical skills needed to be a successful long or triple jumper. • Developing sprint speed and mechanics is the most important fea- ture of trainin g for the horizontal jumps. • Your athletes should also have a basic understanding of the biome- chanical principles that govern their event. flexibility. • Good jumpers most also be flexible. It is the responsibility of coaches to adjust the training of jumpers to ensure they have adequate rest and recovery. With effort by the coach. Hard jumping or sprinting cannot be done every day. rhythm. your jumpers need to understand the importance of the transfer of horizontal velocity into the jump. these can be taught easily. The speed and power demands of these two events place athletes with poor flexibility at substantial risk of injury. • Since good long jumpers and triple jumpers are usually good sprinters. jumping power. Rhythm drills should be an integral component of any training. these athletes often compete in multiple events. • Successful long and triple jumping requires good strength. Building good rhythm skills along with speed is the simplest path to producing good long and triple jumpers. 292 . The transition from approach to take-off in the Long Jump is one of the most physically difficult skills in Track & Field. Flexibility is especially crucial to success in the Triple Jump. Long and triple jumpers must train to be short sprinters. Most important. Long and triple jumpers should include event-specific stretching exercises into their daily workouts. Pre-season weight training and intelligent use of plyometric training throughout the season will help provide your athletes with the strength they need to perform well and avoid injury. This means understanding the importance of sprint speed and mechanics.

Third. jumping technique drills. Often it is a refinement of general training. the vast majority of training will be general in nature. 293 . Specialized training duplicates the exact movements of long and triple jumping. For the Long Jump. plyometric exercise and rhythm development. sprint technique drills. few coaches can spend the time necessary for intensive specialized training. Specific training has a direct correlation to the skills necessary for long and triple jumping. Sprinting. With the Triple Jump. rhythm skills can compensate for the lack of power in executing the jumps. With high school athletes. For young athletes. and specific plyometric drills are included. General training develops the overall physical capacity and fitness of the athlete. weight training. with a large number of athletes to guide. most specifically plyometric drills and approach run repetitions. transition drills with take-off and multiple jumps are examples. Full-speed approach runs. then as long and triple jumpers. full jumps. General training fulfills the basic training demands of other events as well. This normally involves exercises that replicate a specific feature or phase of the jump. It provides a structure for the expression of speed and power throughout the run-up and jump. the strength and performance levels of these young jumpers will benefit much more from general training throughout most of the season. and specialized training. Develop your jumpers as athletes first. specific training. Second. The learning of rhythmic skills is fundamental for all young jumpers.DEVELOPING JUMPING RHYTHM Rhythm is essential to successful jumping. First. Rhythm establishes the the timing and cadence of explosiveness in jumping. The development of jumping rhythm is enhanced by various types of training. the fluid transition from phase to phase with an even cadence must be stressed TYPES OF TRAINING FOR THE LONG JUMP AND TRIPLE JUMP The types of training done for the horizontal jumps can be divided into three categories: General training. This encompasses basic running. most jumpers are multi-event athletes. the rhythm of the approach and transition to take-off should be emphasized.

Emphasis should be placed upon building speed and developing a strong acceleration pattern with relaxed sprinting technique. rhythm. the Long Jump and Triple Jump require many types of training.Specific and specialized training teach your athletes to be long and triple jumpers. Specialized training is the refinement of technique. The proportion of specific and specialized training to general training should increase over the course of the season. This usually satisfies the general fitness demands of long jumping and triple jumping. and especially sprint speed. sound running mechanics. it should account for only a modest amount of the total training program. At the high school level. These include: • Running Training (including sprinting) • Plyometric Training (including rhythm jumping drills) • Weight Training • Technique Drills • Long Jumping or Triple Jumping • Flexibility Training • Jump Testing Running Training Running workouts for long and triple jumpers develop overall fitness. Of course. In-season training should include sprint training twice per week. endurance. Sample Running Workouts • Off-Season: Easy Distance Runs (2-3 miles) • Pre-Season: Long Sprint Repetitions (400-600 meters) • All Season: Short Sprint Repetitions (50-300 meters) • Late-Season: Fast Sprint Repetitions • 30-60m from blocks or with a flying start • 50-70m at run-up rhythm • 10-15m with a flying start 294 . the multi-event athlete also needs to tram for his or her specific running event. Like any event in Track & Field. Off-season long runs will strengthen the athlete and prevent injury.

Care must be taken not to overtrain and risk injury. Hard weight training can continue into the early season. Nonetheless. Sample Weight Training Exercises • Half-Squats (4 x 10 @ 60% SRM* or 5 x 3 @ 90% SRM) • Leg Extensions • Hamstring Curls • Step-Ups or Lunges • Snatches or Cleans (*SRM = single rep maximum) 295 . Many of your horizontal jumpers probably come to you directly from another seasonal sport. The off-season is the time for jumpers to work in the weight room.Plyometric Training Plyometric training specifically fulfills the needs of long jumpers and triple jumpers by developing the ballistic muscular strength these events demand. plyometrics are effective because they directly address several principles of training for the horizontal jumps and duplicate many of the movements involved in both events. so they may not have time to undertake a full strength training program.) Sample Plyometric Workouts • Rhythm Plyometric Drills (rhythm skipping and bounding) • Easy Multiple Jumps (R-R-L-R-R-L-R or L-R-L-R-L) • Power Skipping and Bounding • Hurdle Hops • Rhythm Run-Ups into a Long or Triple Jump Weight Training Weight training builds basic strength. but don’t expect great performances. After the competitive season begins. Weight room supervision can also be a problem when you have a limited coaching staff and weight training facilities. weight training should become a maintenance activity. (Please read the previous sections on plyometric training carefully and remember that these drills must be curtailed well before major competitions.

When doing these drills for technique. and technical demands of these events. rhythm. Focus on the penultimate step. Several plyometric exercises apply directly to the learning of technique and rhythm in the Long Jump and Triple Jump. and maximum effort. however. At least one workout per week should incorporate technique jumps. Fullapproach jumps are very physically demanding and should not be overdone in training. multiple jumps) • Rhythm High-Knees • Standing Long Jumps and Triple Jumps (stressing positions and extension) • Approach Runs with a simulated take-off (pop-off) • Pop-Offs (ups) (stressing rhythm and mechanics of transition) • Hanging Drills (simulate run-up and jump while hanging from bar) Long and Triple Jumping To train specifically athletes must long jump and triple jump in practice. These drills usually involve jumping. or with a short or full approach. Plyometric jumping is a major component of horizontal-jump training because it simultaneously addresses the power. arm and knee drive off the board. take-off rhythm and position.Technique Drills Long and Triple Jump technique is developed through drills that mimic certain portions of the jump. bounds. Most work should be done with a short approach of 5-10 strides. The aim of these jumps is to build technique. and efficient flight and landing technique. Each session should emphasize a single aspect. Technique jumps can be done from a standing position. Sample Technique Jumps • Standing Jumps (for power with good technique) • Short-Approach Jumps (with full landing or holding the take-off position into a soft pit) 296 . Long and triple jumping sessions should address aspects of technique. deemphasize power and stress the execution of correct mechanics and positions. so put away the tape measure. Technique Jumps This is the type of jumping which should be done most often. endurance. Sample Jump Technique Drills • Rhythm Plyometric Jumping (skips.

the jumper will learn to slow at the end of his or her approach to gather for the take-off. Few. or perhaps twice during the season. It develops improper biomechanics. Test three to four times during the school year if possible. leads to bad technical habits and increases the risk of injury to the athlete. athletes can execute a jump properly with enough height to clear a hurdle. the athlete should take 3-6 full-approach jumps. Maximum effort jumps should be done once every two weeks early in the season and once a week with fewer jumps as the season progresses. jumping far is for meets. this is a disastrous training exercise. More jumps may be taken with a shorter approach. More likely. Testing at the end of the season will provide you and your returning jumpers with training goals for the next year. Once again. may never need to do this type of training.• Jumps from a Box or Springboard (to develop flight technique. not distance) Important Note: Many coaches have their athletes Long Jump over hurdles as a means of increasing the height of the jump. 297 . coaches should test the physical skills of their athletes periodically. Maximum Effort Jumps These specialized jumps emphasize effort and performance. this drill uses a negative incentive of fear (hitting the hurdle) as motivation. the objective is to stress execution. This helps to identify individual strengths and weaknesses. Remember. jumping correctly is for practice. Moreover. if any. JUMP TESTING Although the real test of an athlete’s progress in training is performance in competition. Do not overemphasize!) • Full-Length Approach Jumps (stressing execution. After a thorough warm-up. A high school jumper who is competing in a dual or invitational meet every 2-4 days throughout the season. not distance. endurance jumps build specific jumping fitness and reinforce the need for consistency. In our opinion. Endurance Jumps By performing 6-l0 jumps using good technique and rhythm. while encouraging and motivating athletes as well. then pull the legs up into a poor jumping position in order to clear the hurdle. We strongly advise against using this training exercise for your jumpers.

The components that make up training for a skill event are numerous and complex. “No pain. but are less-emphasized during that period. A Training Periodization Plan for the CIF Season Periodizing training is dividing the season into a cycle of several phases. 3-4 weeks seems to be the maximum period during which athletes can sustain improvement with any one type of training. Sometimes it may be necessary to train through a meet. 298 .Sample Long/Triple Jump Test (2 attempts each test) • 50m Sprint for Time • SRM Half-squat • Vertical Jump • Hamstring Curls for maximum reps • Standing Long Jump • 30m Flying Sprint • 10 Bounds for Distance • Multiple Jump (e. Other types of training are not neglected. Sore and exhausted muscles cannot perform up to their capacity. The remaining days should be easy training and recovery days. During a 2-4 week training phase.g. Within any training phase it is not wise to include more than three quality days per week. but especially for jumpers. H-H-S-H-H-S) A Reminder About Rest Many coaches and athletes fail to understand that rest and recovery are an essential part of the training process. each emphasizing particular types of training and skill development during a specific period of time. secondary emphasis should be given to another type of training. nothing improves performance more than rest. As a rule. primary emphasis should be given to one type of training. including competitions. no gain” can only accomplish so much. and a somewhat less emphasis (maintenance training) to another.

and burn-out. overtraining. plan how you are going to introduce and manage that stress. are illness. W E E K S PRIMARY EMPHASIS SECONDARY E M P H A S I S MAINTENANCE Pre-Season 2 3 Early Season 3 3 General Training Rhythm Plyos Power Plyos Tech Jumps Tech Drills/Jumps Intervals Special Training Tech Jumps Rhythm Plyos Technique Sprint Reps Specific Plyos Specific Plyos Tech Drills Technique Easy Runs Technique Sprint Reps EP Runs Specific Plyos Sprint Reps Mid-Season 2 2 Late-Season 2-4 299 . Recovery is an essential component of all types of training because all improvement occurs during recovery while the body adapts to the stress. The long-term consequences of the coach or athlete not planning for recovery or an athlete not listening to his or her body. injury. When constructing your training regimen.Remember that training is stress.

PLANNING AIDS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR TRAINING SYSTEM LONG/TRIPLE JUMPERS' WORKOUT Sequence RUNNING WARM-UP: Pre-stretch plus: Date: RHYTHM AND SPEED PLYOMETRIC DRILLS: LONG/TRIPLE JUMP TECHNIQUE: Drills and Jumps POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS: t Skipping: t Bounding: t Hopping: t Multiple Jumps: RUNNING AND APPROACH DRILLS: WARM-DOWN: WEIGHT TRAINING: NOTES: .

LONG/TRIPLE JUMPERS' W O R K O U T Sequence Date: Mon. April 9 1 2 3 RUNNING WARM-UP: Pre-stretch plus: jog 1600m RHYTHM AND SPEED PLYOMETRIC DRILLS: LONG/TRIPLE JUMP TECHNIQUE: *3–5 approach *2x 3-step pop-ups in training flats Drills and Jumps (in spikes on runway) *3–5 box take-off and landings * 2x 3-step jumps 4 POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS: t Skipping: t Hopping: 2-step combos: 4-5x RRL/LLR on grass in training flats Bounding: t Multiple lumps: (step comes at 35% Hop-30% Step-35% lump) 5 6 7 RUNNING AND APPROACH DRILLS: in spikes: 2x300m @ 60%—3x200m @ 70%—4x100m @ 80%—2x50m @ 90% WARM-DOWN: jog 800m WEIGHT TRAINING: Phase I Speed/Strength Series NOTES: 301 .

Yang HS 19 Rhythm Plyos Sprint Drills 3x150 Strides 20 Johnson Invitational Easy Run or Rest Day 21 22 Rhythm Drills 8 x 50m Block Starts Power Skipping Hurdle Hops 3 x LL-RR-LL-RR 23 Easy R-Drills Sprint Drills 45 x 80 Strides 24 LJ Tech Drills TJ Tech Drills 4 x 120 Tempo 25 Team Meeting Warm-Up Stretch 5 x LJ Approach 24 Away Meet v s Toomey HS Rest Day! 27 Easy Run or Rest Day 28 302 . APRIL 1-28 MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY 1 Rhythm Plyos Sprint Workout 2 x (100-150-200) LJ Technique 5x Run-Ups 2 3 T e a m Meeting Warm-Up Stretch 5 x LJ Approach Home Meet vs Mathias HS 4 Warm-Up Stretch 4 x TJ Approach S U N D A Y 6 Easy Run or Rest Day 5 Jenner Relays 7 10 S-Approach lump Power Skipping Power Hops 8 5x80 Tempo BUS Power Series: skipping / Hopping Standing TJs Multiple Jumps 120-140 Contact 15 5x LJ Run-Ups 5 S-Appro TJs Power Series: Skipping / Hopping Standing TJs 9 TJ Technique 8 x S-Approach Jump Hurdle Hops 1 x 400 Stride 10 Warm-Up Stretch 5 S-Approach Us 11 Away Meet v s Campbell HS 12 Sprint drills TJ Tech Drills Rhythm Jumps Block Start 6x60 13 Easy Run or Rest Day 14 Power Plyos 6x30 Tempo BUS 16 LJ Tech Drills TJ Tech Drills Sprint Workout 100-50-100-200 4 min recovery 15 Team Meeting Warm-Up Stretch 5 x TJ Approach 18 Home Meet v s C.J.SAMPLE 4-WEEK HORIZONTAL JUMPS TRAINING PLAN.

End of Chapter 303 .

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but do not necessarily make great high jumpers.High Jumpers High Jump is an event of rhythmic explosion. The High Jump is the elegant transfer of strength and horizontal speed into vertical lift and clearance of the crossbar. Many great high jumpers are not great leapers. Training 305 . Strength and spring are important. and few sprinters develop into exceptional high jumpers.

controlled. As discussed in a previous chapter. fluid. The method of high jumping discussed in this manual is known as the Fosbury Flop (named after its originator. and accounts for almost all of the top performances in the event for the past 20 years. adapts to this stress resulting in increased capacity. In coaching the High Jump. in response. or overload The body. the 1968 Olympic champion. These are discussed below. As a coach of high school athletes. It is relatively easy to learn. this is also known as the SAID Principle. it is the only method of high jumping we will detail in this manual. Rhythm and technique determine how well the athlete achieves this transfer of speed.Philosophy for Coaching the High Jump The High Jump is an event that combines ballistic strength with speed. The Flop has become the universal method of high jumping. 306 . SPECIFICITY The body adapts to specific demands placed upon it. Mastering these fundamentals will lead to successful jumping. This cycle of stress and adaptation is the foundation of all training. PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD For the athlete’s physical capacity for exercise to increase. you will encounter a tremendous range of abilities. This dictates a focus on developing general athletic skills and correct high jumping fundamentals. training for the High Jump needs to specifically address the requirements. strengths. has distinct biomechanical advantages. Dick Fosbury). one must teach athletes to be explosive. the Specific adaptation to imposed demand. certain universal principles of training apply to the High Jump. expressed through rhythm and body control. For these reasons. The key to success is the efficient transfer of speed into vertical lift off the ground. and skills needed for the event. Principles of Training for the High Jump As with any other event. the body must be subjected to increased stress. and consistent. Therefore.

Aside from the general principles of training. Age and strength differences have profound effects on adolescents. This usually entails dissecting the jump into its simplest components and performing them repeatedly with proper technique. high jumpers require plentiful rest even though they may not feel tired or worn out. Rhythm provides a reference for the control of speed and power. Accuracy and Consistency The single most important factor in High Jump performance is the execution of an accurate. High jumpers cannot jump every day and expect to perform well in competition. Rhythm allows the athlete to relax while exerting tremendous effort and provides a cadence for that effort. there are several principles which which apply specifically to the High Jump. High jumpers need a good amount of recovery for their legs to be “fresh. RECOVERY For the body to adapt to progressive overload. is an expression of power through rhythm. Especially with a technical event like the High Jump. Accuracy and consistency are the foundation upon which high jumping skills and technique are constructed. 307 . the neuromuscular patterns of technique need to be enforced through repetition of movement. like most Track & Field events. it must rest and recover from the applied stress. controlled approach run.REPETITION This principle is an outgrowth of specificity requirements. It is not uncommon to have jumpers performing at heights ranging from four to almost seven feet. INDIVIDUALITY Respecting the principle of individuality is an important concept for the coach of high school athletes. The event also requires a consistent and identical run-up in repeated jumping attempts. Rhythm High jumping.” Since much of the training they must do is quite demanding. You cannot develop freshman jumpers by having them adopt the training of your best upperclassmen.

Body Control (Kinesthetic Awareness) To excel at high jumping. requiring the athlete to apply counteracting centripetal force. Bar Clearance These phases are somewhat artificial. however. through weight training. The unique quality of the Flop is that it enables the athlete to fulfill the biomechanical demands of the event precisely. The bo dy b ecomes a projectile accelerated by its own power. The curved portion of the run-up creates centrifugal force. an athlete must develop the ability to control the body position and posture while in motion on the ground and in the air. The Transition and Take-off 3. allowing the athlete to clear the bar. These demands require the execution of skills which can be discussed in terms of three phases of the jump: 1. This is achieved by running a J-shaped approach to the bar. plyometric training. THE APPROACH RUN The function of the approach run is to generate horizontal and angular velocity (rotation). which hinges to an upright position at take-off. Drills and repetition refine this awareness. 13-3 illustrates the action of a Flop high jump.Explosiveness and Acceleration Within its graceful rhythm. The Approach Run 2. the High Jump is a controlled acceleration using centripetal force to put the body in position to convert horizontal speed into vertical velocity. The athlete needs to have feel for his or her body and how it moves. the High Jump is an explosion of the body off the ground. propelling the center of mass over the crossbar. Fig. Mechanics and Technique of High Jumping In strict biomechanical terms. and jumping. The training of jumpers needs to develop this explosiveness specifically. and each step is dependent on the one before it. 308 . This hinge moment creates rotation. Doing this puts the body in a leaning-away-from-the-bar position. The High Jump flows from the first step.

The convergence of body position. The key to an efficient transition and take-off is lowering the center of mass and maintaining good position in the last strides of the approach. the jumper can maximize body position in relation to the crossbar. Keeping the arms and head low elevates the hips. arm and knee drive. the transition from approach run to take-off is the most complex portion of the High Jump. To perform the J-approach successfully. and force applied to the ground project the body into the air toward the bar. The position of the arms affects the speed of rotation over the bar. BAR CLEARANCE Once the athlete is off the ground. while raising them lowers the hips. on the penultimate. or next-to-last.The J-approach enables the jumper to generate controlled speed with fluid rhythm and good running posture. the center-ofmass is lowered in preparation for vertical acceleration. while accelerating into the take-off This goal is accomplished by holding the last three strides of the run-up on the curve. Ideally. During this phase. Obviously. Nonetheless. Action-reaction principles enable athletes to help or hinder bar clearance. the athlete must be consistent. Then. accelerate rhythmically. the ultimate goal is to raise the center of mass to the greatest possible height with the appropriate amount of rotation around the horizontal axis. It also allows the athlete to position him. The legs clear in response to raising the head and arms once the hips have passed over the bar. The functions of this phase are to put the body in the most effective jumping position and to apply the maximum possible amount of vertical force to the ground. step. horizontal velocity and angular momentum are converted to accelerate the athlete’s body off the ground. 309 . and run with good mechanics on the curved portion of the run-up. the path of the his or her center of mass is completely determined. they should keep a relatively flat or slightly arched back over the bar. THE TRANSITION AND TAKE-OFF Biomechanically.or herself for the take-off accurately and consistently.

involves the development of technique. 13-1. must focus on the entire sequence of approach. however. doing simple two-legged backward jumps into the pit. This progression should be done for two reasons. The basic High Jump is relatively simple to do. 13-1. however. Stress jumping up and landing on the upper part of the back.Teaching the Flop Method of High Jumping As a coach. Many of us can probably recall the lure of the jumping pits when we were in high school. It is helpful. to introduce the event to beginners by starting at the landing pit and working out toward the beginning of the run-up. Correct Flop Landing. and those first jumps will provide the motivation to continue with the event.). Excelling at the event. The proper execution of the run-up is crucial to successful jumping. Second. most high jumpers perform below their ability. the approach run lengthens and more speed is carried into the take-off. The athlete should feel which foot is natural to jump off. and clearance as one action. you. • Determine the athlete’s take-off foot (right or left) by having him or her take a short running jump upward off one foot. That foot is normally the jump foot. the development of technique proceeds back from the run-up into the pit. To understand the High Jump. and clearance. transition and take-off. 310 . take-off. You will find it is helpful to introduce the High Jump to beginners with these simple drills done in progressive order: • Have your young high jumpers experience landing on their backs by Fig. the approach run changes significantly as the athlete learns the event. The fact is. maximize your instruction by emphasizing the development of an accurate and consistent approach run and an effective transition to an explosive jump. INTRODUCING THE HIGH JUMP TO BEGINNERS The High Jump is usually taught in terms of the three phases: the approach. As technique improves. not on the buttocks or neck (see Fig. This is not always evident because many superior high school athletes jump well despite a poor approach run. First. the coach. and not merely on the act of jumping up to the bar. Once the athlete has gained some basic familiarity with the event. young athletes love to jump into a foam pit.

Correcting mistakes will be difficult later if they become ingrained at this time. have the athlete take a running jump and then turn and sit onto the landing pit. • The next step in the progression focuses on the transition and take-off At this point of development. it is quite hard to teach a refined transition into the penultimate stride. From a 5-stride approach. have the athlete begin taking scissors jumps from one foot with a 3-5 stride approach over a low bar. Let your jumper develop a sense of his or her own rhythm. to develop the sense of jumping from a run-up. • Next.and 5stride pop-up jumps from the grass or apron is helpful. it is essential to teach the athlete to jump straight up! This is when good fundamentals are learned. This will propel the athlete straight up off the ground. Do this drill at slow speed. 311 . This introduces the demand for coordinating the run-up and take-off. • This step introduces the Flop in its basic form. Again. Next. emphasize jumping up rather than diving back into the pit. have the jumper run in off a gentle curve to introduce the use of angular momentum and centrifugal force. When these elements have been Learned. At this point. Instead. Low heights provide a needed stimulus and obstacle without distracting the athlete from concentrating on technique. You must spend considerable time with this step. The hands should be punched to face level and the knee should be driven hard to about waist level without the lower leg extending past the knee.• From three strides out. The athlete should per- form jumps from a 3-5 stride run-up over low heights. Now is also the time to teach driving up with the arms and the free leg. Having the athlete do 3. This is not a hurdling drill. you should teach the transition in terms of rhythm and cadence. repeat steps 4 and 5 stressinggood take-off mechanics. emphasizing a long and fast penultimate stride and a shorter last take-off stride. Emphasize a smooth conversion into the jump. have the jumper simultaneously jump or stomp off the take-off foot. This aspect is crucial. since downward force at take-off is generated by these limbs driving forcefully upward.

Help them visualize what they are trying to do. First. rhythm. you can add additional strides. when their technique progresses. it is unlikely a novice jumper will be able to control and utilize the added speed of a longer approach. Next.D. Now is the time to explain the rudimentary biomechanics of high jumping to your athletes. DEVELOPING TECHNIQUE IN THE HIGH JUMP Once your high jumpers have gained a basic understanding of the event. begin with the design of the approach run. Working back toward the landing pit. sit your high jumpers down and explain the event to them again. and steps 7-8 on day three. not just jumping up to a height. Locating the precise position for the jumper to begin the approach is a process of repetition and adjustment. At this point. bounding strides. with more advanced jumpers utilizing a larger radius. • When your jumpers have become comfortable with their run-ups. they can begin developing technique. Be sure good running mechanics and rhythm are incorporated into this drill. This will give the jumper an approximate starting point for the run-up. Perhaps steps 1-4 on day one. consistency. steps 5-6 on day two. Don’t be reluctant to return to these steps later in the season to reinforce proper mechanics. plot an approach run for each athlete. For novices. Important! Take your time working through the preceding eight steps. have them perform full jumps over a bar set at low heights. 312 . Done thoughtfully. in physics. quickness off the ground and jumping straight up. (Later. Placing one foot ahead of the other on the curve will create a natural inward lean from the ankles. Forget measuring progress in terms of height. This will help them focus on High Jumping. Emphasize accuracy.) Have them run away from the near standard on a curve (approximately 10-14 foot radius) with strong. this does not require a Ph. They can also run a U with a similar radius. Have your jumpers start by running along a curve or circle with a radius of about 17 feet. These are the fundamentals of high jumping. Finally. The athlete must become comfortable running this way.• The approach run has now been introduced to the beginning jumper. The radius of the curve will be determined by the athlete’s ability and speed of the run-up. Don’t allow exaggerated or artificial posture. Take two or three training sessions to progress through these various stages. 6-8 strides is recommended. explain why jumpers must run on the curve to jump their best. Now is the time to build good technique.

313 . Many young high jumpers have a tendency to look to the bar during run-up. Jumpers often want to lengthen their approaches to gain more speed. The approach creates the conditions for a successful jump. The lo-stride run-up consists of 5 strides straight ahead (toward your straight-line marker outside the approach area) and 5 strides run on the curve. consistent stride length. but refer. Consistency in the High Jump approach is the result of accurate distance. 8-stride run-up. However. On strides 9-10 the eyes do not focus on anything. to the near standard. past the far standard.The Approach Run A precise and consistent approach is the single most important technical aspect of the High Jump. Most jumpers use an approach run ranging from 8-11 strides in length. of the J (see Fig 13-2). one at the beginning of the run-up and another at the take-off point. or hook. to the straight-line mark. The markers will also serve as visual cues to help guide the athlete along the approach. (A straight-line marker may be placed outside the approach area. and controlled acceleration. For coaching purposes. on 4-5. and at 6-7-8. or look. This added speed can be detrimental to jumping high because it is not usually controlled or converted well. beginners and less developed athletes will benefit from a shorter. Between strides 1 and 3 they should look to the 3-step mark. Doing this tends to pull them off the curve and causes them jump towards the bar instead of straight up. This discussion will use a lo-stride approach as its reference.) Since no intermediate check marks are permitted. The eyes should flick momentarily from one marker to the next during the approach. CIF rules state that the athlete may use two removable check marks in the High Jump. you may want to use four check marks: • a start mark • a 3-stride mark • the straight-line marker • a take-off mark Use these markers to develop consistency and rhythm in the approach. the coach and athlete must construct a precise approach.

Strides 7 to 10 are the final strides of the approach. This is called holding the curve. Something as small as taking the first step flat-footed or on the ball of the foot sets the tone for the remainder of the run-up. the athlete must keep each footfall on the curve. The initial approach phase sets the speed and body position for the rest of the run.The approach run should have a gradual quickening rhythm. the jumper should assume an erect running posture with bounding strides to gain speed without leaning forward while accelerating. Upon completion of the fifth stride. These strides use the horizontal velocity of the preceding strides. In strides 4-6. The cadence starts with a moderate tempo and builds to a very fast last step. Stride length. tempo. One recommended rhythm builds off a 3-step pattern of l-2-3. placing each foot along the arc of the curve. To reap the benefits of the J approach. he or she must lean from the ankles inward toward the center of the arc. and the positioning and angular momentum of the curve run. The stride pattern and acceleration must be absolutely consistent at this point on every approach run. to load the jump. 10. For this reason. Many young jumpers have a tendency to turn the comer with a dramatic inward step toward the bar that falls inside the curve of the J. Most problems occur in the first three steps of the approach run. It is an important technical point for the coach to watch for in the jumper’s approach. Remember that the rhythm is not the same as the speed of the run-up. 4-5-6. The multiple demands of this phase make it the most complex and difficult portion of the approach run to execute properly. They are also the transition and take-off strides. As the jumper runs along the arc of the J. the initial portion of the approach run requires constant reinforcement. the jumper should initiate a lean into the curved portion of the run-up. The last four strides must be completed with good tall running posture and inward lean to counter the centrifugal force of running the curve. 7-8-9. This lean will occur naturally if he runs the curve properly. and acceleration must become identical for every approach run. Both must be fluid and controlled. 314 .

(continued). The Flop High Jump. 13-3. Fig. 13-3. Fig. (continued). 315 . 13-3.fig.

or next-tolast. This is a difficult maneuver for a beginning high jumper. With body position and velocity established during the approach. The last stride should be fast and shorter than the penultimate stride. A long. This is when the jumper converts horizontal velocity and angular momentum into a vertical jump. This helps maintain a lowered center of mass into the takeoff stride. The feet should land flat at the end of the stride. This is done by sinking at the knees while increasing the stride tempo. not a conscious shortening. (See Chapter 5 for a complete discussion of eccentric contraction in the take-off leg. The ninth stride is the penultimate. although this is accomplished by emphasizing a quick stride.The Transition and Take-off The transition into take-off takes place during strides 7-10 of the approach run. Together these features create a fast and powerful takeoff by generating a strong eccentric contraction of the thigh leg muscles. the jumper lowers the center of mass and tries to accelerate aggresssively into the take-off. A quick stride also accelerates the free leg and moves the center of mass over the take-off foot quickly. Keeping the center of mass low decreases the amount of downward force on the legs during the take-off step. a slight lowering of the hips resulting from bending or sinking slightly at the knees. quick penultimate stride requires both strength and control of speed. The tenth and last stride is the take-off or plant step. On this stride. On the eighth stride. A quick last step raises the hips and creates an upward acceleration of the center of mass.) 316 . a lowering of the body’s center of mass and an upward acceleration into the jump occur over the last three strides.

some transfer of momentum is lost. it is extremely important to stress jumping straight up at take-off. stride. This enables the athlete to jump higher off the ground. The angle of the foot to the crossbar should be about 15 degrees. 317 . A well-executed approach run will provide sufficient rotation to clear the bar. so. Blocking the arms and free leg increases the impulse off the ground through a transfer of momentum from the arms and free leg to the body itself. The force of the take-of should be be applied straight down to the ground. approximately an arm’s length from the near standard. they do block the inside arm and free leg. During take-off. Leaning into the bar reduces the height to which the jumper’s center of mass is elevated and creates excess rotation toward the crossbar. As a coach you will notice that many elite high jumpers do not seem to block with the arm closest to the crossbar. the knee and arms drive upward but then are stopped or blocked just before leaving the ground. The foot is planted heel-first. This blocking occurs when the upper thigh is just past parallel to the ground and the hands have reached the forehead. extending the arm raises the center of mass slightly. which allows the foot to roll as the body hinges to a vertical position. When they continue to reach upward with the outside arm. At the same time. However. As a coach. the jumper must aggressively punch the arms and free leg upward. the athlete jumps as the body hinges onto the ball of the foot. For these jumpers. (This can result in injury) As the heel of the take-off leg touches down. only a small amount of power is lost. Also. The jumper should never take off leaning into the crossbar. You must realize that these jumpers have achieved an extremely high level of proficiency in the event.The Take-Off The take-off begins as the foot lands at the end of the 10th or final. The beauty of the Flop method of high jumping is that it enables the jumper to apply force vertically. Good arm and knee drive are extremely important because this upward force counteracts the downward movement of the center of mass during the amortization (absorption) phase of the take-off. the extended arm puts them in a position to arch their body above their center of mass when passing over the bar. More than 60% of the force applied to the ground results from the drive of the free leg and arms. This probably offsets any loss in transfer of momentum off the ground. in fact. No attempt should be made to plant the foot parallel or away from the bar.

Conversely. This is important in an event where placing is determined by fractions of an inch. If the athlete insists at looking in the bar. Nonetheless. The turning of the back to the bar cannot be done in the air. the body actually catches up to the arms. it may be a sign that too much rotation is being generated by leaning into the bar at take-off or from uncontrolled speed during the run-up. may be letting the arms drift away from the body. Nothing the jumper does in the air affects this. good technique and timing can improve the jumper’s chances for a successful attempt. If they are held away. and poor clearance position over the bar. 318 . If the athlete runs the curve properly. The practice of reaching the outside arm over the bar is not recommended high school high jumpers! Bar Clearance Once the jumper leaves the ground. Many high jumpers have a tendency to look at the bar throughout the jump. his or her chin should be tucked to the collarbone. thereby creating excessive rotation. decreased vertical thrust. The body’s position relative to its center of mass does affect bar clearance. rotation over the bar ‘will slow. Once off the ground. the inward force of the legs will supply all the necessary vertical rotation. the path of the center of mass is fixed. An athlete who appears to have enough height in the jump but stalls over the bar. The arms should be held near the body. There is some difference of opinion over the proper position of the head during clearance.The single most common error made by young high jumpers is leaning into the bar at take-off. Aside from the tendency of the body to move to the point of eye focus. The muscles of the supporting leg initiate rotation around the body’s vertical axis at take-off. The arms should be dropped to the sides or laid slightly on top of the body to avoid touching the crossbar. Blocking with both arms will help counteract this tendency Reaching with the arm tends to draw the jumper towards the bar. if you have a high jumper who continually spreads his or her arms at clearance. looking around with the head raised reduces the efficiency of clearance.

However. • Stress consistency and accuracy in every jump. COACHING TIPS FOR THE HIGH JUMP • Learn to be an expert observer and trace the origin of problems back- wards from the crossbar. In practice. 319 . and is usually caused by a fear of hitting the crossbar or the unfamiliarity of landing on the back and shoulders. they should drop into a sitting position. Bringing the head forward to the chest and raising the arms will initiate an action-reaction causing the legs to straighten at the knees and clear the crossbar. allowing the legs to clear. It takes training to do this precisely. Keeping the legs spread allows greater hip extension in the arched position. The upper body should also not be hunched forward. but many coaches spend far too much time working on clearance technique. Successful jumps begin on the ground. The extension of the arms away from the body will slow backward rotation and enable the jumper to land on his or her upper back and shoulders. Doing this puts the body in a flat or slightly arched position. Developing the ability to raise the hips while passing over the bat is useful. and clearance. take-off. The leg is held in this position as the body rises to bar level. Once the athlete is in the air. the thigh of the drive leg remains parallel to the ground. Once the shoulders clear the crossbar. This affords a thorough view of the approach run. Clearing the bar is similar to doing a back dive. Success in the High Jump is usually the result of superior execution. dropping the head back can help arch the hips over the bar. Too much focus on arching usually creates problems at take-off. Some athletes will hesitate doing this because it is unnatural. not greater effort. There is nothing a jumper can do in the air to salvage a poor run-up and take-off. Finally. but should not be emphasized over good approach and take-off technique. you may want to try padding the crossbar to eliminate this distraction. with the legs spread apart as clearance begins. as the hips and buttocks pass over the crossbar. The upper body should be flat or slightly arched as it passes over the crossbar. Some young jumpers look as if they are sitting in a chair during clearance. The best viewing point for the coach is from across the take-off point. This results from failing to lay-out over the bar. the jumper should look away from the bar during clearance. This will prevent dipping the lead shoulder into the bar.

Training for consistency requires more concentration than physical effort. explosiveness. Progress comes from concentrating on the process of training. High jumpers should not high jump every day! • High Jumping has an important psychological element. Good high school high jumpers are usually multiple event athletes. In competition. 320 . This means understanding the importance of leg strength. flexibility. Keeping the legs fresh for jumping while training for other events requires a careful plan by the coach. • The most physically demanding task for novice high jumpers is learning the approach/take-off transition. To mentally condition them. • Avoid the temptation to measure every jump in practice. controlled rhythm. rhythm. Using a padded or soft fiberglass bar will help eliminate the fear of pain in practice drills. technical mastery is sometimes impeded by fear of the crossbar and landing surface. The flat-flat pattern of the last two strides requires a great deal of practice for young jumpers. jumpers often face heights they have never attempted. most of your athletes’ training is simply wasted. • The High Jump is a technically and physically demanding event. A safe and secure landing pit is essential. not on the outcome. The High Jump is an event of rhythmic explosion. and body awareness. Controlling your approach speed is essential in making this transition. occasionally have your athletes attempt higher-than-PR heights in training. • Coach consistency — without it. Encourage your athletes to develop a sense of fluid. Methods of Training for the High Jump CONSIDERATIONS IN TRAINING HIGH JUMPERS • Both the coach and athlete must have an understanding of the physical and technical skills one needs to be a successful high jumper. not the take- off. • As mentioned earlier.• The High Jump begins with the first step of the approach. technique.

This involves exercises that replicate a specific fearure or phase of the jump. running and jumping technique drills. the majority of training should be general in nature. Some examples of specialized training are full-speed approach runs. Specialized training is the refinement of technique. General training fulfills other event demands as well as those of the High Jump. and specific plyometric drills. Some examples of specific training would be curve running. with large numbers of athletes to coordinate. weight training. or clearance drills. Often. and rhythmic skills of young jumpers will improve best with general training throughout most of the season. Second.TYPES OF TRAINING FOR THE HIGH JUMP Training for the High Jump can be divided into threee categories: • General training develops the physical capacity and fitness of the athlete. few coaches can spend the time necessary for intensive specialized training. most jumpers are multi-event athletes. agility. Like any event in Track & Field the High Jump integrates many types of training: • Running • High Jumping • Plyometric Training • Flexibility • Weight Training • Testing • Technique Drills 321 . plyometric exercise. take-off. it should account for only a modest amount of the total training regimen. then as high jumpers. complete jump attempts. and rhythm development. At the high school level. the basic strength. Third. it is refined general training. Specific training teaches athletes to be high jumpers. This encompasses basic running. • • When coaching high school athletes. Specialized training duplicates the exact movements of high jumping. and transition. The proportion of specific training to general training should increase over the course of the season. They need to develop as athletes first. specific training has a direct correlation to the skills necessary for high jumping. First.

however. Long runs during the off-season will strengthen the jumper and prevent injury.Running Running workouts for high jumpers develop overall fitness. easy distance runs of 2-3 miles (pre-season) • Long sprint repetitions of 400-600 meters (early season) • Short sprint repetitions of 50-300 meters (all season) • Rhythmic tempo runs of 100-300 meters (accelerate 10-30 meters. This usually satisfies the general fitness demands of high jumping. coast 10-30 meters) Plyometric Training Plyometric training can be especially beneficial to high jumpers if used correctly. and sound running mechanics. Sample Plyometric Workouts l Rhythmic Plyometric Drills (skipping and bounding) l Power Skipping and Bounding l Hurdle Hops l Rhythmic Run-Up Jumps 322 . fluid stride and acceleration pattern with relaxed sprinting technique. These drills must be phased-out of training well before major competitions. endurance. A multi-event athlete may need to train for a specific running event. Plyometric drills develop the ballistic muscular strength jumping demands and directly address several principles of training for the High Jump. rhythm. Emphasis should be placed on building a strong. Sample Running Workouts • Long. not to overdo plyometric training and incur injury. Read Chapter 5 carefully for a complete discussion on plyometric training. Care must be taken.

13-4. as is limited weight training equipment for a large number of athletes. If you have your jumpers training hard early in the season. Sample Technique Drills • Running J approaches • Back-overs • 3-5 Stride approach jumps off one and two legs • Scissor jumps Fig. After the season begins. Technique training must continue throughout the season. (Even experienced high jumpers should do basic drills periodically to reinforce good fundamentals. leaving little time to undertake a comprehensive strength training program. many of your track athletes are likely to come directly from another seasonal sport. Weight room supervision is also often a problem. All your jumpers should incorporate these drills into their training. “J” Approach Drill. We recommend you create a script of drills for your high jumpers to be part of every jump workout. weight training should be used to maintain strength. don’t expect great early performances. Sample Weight Training Exercises • Half Squats (4 x 10 x 60% SRM or 5 x 3 x 90% SRM*) • Leg Extensions • Hamstring Curls • Step-Ups or Lunges • Snatches or Cleans (*SRM= single rep maximum) Technique Drills Technique drills are the building blocks of High Jump technique. Beginners should concentrate on the same exercises used to introduce them to the event. accuracy. 323 . and ease of execution.) Technique work isolates specific phases of the High Jump and allows greater precision.Weight Training Weight training builds basic muscular strength. Also. The off-season is the best time for jumpers to direct their efforts to the weight room.

Each session should emphasize a single aspect. This is why the bar is set low. These workouts should begin early in the competitive season and continue through mid-season. It is hard to High Jump well while engaged in hard training. not jumping for height. This type of jump training should be done most often. an athlete needs to High Jump in training. you can raise the bar 1 or 2 inches after several jumps. Start approximately 8 inches below the athlete’s PR and have him or her take three jumps at each height in 2-inch increments. • Maximum Effort Jumps. Do max jumping once every two weeks in the early season and once per week with fewer jumps during mid-season.• Simulated take-offs (pop-ups off the grass or apron) stressing transition into take-off and the proper arm/leg drive • Back extensions and hip thrusts from a lying position • Jumping to touch a hanging tennis ball with the head High Jumping To train specifically. but continue to emphasize good technical execution. Remember. though not more than twice per week. lower the bar. however. • Endurance Jumps. Jumpers should do 20-30 jumps. This demands intense concentration and maximum effort. One jump workout per week should focus on technique. After a good warm-up. the jumper takes 5-10 jumps at near PR height or better. so schedule your jump training accordingly. 324 . If the jumper is performing well. Jump workouts should address technique. Endurance jumping develops specific jumping fitness and reinforces the need for consistency. Take 10-15 full-approach jumps with the crossbar set at least 6 inches below PR height. • Technique Jumps. and maximum effort. a new improvement in competition should be close at hand. If an athlete performs well in this training session. Allow adequate rest between these jumps and stress good technical execution. depending on their fitness. After two misses at a height. without regard to clearance. your central focus must be on the process of training. endurance.

No pain. Periodizing training frames the progress of training and shill development for the high jumper. A Training Periodization Plan for the Season As with other events. coaches should test the physical skills of their athletes periodically. emphasizing different goals and types of training. no gain can only accomplish so much. An Important Reminder About Rest Many coaches and athletes fail to realize that rest and recovery are an essential part of the training process. This helps identify each athlete’s areas of strength and weakness. Develop a battery of tests for your own jumpers. or periods. Testing at the end of the season will provide you and your returning high jumpers with training objectives for the following year. and provides encouragement and motivation as well. Test 3-4 times throughout the school year if possible. but when it comes to jumpers. Nonetheless.Jump Testing The ultimate test of progress in training is the athlete’s performance in competition. Sometimes it may be necessary to tram through a meet. training for the High Jump should be periodized over the course of the school year or season. 325 . Sore and exhausted muscles cannot perform maximally. nothing improves performance better than rest. Sample Jumper Test (2 or 3 x each) • Vertical Jump • Standing Long Jump • Standing Triple Jump • 50m sprint • 8-10 Bounds for Distance • 5 consecutive 2-Leg Hops • SRM Bench Press • SRM Half Squat or Leg Press • SRM Snatch or Clean Note: This is a sample. Periodization is the division of training into phases.

3-4 weeks is the maximum period over which athletes can sustain improvement with any single type of training. recovery must be part of that management.. WEEKS PRIMARY EMPHASIS SECONDARY EMPHASIS MAINTENANCE Pre-Season 2 3 3 3 General Training Plyometrics Plyometrics Technique Jumps Tech Drills/Jumps Max Jumps Special Training Technique Jumps Rhythm Plyos Technique Technique Specific Plyos Specific Plyos Technique Drills Technique Easy Runs Sprint Reps Sprint Reps Sprint Reps specific Plyos Rhythm Plyos Early Season Mid-Season 2 2 Late-Season 2-4 Tactics and Strategy for High Jump Competition Athletes need to be well-educated in the rules of the event to make smart tactical decisions during competition. or hard training days per week. In a 2-4 week training phase. The goal in any competition is to place as high as possible.Generally. it is not recommended to have more than three quality. The following is a recommended High Jumper’s training plan for the season. the procedure used for breaking first-place ties in the High Jump will often dictate the heights a jumper will attempt or pass in the final stages of a competition. After that. training results tend to diminish. primary emphasis should be given to one type of training. and less emphasis (maintenance training) to a third type. Within any training plan.. TRAINING HIGH JUMPERS WITH A SYSTEM A system of training uses several methods and types of training within a seasonal training cycle. The goal of periodization is to manage the stress of training to produce improvement. The other days should consist of easy training or recovery days. 326 . you should integrate different types of training with each other. including competitions. Remember. secondary emphasis to another. The next objective should be to set a personal best or simply perform well. Accordingly. For example.

keep track of the remaining competitors and how they performed at lower heights to determine if a 1. or 6 inches below the personal best is usually a good opening height. have him work his way up to that height during his warm-up jumps. Those jumpers then determine the remaining heights to be attempted. If an athlete is jumping well in warm-ups. MENTAL PREPARATION Pre-meet anxiety can greatly inhibit performance. Never allow your jumpers to wear their warm-up suits in competition at lower heights! With one or two misses. the bar is raised in increments of 2 inches until two or three jumpers remain. If an athlete is struggling with his approach. have him open at a lower height so he can work out problems early in the competition. Then make a tactical decision whether to proceed by 1. and the stage is set for disaster! DETERMINING HEIGHT PROGRESSIONS In most High Jump competitions. any psychological or tactical advantage is reversed.or 2-inch improvement will be needed for your high jumper to qualify for the finals.BEFORE THE MEET Become familiar with the High Jump aprons at your away-meets so you can tailor your jumpers’ approaches during the preceding week and have the correct spikes on hand. This nonproductive emotion can leave the athlete drained when it comes time to jump. In League Championship and CIF qualifying meets. If the opening height is higher than the athlete is accustomed to. DETERMINING OPENING HEIGHTS Use the athlete’s warm-up jumps to determine at what height to enter the competition. In a qualifying competition. Athletes must learn to keep nervous energy under control and in reserve for the competition. This will bolster the athletes sense of readiness when the competition begins. The best way to accomplish this is to teach your athletes simple relaxation techniques and positive visualization skills. This mark seldom varies much from year to year. it is important to anticipate what height will enable the athlete to advance. All successful athletes see themselves succeeding. 327 . 3 height progressions. All athletes must believe in themselves. We recommend you have your athletes jump at 2-inch increments until they are going for the win.or 2-inch increments.

PLANNING AIDS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR TRAINING SYSTEM HIGH JUMPERS' WORKOUT Sequence RUNNING WARM-UP: Pre-Stretch plus: Group: Date: FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS: HIGH JUMP TECHNIQUE: 2-step combos: 4-5x RRL/LLR on grass in training flats POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS: t Skipping: t Hopping: t Bounding: RUNNING AND APPROACH DRILLS: WARM-DOWN: WEIGHT TRAINING: NOTES: .

Pop-ups x 10 5 POWER PLYOMETRIC DRILLS: Skipping: Hopping: Bounding: 2 x 60m power skips 2 x 6H full effort 2x60m 6 RUNNING AND APPROACH DRILLS: 1 x 300m 1 x 200m 1 x 150m at incr. 100m in the last 2 laps 2 3 FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: Yoga series plus special HJ stretches RHYTHMIC PLYOMETRIC DRILLS: Swing skipping/ankle bounces/high knees/butt kicks 4 HIGH JUMP TECHNIQUE: Back-overs x 5. speed 7 WARM-DOWN: 800m 8 WEIGHT TRAINING: NOTES: Team Meeting tomorrow at 3:40.HIGH JUMPERS' WORKOUT Sequence 1 RUNNING WARM-UP: Pre-Stretch plus: Date: March 6 1600m. Surging Alt. Scissor jumps x 5. Be On Time! 329 .

Joe Invitational 5 Meet 6 Easy Run or Rest Day 7 8 Tech Drills Backovers Scissors Jumps Trans Pop-Ups Plyometrics 1 x 300-200-100 15 Tech Drills (full session) 4x150 (Float-accel-float) Tech Jumps 20-25 full jumps 9 Warm-Up Stretch Rhythm Drills 4 x 80 Strides 10 Team Meeting Away Meet vs Adams 11 12 Technique Reps Approach Runs Take-Offs Plyometrics 13 Flexibility Trng 4 x 100 on Curve 2x300 Easy Run or Rest Day 14 6 x 50 on Curve 16 Performance Jumps Weights 17 Team Meeting Warm-Up Stretch Rhythm Drills Home Meet vs La Salle 18 Warm-Up Stretch 19 Meet 20 Easy Run or Goshen Relays Rest Day 21 22 Sprint Drills Plyometrics (full session) 23 Tech Drills 2-3 Mile Easy Run 24 Approach Runs (Rhythm Series) 6 x 80 on Curve Warm-Up Stretch 25 26 Away Meet vs Jackson Rest! 27 Easy Run or Rest Day 28 5 x 100 Strides 330 .SAMPLE 4-WEEK HIGH JUMP TRAINING PLAN. APRIL 1-28 M O N D A YT U E S D A YW E D N E S D A YT H U R S D A YF R I D A YS A T U R D A YS U N D A Y 1 Tech Drills Backovers 3-Stride Drills HipThrusts Plyometrics 4x200 Tech Jumps 20 full jumps 6 x 100 Tempo Weights 2 Warm-Up Stretch Tech Approach Runs x 10 3 Team Meeting Home Meet vs Riley 4 Warm-Up Stretch 4x150 Strides St.

End of Chapter 331 .

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strength. kinesthetic awareness. vaulting requires a unique type of courage.Pole Vaulters The Pole Vault is the most athletically demanding event in Track & Field. the Pole Vault is a thrilling event for both the athlete and spectator. coach. Every high school head coach should have adequate knowledge of the event. The Pole Vault entails a certain degree of physical risk which must be controlled by the athlete. and gymnastic ability. Nonetheless. Beyond those skills. Training 333 . coordination. Pole vaulting requires speed. and necessary safety precautions.

that is. When selecting potential vaulters. The complex technique of the Pole Vault demands that coaches teach by the whole-part-whole method. they learn technique through repetition of portions of the vault. surfers. Ensuring Safe Participation SAFE FACILITY Safe pole vaulting requires a safe facility. vaulting poles. In other words. they enjoy physical challenges with some degree of risk. Second. upper body strength. Most important. Good vaulters are almost always good all-around athletes. Then. The landing pit should meet CIF and National High School Federation minimum size standards: 16 feet wide 16 feet deep and 26 inch high. and training equipment. Safe facilities. any philosophy for coaching the Pole Vault must be based on safety. or skateboarders.A Philosophy for Coaching the Pole Vault The Pole Vault is the most complete test of athletic ability in Track & Field. A Pole Vault facility includes the landing pit. intense concentration and a real commitment to the event. Any vaulting drill or exercise carries a certain degree of physical danger for the athlete and even for the coach. Always emphasize safety first. Additional foam pads. gymnastic ability. 334 . must be placed at the sides of any minimum-regulation pit to cover any hard. vaulters must be encouraged to develop the mental ability to put themselves into unknown areas of effort and achievement. your young pole vaulters must be taught to understand the feel of the event as a whole first. at least 2 inches thick. Finally. Drills are essential to learning the event. safe training techniques and continuous supervision are mandatory for the Pole Vault. look for athletes who possess or are willing to develop speed. As a Pole Vault coach you must develop and recruit athletes with a wide range of skills. vault box. standards. Pole Vaulters are often emotionally similar to skiers. partial skills should be integrated into a complete Pole Vault. safe equipment. All athletes must be taught to visualize success. A coach should first train pole vaulters to be good all-round athletes. unyielding surfaces. runway.

Poles should never be dropped on the ground or allowed to hit unpadded metal standards. A hand grip too low will cause the vaulter to over-penetrate the pit and risk landing beyond the back or sides of the pit. and you must protect your poles. 14-1. Fiberglass is easily damaged. Vaulting into a crosswind or headwind is very difficult even for advanced pole vaulters and leads to inconsistency and poor technique.The vault box should be set flush into the runway. The pole vault pit should not be used as a playground. Keep them encased in their shipping tubes and stored in a safe area. tumbling mat. A protective cover should be over the pit whenever it is not is use. This can lead to unsafe vaulting. or lounging area. Using the proper grip height for the amount of force generated at take-off is essential. A hand grip too high for the amount of force at take-off will cause the vaulter to stall and fail to reach the pit. preferably cement pads. with no raised edges that can snag a pole during the plant. The pole vault runway should be smooth and level. This is a must. 335 . Never allow a vaulter to use a pole rated below his or her weight. SAFE TRAINING Finally. The standards should sit on a firm level area. especially in the plant phase. Fig. The securing straps must be in place and in good repair at all times. and whenever possible directed to take advantage of the prevailing wind conditions (tailwinds). Correct Landing Pit Dimensions. you must teach your athletes to use safe vaulting techniques. Damaged poles will break! You must also follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe use. you must see that your facility and equipment are used properly. SAFE USE Second.

RECOVERY In order for the body to adapt to progressive overload. certain universal principles of training apply to the Pole Vault. PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD In order for the athlete’s physical capacity for exercise to increase. pole vaulters require plentiful rest even though they may not feel tired or worn out. the specific adaptation to imposed demands. Therefore. or overload. Pole vaulters need a good amount of recovery to fresh for competition. This usually entails breaking down the vault into its components and performing them repeatedly with proper technique. It is also known as the SAID principle. adapts to this stress resulting in increased capacity. SPECIFICITY The body adapts to specific demands placed upon it. strengths.Principles of Training As with any other event. in response. 336 . The body. the neuromuscular patterns of technique need to be enforced through repetition of movement. Especially with a technical event like the Pole Vault. the body must be subjected to increased stresses. This cycle of stress and adaptation is the foundation of all training. and skills needed for the event. it must rest and recover from the applied stress. training for the Pole Vault needs to specifically address the requirements. Since much of the training they must do is quite demanding. REPETITION This principle is an outgrowth of specificity requirements. Pole vaulters cannot vault every day and expect to do well in competition.

there are several principles which apply specifically to the Pole Vault: Accuracy and Consistency The single most important factor in Pole Vault performance is the execution of an accurate. and vaulting. plyometric training. controlled approach run and pole plant. 337 . Aside from the general principles of training. It is not uncommon to have jumpers performing at heights ranging from 7 feet to almost 17 feet. The body becomes a projectile accelerated by its own power and the recoil of the pole. the athlete must develop the ability to control the position and posture of his or her body while in motion on the ground and in the air. Rhythm allows the athlete to relax while exerting tremendous effort and provides a cadence for exerting maximum effort. The training of vaulters needs to specifically develop this explosiveness through weight training. Rhythm provides a reference for the control of speed and power. This is especially important for vaulters. is an expression of power through rhythm. This accuracy requires consistent performance of the same run-up in repeated vaulting attempts. Drills and repetition refine this awareness. Accuracy is also the best way to guarantee safe vaulting. Rhythm Pole vaulting. The athlete needs to have a “feel” for his or her body and how it moves. Accuracy and consistency are the foundation upon which Pole Vault skills and technique are constructed. You cannot develop freshman vaulters by giving them the same training as you give your best upperclassmen. Explosiveness and Acceleration The Pole Vault is a catapult of the body into the air. Age and strength differences have profound effects on adolescents. Body Control (Kinesthetic Awareness) To excel at pole vaulting. like most events in Track & Field.INDIVIDUALITY Respecting the principle of individuality is an important concept for the coach of high school vaulters.

The left hand holds the pole a few inches away from the chest as the initial body lean and the push-off of the left foot tilt the pole toward the pit. the third is for the coach. fast last stride. The left elbow should be bent 90 degrees and the right arm should be slightly flexed. An intermediate vaulter should use a 14–16-stride approach. The beginning vaulter should use a 10–12-stride approach into the pole plant and take-off. as discussed below. The first and second marks are for the vaulter. THE APPROACH The vaulter should use three runway check marks. The second check mark should be placed at the 2-stride mark. THE HAND GRIP AND HAND SPREAD ON THE POLE The vaulter places the left foot at the start mark with the right foot slightly behind and to the right of the left foot for good balance. The vaulter’s left hand holds the pole — thumb under. The Start of the Approach The vaulter’s right hand should be held steady in advance of the hip. The right hand supports the pole at the start of the approach and should be held in advance of the right hip at the side of the body about waist high. His right hand (top hand) should use a closed grip with the thumb on top. The last 4 strides must be an aggressive acceleration into the plant and take-off with a short. The approach should begin with the pole balanced in an almost vertical position. The third check mark should be placed 6 strides (3 left footstrikes) back from the pole plant and take-off point to help the coach monitor the consistency of the vaulter’s approach. 338 . He or she should hold the pole at his side with his hands no more than hip width apart (approximately an 18-inch handspread).Technique. at waist height. are illustrated in Figures 14-1 and 14-2. The first check mark is placed at the start of the approach run. knuckles up — in front of the chest a few inches away from his body. Start-to-Finish (for a right-handed vaulter) The approach and technique of the pole vault.

14-2. The right hand should move vertically up the side of the body. 339 .Fig. THE POLE PLANT AND TAKE-OFF The plant begins when the vaulter’s left foot strikes two strides before the take-off. past the cheek and in front of the ear. The left hand. The vaulter’s running form should be smooth and relaxed. The vaulter’s right hand should be at shoulder level at this point. The tip of the pole should drop gradually throughout the approach. However. should also be moving up while helping to turn the pole over so the bend direction (soft side) is facing the pit. with the body erect and hips and shoulders facing the pit. The Acceleration and Pole Drop Acceleration should continue throughout the approach into the plant and take-off. The left hand remains at the middle of the chest and acts as a fulcrum for the pole as the tip nears the box. reaching a position just below horizontal two strides before the take-off. The Approach. while guiding the pole tip onto the front edge of the box. there must be a marked increase in stride frequency over the last four strides leading into the take-off.

and hips must stay square to the pit. The vaulter should drive (jump) forward toward the pit and reach upward. Fig. The Pole Vault. The vaulter’s plant foot should be directly underneath the top hand and in the center of the runway. (continued). 14-3. (continued). slightly above the forehead. and left hand (bottom hand) as far in front of the chest as possible. 14-3. 14-3. The right arm (top hand) should be fully extended. During the plant. lead knee (right knee) driving forward and up.Fig. 340 . Fig. shoulders. The take-off starts before the pole tip actually makes contact with the back of the vault box. the vaulter’s chest.

A continuous. The arms are pulled back and above the head as the chest advances toward the pit. The lead leg follows its natural running course and finishes in front of the body. The vaulter’s body remains extended while trying to close the angle between the top arm and trunk. it is easier to assume an inverted C position. The hips should be elevated so that the groin comes in contact with the top hand grip. The vaulter must keep the body moving forward but behind the pole throughout the swing phase. starts when the pole contacts the back of the box and the take-off foot (left foot) leaves the runway. The head should stay level as both hands continue to reach up. The speed of the approach and the vaulter’s ability to keep the body fully extended during the take-off/swing transition determines the initial loading of the pole. fast swing is crucial to good vaulting. with the foot behind the knee. sometimes called the rock-back. With both arms and hands extended up through the plant and take-off.THE FOLLOW-THROUGH A follow-through phase occurs just after take-off. The swing phase. The bottom (left) arm flexes as the hips continue to rise. non-bending pole. the time the vaulter’s take-off foot leaves the runway until the body reaches its maximum height. with feet up and shoulders down and in line with the pole. The follow-through is more pronounced on a properly bending pole. 341 . The vaulter’s take-off leg becomes the trail leg and drags behind the hips in a natural follow-through reaction. The vaulter’s body reaches an inverted C position with the handgrip at the top of the C and the trailing foot at the bottom of the C. and markedly less on a stiff. The swing is enhanced by pulling the trail leg while the body is rotating around the top hand grip and the shoulders. the vaulter’s body should be vertical. At the end of the swing phase. The Swing The swing. The head stays in line with the spine. The shoulders should remain square to the pit in advance of the hips. Weight transfers to the top hand as the body swings through a position horizontal to the ground. regardless of the height being attempted. should be accomplished in 1½ seconds or less.

THE PULL-TURN AND PUSH The vaulter’s body should be kept close to the pole as the legs extend and the toes point upward. landing on the back. LEARNING TO RUN. When the body and right arm are extended as far a possible the feet drop and the hips rise into a jackknife position. As the pole becomes vertical. you should teach the correct grip and carry. then. The vaulter. As the hips begin to drop. show the beginning vaulter the proper hand grip. The feet continue moving along the pole and the bottom hand is released. PLANT. the top hand continues to push down on the pole. THE FLY-AWAY AND LANDING The vaulter rolls both thumbs inward and keeps the chest concave. This is done by standing the pole in front of the vaulter and having him or her reach out and grasp the pole at arms reach above the head with the right hand. The left hand should then reach straight out and grasp the pole approximately 18-inches below the right hand. Both thumbs should point up. Most poles have a trademark or label indicating the soft side of the pole. Introducing the Pole Vault to Beginners HOLDING THE POLE When you introduce the first use of the pole. AND SWING • After a brief demonstration of an entire vault (or after viewing a brief video). The top hand pulls the shoulders up and turns the body around. That side of the pole must be carried down during the run and must be turned to face the pit at the plant. The turn is completed with the vaulter’s body in line with the pole. You do this by holding the pole loosely at the top with the tip on the ground and letting the pole roll to its natural bend side. The eyes should focus on the arms to the top hand grip. 342 . The pole vaulter must also learn to identify the natural bend direction of the pole. he or she lifts the arms up and away from the body. or soft side. Upon clearing the crossbar. the vaulter relaxes as much as possible and drops to the pit. The head should be down and in line with the back. releases the pole with a flick of the wrist toward the runway.

Do not hurry this progression. Repeat this many times. good rhythm. • Do not be concerned with bending the pole right away. with the vaulter keeping the upper body behind the pole. Do not allow the vaulter to rock back.• With a handgrip slightly higher than can be reached with the pole verti- cal. Gradually add more strides. Emphasize the correct plant technique and a long swing into the pit with the body fully extended. stand at the box. more speed. encouraging the vaulter to keep the right arm straight and to lightly press against the pole with the left (bottom) hand. 343 . • Carry the pole properly throughout the run. • Develop a consistent approach run of 10–12 strides with properly placed check marks. and a higher hand grip. keep it low and easy to clear. If so. • When the vaulter becomes comfortable swinging on the pole. move three or four steps in front of the box and have him or her walk. • Accelerate into the plant. and bend direction of the pole. During that time. To help the vaulter. have him or her bring the right knee up and land on the ground facing the pit where he or she started. grasp the pole when he or she plants it. grip. With younger vaulters. TECHNIQUE GOALS FOR THE BEGINNING VAULTER • Use the proper hand spread. more mature athletes. • Assume the proper body/pole positions at plant and take-off. and help pull the pole through to vertical. have the vaulter stand on the pit and swing to the ground. and a good plant position before you progress beyond this drill. Be sure the vaulter is developing the proper pole carry. and swing into the pit. plant the pole. • Vault in line with the runway and land in the middle of the pit. With older. it is best to wait two to three weeks before letting them vault at a crossbar. jog. it may be necessary to put a bar up on the first day of practice to keep them interested. the vaulter should learn to air vault off the top of the pole. • The progress of the vaulter will determine when you should put up a crossbar and have him or her attempt to actually vault over it. The vaulter should swing down to the ground in a straight line. Next.

90 = 13’4” hand grip = a 13’6” vault.90 times the reach height. • • Use good sprint technique and high-knee lift throughout the approach. 344 .) Safely progress to an effective hand grip equal to the height of the bar. • Develop a fast and consistent approach run with the pole. • Perform safe and consistent vaulting 2-12 inches above the hand grip. For example. Coaching the Fundamentals PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES FOR THE ATHLETE • Practice safe vaulting techniques. Start the approach with a powerful open stride and accelerate aggressively into the take-off. • Swing through in an extended body position from take-off to rock-back. while keeping the crossbar 18-24 inches behind the vertical plane of the back of the vault box.) • TECHNIQUE GOALS FOR THE INTERMEDIATE VAULTER • • Master all of the above techniques. a 7’ reach x 1. • Bend the pole effectively while following the manufacturer’s weight rating. (Require five consecutive clearances at each height before raising the bar. (An 11’8” hand grip = an 11’0” vault. • Develop the proper preparation for take-off that provides lift without reaching or losing speed in the last two strides. • Perfect the proper pole-plant technique. Use a consistent approach run of 14-16 strides with properly placed checkmarks. • Complete the plant/take-off before the pole tip contacts the back of the box. Vault consistently in practice with the crossbar set 18-24 inches behind the plane of the back of the vault box.• • Establish the rhythm of the plant/swing/clearance. • Perform safe vaulting with a grip 1.

POLE SELECTION Selection of the proper pole is crucial to successful pole vaulting. • Train athletes to keep the body behind the pole. • Train athletes to assume proper body/pole alignment at take-off. the recommended hand grip for poles 14 feet and longer is 12-18 inches from the top of the pole. Twelve. • Train athletes to shoot the hips up into a high trajectory at the top of the vault. • Develop a consistent approach run. • Train athletes to use the left hand to move the pole into the plant position. If the vaulter swings too deep into the landing area. Poor penetration occurs when the vaulter fails to swing beyond the front of the pit or the pole fails to come to a vertical position.• Train to be an all-around athlete. or if the peak height of the vault occurs more than 24 inches beyond the horizontal standard setting. TEACHING OBJECTIVES FOR THE COACH • Determine each athlete’s proper grip height and pole size. However. rotating around the top hand and shoulders. use penetration and pole bend as your guide. • Teach the vault as one continuous motion. three strides before the take-off. Many factors influence pole selection. including the vaulter’s weight. and take-off speed. For the intermediate and advanced vaulter. • Train athletes to use a fast swing phase. Fig. 14-4 345 . grip height. hand spread. • Train for optimal performance in competition. Penetration is the distance the vaulter travels forward into the landing area from the take-off point. • Train athletes to accelerate into the plant/take-off. • Train athletes to plant the pole onto the front edge of the box.and 13-foot vaulting poles can accommodate a large variety of handgrips for the beginning vaulter. pole-plant technique. there is excessive penetration and the vaulter should move to a stiffer pole.

• Correct take-off technique is a powerful forward and upward movement with the take-off foot directly below the top hand in the center of the runway while using the highest possible pole-plant position. • Lower the grip height when there is poor penetration and the pole bend exceeds 90 degrees. At the high school level. safe vaulting technique should always precede clearance height objectives. • An objective of learning proper. • Move to a softer pole when both poor penetration and a small pole bend occurs. Guidelines for Intermediate and Advanced Vaulters • Never use a pole rated below the vaulter’s weight. • The vaulter will bend the pole and land in the center of the pit if he uses proper plant/take-off technique. • Before you raise the vaulter’s grip height. • A short approach of 8 strides or less and a grip height of 12 feet or less are recommended for learning the fundamentals of vaulting technique. • Use the following guidelines once the vaulter develops a proper approach run and good pole plant/take-off technique: • Move to a stiffer pole when the pole bend exceeds 90 degrees and excessive penetration occurs. it is quite common for vaulters to require poles rated 10-25 pounds above their body weight.Guidelines for Beginning Vaulters • Never use a pole rated below the vaulter’s weight. 346 . he or she should be clearing heights at least equal to that grip height. • Raise the grip height when excess penetration with a small pole bend occurs.

GRIP HEIGHT / TAKE-OFF DISTANCE / C-STRIDE CHECK MARK The importance of the grip height cannot be overemphasized. Using the proper grip height is the key to developing efficient, safe vaulting technique. Use the chart below to determine the proper grip height on the pole, takeoff distance from the back of the box, 6-stride check mark placement, and 6-stride time into the take-off. This chart is based on an average reach height of 7’4”. For any given grip height, shorter vaulters will take off further out and taller vaulters will be closer in. Select a grip height based on the vaulter’s skill level that allows him or her to swing safely into the pit. Then, based on the chart, place a check mark next to the runway for the 6-stride mark Use the check mark to check the consistency of the approach before the take-off.

BAR HEIGHT

GRIP HEIGHT

TAKE-OFF DISTANCE

6-STRIDE CHECK MARK

6-STRIDE TIME

BEGINNING VAULTERS 7’6” 8’0” 8’6” 9’0” 9’6” 10’0” 10’6” 11’0” INTERMEDIATE VAULTERS 11’6” 12’0” 12’6” 13’0” 13’6” ADVANCED VAULTERS 14’0” 14’6” 15’0” 15’6” 16’0” 16’6” 13’5” 13’9” 14’0” 14”4” 14’7” 14’11” 10’8” 11’0” 11’4” 11’8” 12’0” 12’4” 45’0” 46’0” 47’0” 48’0” 49’0” 50’0” :01.50 :01.47 :01.44 :01.41 :01.38 :01.35 12’0” 12’3” 12’7” 12’10” 13’2” 9’0” 9’4” 9’8” 10’0” 10’4” 40’0” 41’0” 42’0” 43’0” 44’0” NA NA NA :01.56 :01.53 9’8” 9’11” 10’3” 10’6” 10’10” 11’1” 11’5” 11’8” 6’4’ 6’8” 7’0” 7’4” 7’8” 8’0” 8’4” 8’8” 32’0” 33’0” 34’0” 35’0” 36’0” 37’0” 38’0” 39’0” NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA

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The time for the last 6 strides does not play a role in potential success of a vault until the height attempted reaches 13 feet. The times listed on the chart are hand times and are averages. A vaulter who does not achieve the average time for these 6 strides into the take-off can expect a vault below the height listed for that time on the chart. A vaulter who runs faster than the average time listed can expect a vault greater than the height listed, given proper vaulting technique.

APPROACH LENGTH / STRIDE PATTERN / CHECK MARKS

The approach should use a sufficient number of strides for the vaulter to achieve maximum speed at take-off, while allowing for consistency and control. The first check mark can be determined by the vaulter placing the takeoff foot the correct distance from the plant box, turning to face away from the pit, and running the number of strides toward the end of the runway that allow him or her to attain the maximum controlled running speed. The start marker is placed where the take-off foot strikes the runway after 10-16 strides. The second checkmark should be placed 2 running strides from the first. Hitting this mark is crucial to executing a consistent approach run. These two marks allow the vaulter to check the accuracy of the start of the approach. A third marker, placed 6 strides from the take-off point, should be used by the coach to check the accuracy and consistency of the approach run. The beginning vaulter should use 10-12 progressively faster strides into the pole plant/take-off. He should count these strides by counting the number of times the take-off foot strikes the runway (5 or 6 times). The intermediate vaulter should use a 14-16 stride approach to the plant/take-off, 2 strides to the second checkmark, 8 strides to the coach’s checkmark, and 6 strides to the plant/take-off mark.

PENETRATING THE PIT

When the vaulter transfers force into the pole during the plant/take-off, the pole bends and stores that force for recoil. That recoil, horizontal speed, and the swing carrys the vaulter toward the pit. This is called penetrating the pit. Optimum penetration is the result of using the correct grip height for the amount of force transferred toward the pit at take-off. The greater the force transferred, the higher the vaulter can grip the pole. Less force transferred will necessitate the use of a lower hand grip.

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SOLVING PROBLEMS IN POLE VAULT TECHNIQUE

PROBLEM Lack of Penetration

SOLUTION Lower the grip height. Correct body posture at take-off. Increase acceleration over the last 4 strides into the take-off. Move the pole into plant position earlier. Aggressively complete the take-off action. Move to a softer pole.

Poor Pole Plant

Begin the plant action earlier. Correct body posture at take-off. Use the left hand to move the pole into proper position.

Poor Swing and Extension

Lower the grip height if penetration is poor. Raise the grip height if penetration is excessive. Delay collapsing against the pole too soon. Speed up the swing phase. Apply less pressure on the pole with the bottom arm.

Good penetration is achieved when the vaulter can swing through and clear a bar with the standards placed 18-24 inches back from the vertical plane of the plant box. Poor penetration occurs when the pole fails to reach a vertical position and the vaulter fails to reach the vertical plane of the back of the vault box. SWING SPEED Poor penetration will decrease the vaulter’s swing speed, making it impossible for him or her to safely rock-back and complete the vault. Excess penetration (too low a grip height for the amount of force transferred at takeoff) will not allow the vaulter enough time to complete the swing and reach the rock-back position. Adjusting grip height up or down approximately four inches will usually correct penetration problems.

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Methods of Training
Of all Track & Field events, the Pole Vault requires the greatest range of athletic ability. Training for the Pole Vault should include running, sprinting, weight training, plyometrics, gymnastics, flexibility exercises, vault-specific drills and, of course, vaulting.

GENERAL CONDITIONING

The greatest improvements in pole vaulting technique will come with the development of good overall physical conditioning through running and strength development. In order to develop the strength required for the Pole Vault, the following points should be noted:
• Pole Vaulters need to have good strength relative to their body weight,

but they do not need to become bodybuilders.
• Priority should be given to the development of explosive power.

Plyometrics is an ideal way to develop this explosiveness.
• To develop a high level of skill there should be a close relationship

between the development of strength and the development of rhythm and coordination.
• Flexibility, rest, and recovery also play a major role in enhancing physical

development, balance, and conditioning.
Recommended Lower Body Exercises, Without Weights • Hamstring Curls using an elastic strap, either fixed or held by a partner • Upright Hamstring Curls using ankle weights or a weighted shoe • Bicycling with Ankle Weights, with the athlete lying on the shoulders and

moving the legs in a cycling motion
• Leg Kicks, with the athlete lying on the shoulders and performing fast

up-and-down leg kicks

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Recommended Upper Body Exercises • Shoulder Dips • Dips into a Handstand (use spotters) • Full Extension Pull-Ups on a horizontal bar • Pull-Ups to a Front Support Position on a horizontal bar • Rope Climbing using only the arms • Rope Climbing upside down SPEED DEVELOPMENT

To develop speed and power on the runway, vaulters must do sprint work with and without the pole.
• Sprint Drills: l-3 x 20m, 3 days a week • High Knees • Butt Kicks • Power Skipping • Bounding • Fast Hands/Quick Feet • Acceleration Sprints: 6 x 60m daily • Repeat 300s and 200s: 2-4 reps, 1 or 2 days a week during the general

conditioning cycle
• Repeat 150s: 3-5, 1 or 2 days a week, emphasizing relaxation, good

stride rhythm and running form
• Repeat 100s: 4-6, l or 2 days a week (should be faster

than the 150s)
• Repeat 50s or 60s: 5-7, 1 day a week, emphasizing relaxation, good

sprint form and acceleration

WEIGHT TRAINING

Weight training should be stressed during the off-season and pre-season more than during the competitive phase of the season. When you increase the amount of strength development exercises in your training (such as pullups, push-ups, plyometrics and gymnastics), you must reduce the amount of weight training proportionately.

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Recommended Weight Training Exercises • Power Cleans • Incline Presses • Squats • Leg Curls • Leg Extensions • Seated Arm Curls • Toe Raises Important!
• •

Never lift free weights without spotters. Start with light weights and do not progress to heavier weights until proper lifting techniques have been learned. Develop lower body strength with weight training and plyometrics, and upper body strength with weight training and gymnastics.

GYMNASTICS Any work on gymnastic apparatus helps develop upper body strength, body awareness (kinesthetic sense), rhythm, and coordination for pole vaulters. The high bar, rings, and tumbling are especially beneficial. VAULTING DRILLS Drills are the major components of technique development and specific conditioning for the Pole Vault. You should understand the purpose of each of the following drills and how they should be incorporated into your training program. Drills to Develop the Approach • Approach Runs. Mark your approach distances on the track and have your vaulters plant the pole into a towel or sliding box. Use check marks, as previously discussed. Emphasize consistency, good speed, acceleration during the last strides into the take-off and the timing of the plant.

Pole Runs. Develop the pole carry and speed by doing reps of 50-70m with the vaulting pole. Resistance Running. Develop power by doing reps of 30-40m uphill or pulling a sled.

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• Speed-Assisted Trainin g. Enhance speed and stride frequency by doing

reps of 30-50m with towing or a gradual downhill, with and without the pole. Drills to Develop the Pole Plant and Take-Off
• Plant and Hang. To develop the plant/take-off rhythm, have the vaulter

take a 4-stride approach, plant, and take-off so that the pole reaches the vertical position.
• Pop-Ups. To develop the complete vault rhythm, have the vaulter plant,

swing to vertical, pull-turn and push, and land in the pit on the back. Use a grip that is 12-18 inches over the vaulter’s reach height (see Fig. 14-5).
• Sand Vaults. To develop an early take-off position, dig a hole 12-18

inches deep in your long jump pit. Have the vaulter grip the pole at a height 18 inches above the reach height. Using a 4-stride approach, perform the plant/take-off so the pole reaches a vertical position. Keep the upper body behind the pole and the legs down. Emphasize taking off just before the pole reaches the bottom of the hole. Gradually increase the grip height when the vaulter is easily penetrating past the vertical (see Fig. 14-6).
• European Pop-Ups. With the pole in the box, have the vaulter take a

high grip on a stiff pole, mark the take-off point, and move 3-strides back. Perform a powerful 3-stride approach, plant and take-off. Emphasize the following:
• Strong plant placing the pole above the head • An early, aggressive take-off • Good plant/take-off rhythm • Keeping the shoulders square to the pit • Full extension of the arms and shoulders

Fig. 14-5. Pop-ups.

Fig14-6. Sand Vault Drill.

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The vaulter must maintain control and rebound safely to the runway in a balanced standing position.
• Towel Drill. Have the vaulter perform the run/plant/take-off sequence

from an approach of 3, 6, 8 and 10 strides. Plant the pole into a towel, movable box or inner tube filled with 5 pounds of sand. The take-off action slides the box forward.
• Coach’s Pop-Up. Have the vaulter perform the plant/take-off sequence

with a 4-stride approach using a relatively stiff pole and a high grip. The coach, pushing from behind, helps the vaulter perform the drill safely and return to the runway.
• Penetration Drill. To develop confidence in the plant, have the vaulter

plant the pole firmly, aiming forward and upward, using a short- or medium-length approach with a gradually increasing grip height. The pole should not be overbent as the drill concentrates only on the lift and the take-off. No attempt should be made to rock back.

Drills to Develop the Take-Off • Double-Leg Hops over 6-10 low hurdles, 24-36 inches high placed

3 feet apart.
• Hurdling over 5-7 low hurdles, 5-7 yards apart. Have the athlete take a

6-8 stride run-up and perform a long take-off to the hurdle and 3 quick strides in between.
• Sets of 10 Bounds over a fixed distance (20-30 meters) with emphasis

on power and speed.
• Rope Swings using a 4 stride approach and taking off forward into a

hang. Emphasize forward drive and the transition into the swing. Drills to Develop the Swing and Turn The objective of the swing and turn is to move the body into position to clear the bar at the greatest height possible above the top hand grip.
• Hanging from a horizontal bar, the vaulter performs a turn around

the shoulder axis, turns, and leaves the bar, landing safely on a matt facing the bar.
• Hanging from a horizontal bar, the vaulter turns upside down without

bending the arms. Straight legs make the drill more difficult.

354

and push action. that’s set slightly higher than the horizontal bar. turns. After reaching the upside-down position. and pushes to clear a crossbar. Pulley training. endurance. the procedure used for breaking first place ties in the Pole Vault will often dictate the heights a vaulter will attempt or pass in the final stages of a competition. the vaulter swings up and then performs a coordinated pull. turn. • While holding a climbing rope. • With feet attached to one end of a rope running over a pulley. one session might focus solely on developing a good plant phase. Performance vaulting aims for the greatest heights possible. pulling and pushing the hands toward the ground as he shoots the legs upward (see Fig. The goal in any competition is to place as high as possible. Tactics and Strategy for Competition Athletes need to be well-educated in the rules of the event to make tactical decisions during competition. and performance. 355 . the vaulter pulls. the vaulter takes off from a 4-5 stride approach and swings on the rope. VAULT TRAINING Vault training includes three types of jumps: technique.• Hanging from a horizontal bar. turning upside down and extending the legs to a rigid position. For example. He or she turns upside down. Fig 14-7. the vaulter performs the previous drill with the knees tucked to the chest. Focus on one type of jumping in each vaulting session. For example. 14-7). Endurance vaulting stresses consistent performance over a number of jumps. The legs and hips are then extended to clear a crossbar. • Jumping to grip a horizontal bar. Technique vaulting seeks to develop the specific skills in the vault. Run these sessions similar to a competition. landing safely in a foam pit on the back. the vaulter holds the other end of the rope in the hands. The next objective should be to set a personal best or simply perform well.

All successful athletes see themselves succeeding. If the opening height is higher than the athlete is accustomed to. Athletes must learn to keep this nervous energy under control and in reserve for competition. three height progressions. length of the approach run. The best way to accomplish this is to teach your athletes simple relaxation techniques and positive visualization skills. Maintaining one’s composure during competition is important. If an athlete is struggling during the warm-up vaults. placement of check marks. height of the hand grip. any psychological or tactical edge over one’s opponents is reversed and the stage is set for disaster! 356 . MENTAL PREPARATION Pre-meet anxiety can greatly inhibit performance. and all athletes must believe in themselves to have a chance to succeed. the positive flow of nervous energy can increase a vaulter’s running speed. run slower and perform with poor technique. The biggest tactical error made by beginning and intermediate pole vaulters is entering the competition at heights they cannot clear on the first attempt! With one or two misses. If an athlete is jumping well in warm-up. and standard setting. approach length. have him or her work the way up to that height during the warmup vaults. This nonproductive emotion can leave an athlete drained when it comes time to vault. or 18 inches below the personal best. alter the acceleration pattern and equally disrupt the approach. pole size. and the setting of the standards should all be worked out in advance of the meet. DETERMINING OPENING HEIGHTS Use your athlete’s warm-up vaults to determine the height at which they should enter the competition. is usually a good opening height. The Pole Vault is an event that requires continual adjustments and decision making. have him or her open at a lower height in order to work out problems early in the competition. Both situations require adjustments in grip height.BEFORE THE MEET Become familiar with the Pole Vault facilities at your away-meet sites so you can tailor your vaulters’ approaches during the preceding week. The details of pole selection. This will bolster confidence when the competition begins. While apprehension can cause an athlete to tighten up.

THE TRAINING CYCLE The entire season is called a mega cycle. and speed required for the Pole Vault. This mark seldom varies much from year to year. The mega cycle consists of a 4-week general conditioning cycle and four. The volume and intensity levels recommended have been carefully planned to aid the athlete’s progress.DETERMINING HEIGHT PROGRESSIONS In most high school Pole Vault competitions. testing. strength. preparation for the next cycle. Running further. agility. shorter or longer intervals (rest periods) will make training more or less intense. the bar is raised by increments of 6 inches until three or four vaulters remain. 357 . and 3. Each mini-cycle has a weekly training plan that is repeated for weeks 1. it is important to anticipate what height will enable the athlete to advance. Selecting the interval between repetition runs and the various ways in which these runs are used will allow you or the vaulter to individualize this program. 4-week mini-cycles. and cut in half for the fourth week The fourth week is devoted to recovery. and the addition of technical and visual training. The bar is then raised by increments of 3-4 inches until two or three competitors remain. Then make a tactical decision whether to proceed by smaller increments. and with or without the pole are other ways of individualizing training. 2. Those vaulters then determine the remaining heights to be attempted. keep track of the competitors remaining and how they have performed at lower heights to determine what incremental clearance will be needed for your vaulter to qualify for the finals. For example. We recommend that you have your athletes jump at those increments until they are going for the win. we recommend that a minimum of 2½-3 hours per week be devoted to practicing proper technique. In a qualifying competition. over hills. A Training Periodization Plan for the Season Given the skill development. In League Championship and CIF qualifying meets.

0 x 50.67 + 11.Training volume is high and training intensity low during the off-season and pre-season periods.0 = 11.0 = 14.67 = 11. training volume decreases.4% = 3.0 x 33.6% increase in running intensity from cycle to cycle.0 = 12.0 x 16.4% 66.50+ 11.83 + 11.6% = 1.83 = 11. HOW TO CALCULATE RUNNING INTENSITY Percentage Time 100% 83. as training intensity increases.0% = 5. During the season.5 358 .6% 50% = Best Time for 100 meters = 11. There is a 30% decrease in volume and a 16.0 = 16.

EARLY-SEASON (MINI-CYCLE #2) MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT-SUN Warm-Up Warm-Up Warm-up Compete Warm-Up Warm-Up 4x150m 5x70m Vaulting 2x150m Warm-Down Drills 6 x 1OOm Wt Training 4 x 150m 4 x 50m Warm-Down Drills 1 x 150m 3 x 100m Warm-Down Wt Training OBJECTIVE: Maintaining training volume through competition.S E A S O N ( M I N I . TRAINING NOTES: All running workouts are at 50% intensity. strength.P R E . and technique enhancement. MARCH .6% intensity. 359 . TRAINING NOTES: All running workouts are at 66.PRE-SEASON MINI-CYCLES F E B R U A R Y .C Y C L E # 1 ) MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT-SUN Warm-Up 2 x 250m 3 x 100m Warm-Down Warm-Up Drills W t Training Warm-Up 4x150m 5 x 70m Warm-Down Warm-Up Drills Wt Training Warm-Up 4 x 150m 5 x 70m Warm-Down Rest OBJECTIVE: Conditioning.

and sharpen for competition.4% intensity.M I D .L A T E . TRA INING NOTES : All running workouts are at 99. TRAINING NOTES: All running workouts are at 83. 360 .S E A S O N ( M I N I .5-100% intensity.A P R I L .C Y C L E # 3 ) MON Warm Up Vaulting1 TUE Warm-Up WED Warm-Up THU Compete FRI Warm-Up SAT-SUN Compete Drills 4 x 100m 1 x 1 5 0m 4 x 5Om Drills x 150m3 x 3 x 100m Warm-Down 5 x 100m Wt Training 3 x 50m Wt Training Warm. increase intensity.Down OBJECTIVE: Reduce training volume.S E A S O N ( M I N I . M A Y .C Y C L E # 4 ) MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT-SUN Warm-Up Vaulting 3 x 150m Warm-Down Warm-Up Drills 3 x 100m Wt Training Warm-Up 2 x 150m or 4 x 50m Warm-Down Compete Warm-Up Compete or Drills 3 x 150m Warm-Down Rest OBJECTIVE: Refine technique and prepare for major competitions.

PLANNING AIDS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR TRAINING SYSTEM P O L EV A U L T E R ST R A I N I N GS C R I P T 361 .

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End of Chapter 363 .

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The Shot Put and Discus Throw not only require athletes to generate great power. More than any other events. they also are among the most technically complex events in Track & Field.” But the Shot Put is actually a pushing event while the Discus is a slinging event. Training 365 .Shot Putters & Discus Throwers The Shot Put and Discus Throw are the strength events of Track & Field. the Shot Put and Discus rely on the direct application of power and mass. Both events are commonly referred to as “throws.

Most of us have seen the slow overweight kid trudging off to do battle with the shot or discus. Your high school throwers should be good athletes to start. Strength. In fact. they require numerous skills performed in concert. Often. concentration. the athlete spins or moves backward while trying to create power and project the implement into a defined area. running. and the ability to relax while exerting maximum effort. Before any throwing or training occurs. The landing area should be flagged off a safety cage or fence should guard the end of the throwing area to stop the shot or discus from escaping and causing injury. This is a sad feature of our coaching system and a disservice to these young athletes. strength. They must exhibit explosiveness. commonly called the throws. 366 . For the beginning thrower. the whole season will be a learning experience emphasizing general fitness and technical improvement. Shots and discs should not be rolled back to the throwing area. kinesthetic awareness. timing. Unlike what happens in other events. These multiple demands require throwers to possess a wide range of athletic skills. weightlifting.A Philosophy for Coaching Throws The Shot Put and Discus. Safety Considerations in Events A primary consideration in coaching the throwing events is safety. For the experienced thrower. coordination. coaches shuttle their least able athletes into the throwing events. Training for the throwing events involves a great deal of technical work. the throws are significantly more demanding than most other events. train your throwers to be athletes first. balance. As with other events. Though the Shot Put and Discus do not require tremendous aerobic conditioning or blazing sprint speed. are intricate and complex events requiring great power. Always take caution! Both the shot and discus become dangerous when out of control. coordination. Athletes and coaches who are not throwing should stand behind the throwing area to avoid being hit by a stray implement. but should be carried back to avoid injuries. focus on rhythm and explosiveness blended with refined technique. a discussion of safety for both throwing and weight training is crucial. balance. Less fit or less mature athletes should begin in events where their athletic capacity can be developed and rewarded. and fundamental technique should be the focus of training. and plyometrics.

SPECIFICITY The body adapts to specific demands placed upon it. there are principles of training that are specific to the throwing events. Therefore. INDIVIDUALITY Respecting the principle of individuality is most important to the coach of high school throwers. Differences in physical maturity and strength are great among high school athletes. This cycle of stress and adaptation is the foundation of training. PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD In order for the physical capacity of the athlete to increase. Throwers cannot throw and weight train every day and expect to perform explosively in competition. the neuromuscular patterns of technique must be reinforced through repetition of movement. The body. RECOVERY In order for the body to adapt to progressive overload. In addition. it must rest and recover from the applied stress. which results in increased capacity. then.Principles of Training As with all other Track & Field events the universal principles of training apply to the throws. the system must be subjected to stress. It is also known as the SAID principle. 367 . REPETITION This principle is an outgrowth of specificity requirements. the specific adaptation to imposed demands. or overload. These are discussed on the next few pages. and skills needed for those events. training for the throws must specifically address the requirements. Drill repetitions are the heart of throw training. This usually entails isolating the throwing process into components and performing them repeatedly with sound technique. Do not expect your less mature athletes to do all the work you might demand from your best upperclassmen. strengths. adapts to this stress. Especially with a technical event.

rhythm provides a framework for the application of power. Body Control Throwers need to possess excellent kinesthetic awareness. Like the jumps. trunk. yet are completed in the briefest time of any event in Track & Field. Even the conventional glide technique of shot putting uses the rotation of the hips. and free arm to drive the shot outward. spins. Throwers must develop the capacity to sense and control their body positions while moving powerfully. The complicated sequence of execution in both throws demands relaxed effort. shoulders. Rhythm Rhythm is essential to the proper acceleration of the weighted implement in the throwing events. Lack of relaxation keeps the athlete from achieving the necessary positions from which to apply power.Rotational Acceleration Both the Shot Put and the Discus Throw use rotation of the body to accelerate the implement to its point of release. for example. Without balance. The athlete needs to maintain balance in order to apply power effectively. Remember: Intensity is not the same as tension. Balance Balance is essential to good execution in the throws. The throwing events require the greatest single exertion of power. the application of power is negated. good throwers are graceful and fluid. A coach must understand the mechanics of rotary motion and inertia in training his or her athletes. Like dancers. Relaxation Throwers must be able to relax while exerting absolute effort. Think of the throwing events as dances of explosive effort. the body moves forward. 368 . This fact is especially true for the shot put spin technique as well as the Discus. In the discus. and is airborne all at the same time. not just brutishly strong. backward.

a combination of horizontal and vertical force accelerates the body from the back to the front of the throwing circle. The angle of attack (the difference between the angle of release and the discus’ horizontal axis) should be 5-10 degrees. the best angle of release varies between 34-40 degrees depending on wind and height of release. air resistance and the aerodynamic qualities of the implement. the free arm pulls in to shorten the axis of rotation and the front leg blocks. vertical force is also applied to create an optimum angle of release. depending on the height of release. The final acceleration of the discus results from the pull of the throwing arm through the point of release. This transfer of momentum further accelerates the throwing arm. The Spin Shot Put style adds horizontal rotation at the beginning of the throw in order to create greater velocity at the point of release. the thrower attempts to perform a long acceleration of the implement by applying rotational and linear horizontal force at the rear of the throwing circle.The Mechanics of Throws The aim of both the Shot Put and Discus Throw is to propel the implement as far as possible. vertical. the throwing arm further accelerates the shot as it pushes away from the body. the angle of release and attack. As the hips turn to the front. In the Discus Throw. Distance is also aided by the construction of the discus itself A hollow discus with weight distributed away from the center will hold its spin better and increase the aerodynamic stability of the implement. Acceleration of the shot or discus results from the application of horizontal. 369 . in the discus. When the thrower reaches the power position. For the Discus Throw. The optimum angle of release for the Shot Put is roughly 40 degrees. the height of release. the legs drive forward and up and the hips and torso rotate to the front of the circle. The distance achieved by the throw is a function of the implement’s speed at release. Simultaneously. In the Glide Shot Put style. As the thrower lands in the middle position. and. and rotational force of the body to the ground and the implement.

and should not be lifted too far off the ground as it extends (see Fig. 154). For high schoolers. 370 . towards the toe board. While the left leg is driving toward the toe board. which compensates for the lack of long levers with superior speed generated by the spinning motion. or actually driven. the athlete should lean backwards and start to gently fall back into the ring. This procedure is called unseating and provides momentum for the shift across the ring. Smaller throwers may benefit from the Spin technique. Note: Discussion of all technique refers to right-handed throwers. Just before the left leg is to be driven to the board. The Glide technique is usually favored by larger throwers who have trouble spinning within the small shot circle. but the Spin technique may have advantages for certain athletes. 15-3). Long throws have been achieved with both styles. The Glide The Glide begins with the throwers weight solidly over the right foot and the left arm dangling and relaxed (see Figs. the Glide seems to be a more consistent technique. It should be noted that the Glide (or O’Brien) technique is an easier technique for high schoolers to learn. They also benefit from the longer pull gained from the power position of the Glide technique. the right leg extends as well. The term closed refers to the position of the thrower’s shoulders.Understanding The Techniques SHOT PUT TECHNIQUE The two techniques of shot putting that will be discussed are the Glide and the Spin. 15-1 and 2). with the thrower’s back facing the throwing sector. The upper body should be kept closed and the left hand should reach back towards the rear of the circle. The split position will look like the thrower is actually trying to perform the splits (see Fig. so a split position is attained. but we recommend that the beginning thrower learn a little about the Glide before even attempting the Spin so he or she can learn the proper power positions. which should be square to the rear of the ring. Throwers who are adept at pivoting or spinning may be candidates for the Spin technique. The left leg is extended.

the center of mass should be over the ball of the right foot. From the stand throw position. Fig. Fig.Immediately after the split position is hit. Fig. causing a low line-drive throw. 15-8. 15-6. Fig. This allows the center of mass to be shifted forward onto the left leg to generate more linear momentum (see Fig.15-2. with the thrower’s back still facing the throwing area. At this point. If the body weight is shifted forward too late. the thrower drives up with the right leg and begins to shift the body weight forward onto the left leg. 371 . a higher throw with little linear momentum will result (see Fig. GLIDE SHOT PUT POSITIONS Fig. This completes the glide phase of the throw.15-1.15-5. the right foot is pulled underneath the body. When the right foot is fully recovered beneath the upper body. 15-5.). Fig. timing between the upper and lower body is essential so that the body weight is not shifted forward too soon. 15-9.15-7. Fig. The shoulders are kept closed. The position of the thrower should now resemble that of the start of a stand throw. 15-6). 15-4.15-3. Fig. Fig.

the Spin technique allows for longer acceleration of the shot before the power position is reached. As the right foot is recovered underneath the upper body. is applied to the end of the throw. it is harder for the beginner to master. Body weight should be shifted off the right foot as soon as it hits the ground beneath the upper body. As the shot is thrown. called the reverse. the legs extend upward to lift the shot. This leg extension is coupled with the extension of the throwing arm. resulting in a foul throw (see Fig. This happens in conjunction with the legs driving the center of mass up and across the ring. The athlete should not watch the shot as he or she reverses. The position reached when the shot is delivered by the arm is called the power position. creating an inverted C position (see Figs. While it is true that this style can produce some very long throws. At the same time. the concept of extension should be practiced. It should be noted that when the shot is being released. in preparation for the arm strike at the end of the throw. 15-7 and 8. 372 . the only part of the right foot that touches the ground is the ball of the foot.) A follow-through. this technique is more intricate than the Glide and requires the thrower to spin 1¼ times around within a 7-foot circle before the shot is released. but look off to the side of the sector. the thrower should spend as little time as possible in transition to the throwing phase. The shot will be pushed outward as the center of the mass is shifted from the right to the left foot. one note should be made about the action of the right foot as the thrower moves from the glide phase to the throwing phase. Watching the shot usually causes the center of mass to move out of the front of the ring. 15-9). The Spin Compared to the Glide. However. This portion of the throw should receive the most attention and involves complex body coordination that requires many hours of practice. When the transition is done properly. The upper body will begin opening up at this stage.Before continuing. the head should be thrown back to allow an upward delivery. This allows a long pull while avoiding fouling.

15-14. Fig. the right foot sweeps outside of the ring and drives out toward the right sector line. The right leg must compensate for the rotational forces pulling the thrower around.The Spin (or Rotational) technique begins with the thrower balancing his or her weight on both feet in the rear of the ring. The hold of the shot may be placed a little higher on the cheek for the spinner. the thrower should be looking straight ahead. the pivoting action will cause the right leg to move to the left as it is driven out. 15-16. As the thrower initiates the spin. there will be a shift of weight over to the left foot. 15-12.15-13.15-11. 15-17. The beginning thrower will want to drive his or her right leg toward the center of the ring. 15-10. Fig. but this is incorrect. 15-10 and 11). Fig. 373 . While pivoting. This allows the hand to release the shot easier. Fig. rotational forces will cause it to land far to the left of center of the shot ring. If the right leg is driven toward the center of the ring. Fig. As the right leg drives toward the right sector line. Fig. Rotational forces must be taken into account. not at the ground. Fig. SPIN SHOT PUT POSITIONS Fig. with the back to the throwing sector. 15-15. Once the thrower has completed the first 90 degrees of the turn. The center of mass should be directly over the ball of the left foot to allow a smooth pivot as the thrower turns in the back of the ring (see Figs.

This is a hard task for beginners because it requires good balance on the ball of the right foot as it contacts the ground. The toe of the left foot should align roughly with the heel of the right foot. the left foot should be picked up and set down against the toe board. the hips and shoulders pivot around until the shoulders are square to the throwing area. the right foot should continue to pivot. The left leg thrust across the ring. 374 . This position should resemble the beginning of the stand throw (See Figs. While the right foot pivots. As the body sets to shift weight from the right leg to the left leg. the hips begin to rotate along with the right foot. As the left foot makes contact with the ground. Throwers will find it easy to reverse at the end of the Spin because they already possess quite a bit of rotational momentum. The release of the shot is followed by a reverse. the right leg begins to extend. The final phase of the Spin technique involves the release and reverse. or straighten.e. it is easier to pull away or spin out from the finish of a throw. view from different angles. 15-9). From the time the left foot pushes off the ground to when it is set down by the toe board. the left leg). On the other hand. This causes the body to corkscrew. the center of mass should still be balanced over the ball of the right foot. When the right foot lands in the center of the ring. 15-12 to 17). These include viewing from in front and in back of the shot ring. like that described at the end of the Glide technique (see Fig. making the Spin a more inconsistent technique for beginners. it should begin pivoting immediately. and a side view facing the throwing arm of the shot putter. with the shoulders closed to the front. causes the thrower to move across the ring.A second component of the initiation from the back of the ring is the push of the left leg. coupled with the right leg drive toward the right sector line. Once the standthrow position is reached. Simultaneously. Each angle gives different views of the throw. the shoulders start to open up. When the center of mass is shifted forward over the block leg (i. Coach’s Viewing Angles When coaching the Shot Put. Three basic viewing positions are used while coaching..

The complete discus throw should have a distinct rhythm.” the legs should bend and the center of mass should be shifted over the ball of the left foot (see Fig. Watching the throw from the front of the ring provides a different view of the opening of the shoulders and the left leg drive to the front of the ring. 15-20 and 21). but this body-type seems to have the most success in the event. This view gives a good look at the left leg drive to the board and the push off the right leg out of the back of the ring. The choice of angle from which to view depends on the particular skills the thrower is perfecting and the coach’s preference.Viewing from the side of the shot ring is the most common position used by coaches. 375 . The ideal athlete for discus throwing is tall with long arms and legs and quick feet. The discus thrower should start in the back of the ring with a nice. Successful discus throwers have come in all shapes and sizes. The view from the rear of the ring provides a good look at the line of power established as the thrower glides or drives across the ring. The wind should not be too fast or dramatic. DISCUS THROW TECHNIQUE The primary body movements of Discus technique are essentially the same as the rotational technique for the Shot Put. relaxed wind of the discus to start the rhythm (see Figs. building from slow to fast. This angle allows the coach to see how well the thrower squares up to the throw or if the spinner over-rotates out of the back. The opening of the shoulders and length of pull on the shot can also be seen best from this angle. 15-22). The shoulders should be kept parallel to the ground with the left arm extended straight out in front of the body. This view is also ideal to see if the shoulders are open or closed as the thrower hits the front of the ring. As the thrower “unwinds.

If separation is not maintained an arm throw will result — and much power lost. 15-26). 15-25). the thrower should actually be airborne. and should continue to do so until the discus is released. Once linear drive has been established across the ring. As the left foot pushes. 15-23). When the athlete is pulling the discus around to the release point. After the discus is released.As the center of mass moves over the left foot. the right leg will be the first to contact the ground at the center of the ring (see Fig. a reverse can be added to avoid fouling (see Fig. The combination of the left leg drive and the right leg sweep gives the thrower good linear impulse across the ring. the thrower should drive off that foot immediately. the shoulders should remain parallel to the ground with no dipping whatsoever. as the right leg sweeps underneath the armpit to get ahead of the upper body. the right foot sweeps around underneath the left armpit and the thrower rotates out of the back of the ring (Fig. 15-24). The left leg should touch down as soon after the right as possible to create the longest pull possible on the discus (see Fig. 376 . the head should be thrown back allowing the chest and hip to rise and give lift to the discus (see Fig. 15-27). The left side of the body should remain firm. the right leg will be tucked in. The head should look straight away from the chest as the discus is wound and then turned to look at the left arm as the thrower comes out of the back of the ring. As the thrower reaches the stand-throw position. At release. with the left leg (the block leg) blocking as the right side rotates through release. After the initial drive out of the back. the right foot must keep pivoting in order to maintain the hip-shoulder separation attained at the initial turn (see Fig. The discus throw is actually a sling. At this point. beneath the upper body. Hip-shoulder separation is also established at this point. aided by a stretch-reflex reaction prior to release. The right foot should also keep pivoting. and the knees brought together to increase the speed of the left foot coming back to the ground. 15-28). This movement is referred to as drop and go.

Fig. 15-25.or under-rotates when leaving the back of the circle. Fig. 377 . one can see if the athlete over. 15-21. 15-23. This is also the best view to see the linear drive generated out of the back of the ring. Fig. Fig. 15-31. Viewing from the back and front of the ring. Fig. 15-28. as well as a good look at the hip drive during the release.Viewing Angles for the Discus The same angles are used for watching the spin Shot Put and the Discus. Fig. 15-20. This view is also ideal to see if the shoulders are open or closed as the thrower reaches the front of the ring and whether the shoulders square to the throw. Fig. Fig. 15-22. 15-30. Fig. Fig. GRIPPING THE DISCUS Fig. 15-32. DISCUS TECHNIQUE POSITIONS Fig. 15-26. 15-27. The side view provides a good look at the arm strike. 15-24.

15-30). A simple teaching progression follows: • Show the thrower the proper way to hold the shot. The fingers should be spread apart with the thumb on top of the discus for control (see Fig.Introducing the Throws to Beginners TEACHING THE SHOT PUT The difference in technique training between beginners and experienced throwers is substantial. When the trunk is turned to throw the shot. • From this point on. 378 . but twist 90 degrees at the waist. the throwing drills described later can be used to develop either the Glide or the Spin techniques. • Place the shot under the jaw. • Once this step is mastered. the legs should straighten up to produce lift on the shot. Twist at the waist to perform a regular stand throw. • Have the thrower repeat the same throw except that the legs should bend as the trunk is twisted back. and push the shot straight out from the body. Do this while the thrower is standing in the shot ring with the toes of both feet touching the toeboard and the thrower facing the throwing area. TEACHING THE DISCUS THROW • Have the athlete place the discus on the palm of his or her non-throwing hand with the arm extended chest high. Advanced throwers should use the pre season to refine weak aspects of their technique and reinforce sound fundamentals. The shot should be balanced on the hand between the fingers and the palm. Be-ginning throws need to learn the basics of throwing the shot. the thrower should take one step back with the right foot. Have him place the throwing hand on top of the discuss and grip the edge with the last joint of the four fingers. so he or she unwinds the upper body to gain momentum. • Now have the thrower repeat the same throw.

Only the upper body should be used to throw the discus at this stage. • Throwing the discus straight up in the air for height also helps teach the proper release of the discus. have the thrower hold the discus with the throwing arm at his or her side and the palm facing the leg. • After the stand-throw becomes comfortable. have the thrower toss it higher. this drill should not be done in parts. but as one movement. Once the right foot touches down. the rest of the drill follows the pattern of the half-turn drill. Once this position is reached. Emphasize keeping the arm and wrist absolutely straight. Again. the thrower stands with the feet shoulder-width apart and begins by tossing the discus a few feet overhead. have the thrower release the discus on its edge. • The step-in drill begins with the thrower’s left foot placed just inside the back of the ring while facing the front. with the discus retaining a vertical position as it is released. a full stand-throw can be attempted. Make sure that the thrower keeps the arm straight and does not cock. Stand-throws should be done without a reverse until proper timing is achieved. The thrower then steps with the right foot into the middle of the ring. Concentrate on a proper release. Using a bowling action. This movement is similar to the release of the throw. As skill in handling the discus improves. • Once the proper release is mastered. bending the wrist and knees to generate more power for throwing (see Fig. 379 . The thrower then pivots 180 degrees on the ball of the right foot. • The next step in the learning sequence is to demonstrate throwing the discus from a standing position at the front of the circle. extended and wound back so the discus aligns over the left heel. The stand-throw position for the discus is very similar to that of the shot put except that the throwing arm is relaxed. the half-turn drill should be used to give the thrower a sense of pivoting on the right foot and throwing. the athlete throws. ending in the stand-throw position. (see Fig. The discus should be wound back. taking care not to cup the discus. 15-32). so it will roll along the ground. or flex the wrist upon releasing the discus (see Fig. 15-11). 15-31). In this drill. This drill begins with the right foot placed in the middle of the discus ring. Pay special attention to completing the drill as one movement.• To teach the proper release of the discus. bend. with the left foot at the back of the circle and the thrower facing the front of the ring.

sweeping out away from the body to balance at all times. Hill runs or sprint repeats should be part of general conditioning. 380 . jerk. Second are the power lifts (bench press and squat). First are the Olympic lifts (clean. plyometrics. Weight training should concentrate on five basic lifts. although intensity will differ. and medicine ball drills. Conditioning should also include running. Methods of Training WEIGHT TRAINING AND CONDITIONING Both beginners and more advanced throwers can use a similar approach to general conditioning and weight training. the shoulders should be kept parallel. Other supplementary lifts can be added to condition specific body parts. but these five core lifts that should take precedence. If a thrower has to pick just one lift to do. requiring upper and lower body coordination. During this drill. and the right leg should be kept straight. This particular drill can be done either in or out of the ring and involves a 360-degree pivot on the ball of the left foot. The lifts are too often ignored in favor of the power lifts. which don’t do much for explosion. The power clean and snatch simulate aspects of the throws. The plyometric exercises can be found in Chapter 5. except there is a stronger push off the left foot in the back of the ring. which are the most important — and most neglected by American high school coaches. This drill simulates the action of the full throw without the first 90-degree turn at the back of the ring. so a little more speed is acquired when traveling across the ring. • Use the 360-degree turn drill to introduce the 180-degree turn out of the back of the ring.• The South African drill is basically the same as the step-in drill. and snatch). When this sequence of drills can be performed successfully. The Olympic lifts are extremely important in building explosive strength in the athlete. it should be the snatch because it conditions the total body and develops explosiveness. a full throw should be attempted.

) Stand-Throw. The thrower who has a hard time shifting his or her body weight forward should use this drill. Higher volume should be done early in the season and reduced as the competitive season begins. This drill works on chasing the shot and establishing a long pull. This avoids shifting the body weight onto the left leg too soon. The stand throw is the last half of the full throwing motion. This error is otherwise known as lunging. pull the right leg in underneath the body and perform the throw. the forward two-handed shot toss. the athlete squats and throws the shot with two hands. Proper positions should be mastered while stand throwing. The purpose of this drill is to avoid the premature shift of weight onto the block leg. Throwing from a stretch also develops leg action for Gliders. he or she will find that good technique will be easier with greater strength and control. The basics of the stand-throw must be mastered before the full technique is attempted. Start in the stand-throw position with a very wide base. The power produced from this type of throwing is generated by the rotation of the hips and body around the block leg and the extension of the right leg. (Reverse/Non-Reverse) The stand-throw is an integral part of the warm-up for the shot. These can be performed from either a stand or a full glide. Body weight must be kept back on the right leg as both feet pivot throughout the throw. Step-Overs. It involves stepping over the toeboard with the right leg while releasing the shot. The aim is to get as much body weight behind the shot as possible. Then. (Also. DRILLS FOR THE SHOT PUT The Overhead. back over the head. Proper conditioning enhances performance and reduces the risk of injury When the thrower gains strength. Double-Pivot Non-Reverse Throws. This drill develops an active right leg by forcing the leg to push from the ground immediately after it is pulled underneath the body.The intensity of conditioning and weight training should be geared to the fitness level of the athlete. Stand-Throw From a Stretch. 381 . The double-pivot non-reverse can be used at the finish of either the stand-throw or a full throw. While standing backward on the toeboard. This drill is designed as a prelude to throwing. We recommend that the stand-throw be performed without the reverse.

This drill starts with the athlete facing the toeboard with the pivot foot placed in the center of the ring. and the athlete should drive the left foot backwards and kick at the medicine ball. the athlete’s center of balance will remain over the ball of the left foot. A medicine ball is placed at the front of the shot ring. While holding the left foot with the left hand. and the left foot swings around so the athlete comes to the standthrow position. the right foot steps into the center of the ring. This drill isolates the left leg drive in the Glide technique. 360-Degree Turn at the Back of the Ring. This drill isolates the right leg drive out of the back of the ring for the Glide technique. emphasizes pivoting the right foot.Right Leg Hop Drills. Step-Ins for Spinners: The step-in begins with the thrower’s left foot placed in the back of the ring and the right foot outside the ring. This movement then can be repeated with a shot. The half-turn is the first drill that the athletes using the Spin should do to learn pivotting with the shot underneath the chin. This drill can be done in two parts or at a faster pace so one smooth movement is attained. Another towel drill can be used to work on a lazy right foot out of the back. The athlete grasps the towel. The step-in drill eliminates the first half-turn out of the back. have the athlete pivot 360 degrees on the left foot. the athlete pushes backward off the right foot and lands with the toes pointing 90 degrees to the left. Without the shot. and establishes a throwing rhythm for the Spin technique. and this drill isolates the balance point on the left leg. The right foot pivots. Then. The thrower should have his or her weight entirely on the ball of the left foot. followed by a basic half-turn throw. Medicine Ball Drill for Left Leg Drive. This drill works on keeping the shoulders closed as the athlete drives across the shot ring. Half-Turns for Spinners. A towel is placed behind the right foot at a distance of a few inches to assure that the right leg is being driven and pulled instead of dragged across the ring. Then the shot is putted. 382 . Done properly. with the left hand. This drill develops balance. Towel Drill. Balance out of the back is essential for a good throw. which is held by someone or attached somewhere.

Small. This is an introductory drill which demonstrates the basic movements of the full discus throw. the right leg must sweep out and around. By throwing a cone. weighted. and corrections can be made without much difficulty. Pivot on the right foot and bring the left foot around 180 degrees to the front of the ring into the stand-throw position. This drill develops strong drive out of the back. Towel Drill. As the athlete pivots on the left foot. Using the lines on the track. perform a South African drill. DRILLS FOR THE DISCUS THROW Cone Throws. The drill begins with the thrower in the back of the ring in the normal starting position. Tape the discus to the hand.. When doing the drill. This drill is good for a thrower who has trouble pivoting. and then the left foot for the last two 90-degree turns until the stand-throw position is reached.Cone Drill. Weight Ball Throws. This allows a high volume of throws in a short amount of time. This drill is for the thrower who scoops the discus (e. 90-Degree Turn Drill. the right foot sweeps out in an attempt to touch the cone. Line up with the pivot foot in the center of the discus ring and the opposite foot in the back of the ring with the discus wound back. Have the athlete drive from the back hard enough that both feet land on the other side of the towel. avoid overrotation by making sure the feet always end up on the line. A series of 90-degree pivots will be made involving the right foot for three turns. plastic balls can be thrown into a wall from the stand-throw position. Certain technical flaws can be isolated easily with this drill. 383 . To maintain balance out of the back and generate momentum. Keep the discus in the proper position at all times.g. the thrower will be aware of where the implement is held and will pay special attention to avoid scooping. Taped Discus Line Drill. dipping the throwing shoulder). Place a cone a few feet from the back of the ring. 180-Degree Drill. Place a towel across the center width of the discus ring.

The weightlifting program should be designed so that the athlete reaches peak strength just before the most competitive part of the season. Periodizing training frames the progress of training and skill development. or periods. the number of repetitions should be decreased. when you work on your throwers’ specific weaknesses. The goal of periodization is to manage the stress of training in order to produce improvement. and less emphasis (maintenance training) to a third type. including competitions. 384 . the thrower should rest and back off the weights. training for the throws should be periodized over the course of the year or season. Technical training should begin in the pre-season. and the overall throw. It is up to each coach to implement his or her own system. secondary emphasis to another. and the amount of weight increased. emphasizing different goals and types of training. Generally. rhythm. rather than little technical problems. training results diminish. primary emphasis should be given to one type of training. Problems should be addressed throughout the season. As the thrower increases fitness. Periodization is the division of training into phases. The other days should consist of easy training or recovery days.A Periodization Plan for the Season Your coaching philosophy and the individual needs of your athletes will determine the methods of technical training and conditioning you use. CIF. practice should focus on timing. recovery is part of that management. Remember. As important meets approach. During peak competition (League. As with other events. or hard training days per week. Accordingly. In a 2-4 week training phase. we integrate different types of training with each other. 3-4 weeks is the period over which athletes sustain improvement with any single type of training. State meets). We recommend that every conditioning program begins slowly. Within any training plan it is not recommended to have more than three quality. After that time.

The following is a recommended Shot Put and Discus throwing training plan.TRAINING THROWERS SYSTEMATICALLY A system of training uses several methods and types of training within a seasonal training cycle. WEEKS PRIMARY EMPHASIS SECONDARY EMPHASIS MAINTENANCE Pre-Season 2 3 Early Season 3 3 Mid-Season 2 2 Late-Season 2-4 General Training Weight Training Weight Training Technique Drills Technique Drills &Throws Technique Throws Special Training Full Throws Weight Training Technique Technique Plyos Plyos Plyos Light Plyos General Training Plyos Weight Training Weight Training Weight Training W eight Training 385 .

PLANNING AIDS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR TRAINING SYSTEM SHOT PUT AND DISCUS WORKOUT Sequence RUNNING WARM-UP: Pre-stretch plus: FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: Date: PLYOMETRICS: TECHNIQUE DRILLS: THROWS: RUNNING AND CONDITIONING: WEIGHT TRAINING: NOTES: .

African Drill Discus and Rotational Putters: 5x standing. 30x full cross ring. 5x stop and throw.S H O T P U T A N D D I S C U S W O R K O U T Sequence 1 RUNNING WARM-UP: Date: Mon April 9 Pre-stretch plus: 600m FLEXIBILITY/MOBILITY EXERCISES: 2 3 PLYOMETRICS: 2x30m: High Knees. 30x full cross ring. Single Leg Hops (1x30m each leg) 4 TECHNIQUE DRILLS: w/Medicine Ball: 2-hand underhand. pivots. overhand. 5x So. 5x standing RUNNING AND CONDITIONING: 6 WEIGHT TRAINING: Upper Body Series NOTES: 387 . 5x 360 pivot and throw. 5x standing. rotational throws 5 THROWS: Shot Put Gliders: 5x standing. African Drill. 5x So. Skipping Kicks. Power Skips.

APRIL 1-28 MONDAY 1 Tech Drills Plyometrics Weights Power 8 Tech Drills Plyometrics Weights Olympic 15 Tech Throws Plyometrics Weights T U ES D A Y 2 Warm-Up 5 x 30 Sprints Weights Olympic 9 Warm-Up 5 x 40 Sprints Tech Throws W E D N ES D A Y 3 Warm-Up 10 Easy Throws Strides THURSDAY 4 Home Meet vs Sullivan HS FRIDAY 5 Rest S A TU R D A Y 6 Oerter Relays SUNDAY 7 Rest 10 Warm-Up 10 Easy Throws Easy Plyometrics Away Meet vs Wilkins HS 11 Warm-up Tech.SAMPLE THROWING TRAINING PLAN. Drills 12 O’Brien Invitational 13 Rest 14 Easy Weights 16 Warm-Up 2 x 120+80+40 Throwing Drills Warm-Up 17 Home Meet vs Long HS Easy Weights 18 Warm-up Plyometrics Weights 19 Throws 20 Rest Strides 6 x 100 21 22 Tech Throws Plyometrics 23 Warm-Up 6 x 30m Sprints Weights Warm-Up 24 Away Meet Easy Weights Easy Throws 25 Rest 26 Oldfield Invitational 27 Rest 28 vs Sylvester HS 388 .

End of Chapter 389 .

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..411 Head High Jump Judge.....................................416 Head Discus Judge ........................................................... . ............................................................................................................................. 92 Rules of Competition for Track Events..................................................................................................................................... .......................................................418 391 ................................................. 406 Officials’ Instruction Sheets Clerk of the Course .............412 Head Pole Vault Judge......................... 402 Shot Put Rules.............................................................. 393 Long Jump Rules ...414 Head Shot Put Judge...........................................408 Head Timer/Finish Judge............................................................................................................................................ 404 Discus Rules ...........................................................................................................................................................410 Head Triple Jump Judge ...Appendix The Rules of Competition 3 Finish Line Judges and Inspectors ................. .................................... 4OO Pole Vault Rules .................................................396 Triple Jump Rules...................................................................................................................... 398 High Jump Rules ...............................................................................................................................................................409 Head Long Jump Judge.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

the Acceleration Zone is the designated area measuring 10 meters in length immediately preceding the exchange zone in which the outgoing runner may accelerate before receiving the baton. A Heat is a preliminary race from which the fastest competitors advance to the finals or next round of trials. Each lane is marked so that the lefthand lane line is outside the runner’s lane. A Baton is the implement which is handed from runner to runner in a relay race. A Qualifier is a contestant who advances to the final round of competition from a preliminary heat. A contestant becomes a participant when he/she reports to the Clerk of the Course or Head Field Judge for an event. and the right-hand lane line is within the runner’s lane. Hurdling is a technique in which the competitor attempts to clear each hurdle by striding over it. including relays. A contestant may not participate in more than four events. Alleys are a combination of two or more adjoining lanes used when three or more runners start from the same stagger. Staggers are the different starting lines in adjoining lanes used for events run in lanes for all or part of the race. A Relay is a race between teams of four runners. no one of whom may run more than one Leg (part) of the relay.The Rules of Competition FINISH LINE JUDGES AND INSPECTORS DEFINITIONS DISTRIBUTE TO ALL A Contestant is any athlete entered in the meet. A relay leg is completed when the incoming runner passes the baton to the outgoing runner. A Lane is the course which is marked on the track to indicate the prescribed path of the runner. A Section is one or more races in the same event (held in lieu of preliminary heats and a final) in which final places are determined by the times recorded in all sections. The Exchange Zone is the designated area measuring 20 meters in length for exchanging the baton during relay races. 392 . For relay legs of 200 meters or less. The beginning and end of the zone are marked by lines extending across the width of the lane. A Lap is one complete counter-clockwise circuit of the track. The beginning of the acceleration zone is to be indicated by a distinctive mark on the track. A contestant must be in proper uniform and wear his/her assigned number when numbers are required.

steady positions behind the starting line). “On your marks.” followed by the firing of the pistol.” (after which competitors must take proper. The finish line should be marked on the track across all lanes. Violations which constitute false start include: • • Failure to have both shoes in contact with the track when using starting blocks. the Starter shall recall all competitors to the starting line by firing a second shot. attempts to distract opponents. c. THE START a. f. the Starter may authorize someone to hold and support the blocks. 2. • Repeated 393 . For the purpose of aiding the Timers and Finish Judges. If a contestant’s starting blocks are slipping. Having any part of the body touching or in advance of the starting line when the gun is fired. a finish tape of wool yarn or other soft.” and begin the sequence of starting commands over again. followed by “set” (after which competitors must assume their final “set” position without any part of their body touching on or beyond the starting line).RULES OF COMPETITION FOR TRACK EVENTS 1. due to contact with another runner. b. b. The interval between the “set” command and firing of the gun should be l-2 seconds. e. the Starter shall recall all competitors to the starting line by firing a second shot. a runner falls in the first 100 meters of a race of 400 meters or longer. Note: A runner who commits a false start is disqualified from that event. If the Starter is not satisfied that all competitors are ready and set. All races must be started by the sound of a pistol of at least . If. the Starter shall fire the pistol. he/she should instruct them to “Stand up. Failure to comply with the Starter’s commands. The inside edge of the line marks the actual finish. d. After an unfair start. THE FINISH a. • • Failure to remain motionless after assuming the set position. breakable material may be stretched across the finish line above the track. g. The starting command for races of 800 meters and longer is “Runners set. When all competitors are set and motionless.32 caliber which produces a flash visible to the Timers. The starting commands for races less than 800 meters are.

Relay infractions resulting in disqualification • Failure to pass the baton within the exchange zone • Lane violations • Fouling or interference • Receiving outside coaching during an exchange • Throwing the baton following the finish of the relay 5.3. f. If the baton is dropped outside the exchange zone. it must be retrieved by the competitor who dropped it. A competitor who. determines whether the exchange is made within the zone. Unsportsmanlike conduct. The baton must be carried in the hand throughout the race and handed (not thrown) to the receiving runner. even from another lane. e. The position of the baton. RACES RUN IN LANES a. HURDLE RACES A Hurdler shall be disqualified competitor: • Does not attempt to clear each hurdle • Deliberately knocks down a hurdle by hand or foot • Advances or trails a leg or foot along the side of and below the height of the hurdle • Runs over a hurdle in another lane • Runs around a hurdle • Impedes another hurdler 6. If the baton is dropped within the exchange zone. b. without being fouled and while running around a curve. The baton exchange is considered complete when it is in the hand of the receiving runner. ACTS WHICH SHALL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION FROM FURTHER PARTICIPATION IN THE MEET a. each competitor must remain in his/her lane for the entire distance. provided neither runner interferes with an opponent and the baton is retrieved within the limits of the exchange zone extended across the track. d. 4. including: • Unethical. In relay races where acceleration zones are not permitted. c. not the runners. it may be retrieved by either competitor. each outgoing runner must wait for the baton from a position entirely within the exchange zone. shall be disqualified. The baton must be passed within the exchange zone. gains an advantage by stepping on or across the inside lane line for three or more consecutive strides with either foot. RELAY RACES a. When a race is run in lanes. dishonorable actions (cheating) • Using abusive language or profanity • Willfully disregarding the directions of a meet official • Showing a lack of respect for officials or competitors • Fighting 394 .

395 . If a non-participating contestant interferes with a competitor during competition. c. Receiving aid during competition from a coach.b. Such aid includes: • A non-participating contestant running alongside a teammate • Pacing a teammate or interfering with competitors upon being lapped • Deliberately running on or inside the curb of the track (except to retrieve a baton) • Joining hands or grasping a competitor at any time during the race d. Participating in more than four events. The nonparticipant's teammate(s) may also be disqualified from that event. Competing while wearing an illegal uniform. e. teammate or anyone connected directly or indirectly with the athlete or the athlete’s team. he/she may be disqualified from the meet. Interfering with a competitor. tripping. or running across the competitor’s path. and unfairly interrupting the competitor’s normal running rhythm: This includes bumping.

but is not measured because of a violation of the rules. 396 .) 2. e. 5. it is permissible to place a marker at the side of the runway or landing pit. However. The competitor employs any form of somersault technique. a painted take-off board of contrasting color and of the same size may be used in lieu of a take-off board. 3. c. A Flight is a group of contestants participating in a round of trials. The scratch line is the front edge of the take-off board nearest the landing pit and is used to mark the limit of the competitors’ run-up. whether in the act of jumping or running through without jumping. A Qualifier is a contestant who advances to the final round of competition by having one of the top marks in the trials.AFFIX TO THE FRONT OF THE HEAD LONG JUMP JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD LONG JUMP RULES DEFINITIONS A Trial is an attempted jump. The competitor fails to complete a trial within 90 seconds of being called (unless excused to compete in another event). 4. RULES OF COMPETITION 1. The competitor walks back through the landing pit toward the scratch line. b. No markers may be placed on the runway or in the landing pit. A Foul is a jump which is counted as a trial. The competitor’s shoe extends over the scratch line (or the scratch line extended). soft sand to a depth that ensures a safe landing and which reaches the same elevation as that of the take-off board. A trial shall be judged foul if: a. The boys’ and girls’ scratch line should be located at respective distances of approximately 12-8 feet from the landing pit. The landing pit should be filled with loose. d. The take-off area must be marked by a take-off board measuring 8-20 inches wide and at least 4 feet in length secured firmly in the runway (On hard-surfaced runways. In the course of landing the competitor touches the ground outside the landing pit nearer to the scratch line than the nearest mark made in the landing pit.

Measurement of a legal jump is made by extending the measuring tape from the nearest break in the sand of the landing pit made by any part of the body perpendicularly to the scratch line or its extension.) Measurements are recorded to the nearest lesser ¼ inch. the higher place is awarded to the competitor with the thirdbest mark.6. whether achieved in the trials or finals. 397 . The top six qualifiers (in dual meets) shall advance to the finals for three more jumps. Ties are broken by awarding the higher place to the competitor with the second-best mark. (It is essential that the surface of the sand be smooth and level with the take-off board for each trial. 8. Each competitor is permitted three trials. Competitors place in the order of their best mark. etc. 7. Qualifiers for the finals jump in reverse order with the competitor having the best mark in the trials jumping last. If the tie remains. Competitors must have a legal mark in the trials to advance to the finals.

and is used to mark the limit of the competitors’ run-up. Note: It is not a violation when a competitor’s trailing leg touches the ground between phases. The scratch line is the front edge of the take-off board nearest the landing pit.) 2. A Fligbt is a group of contestants participating in a round of trials. The boys’ and girls’ scratch lines should be located at respective distances of approximately 32 and 24 feet from the landing pit. d. The landing pit should be filled with loose. In the subsequent step phase. A Foul is a jump which is counted as a trial. L-L-R-into a long jump landing. 5. RULES OF COMPETITION 1. (Correct sequences: Beginning with a left leg take-off. The competitor fails to complete a trial within 90 seconds of being called (unless excused to compete in another event). but is not measured because of a violation of the rules. In the hop phase. (On hard-surfaced runways. The competitor walks back through the landing pit toward the scratch line. A trial shall be judged foul if: a. In the course of landing the competitor touches the ground outside the landing pit nearer to the scratch line than the nearest mark made in the landing pit. The take-off area must be marked by a takeoff board measuring 8-20 inches wide and at least 4 feet in length. soft sand to a depth that ensures a safe landing and which reaches the same elevation as that of the take-off board. The competitor’s shoe extends over the scratch line (or the scratch line extended). Beginning with a right leg take-off. 398 . 3. In the final jump phase. b. However.AFFIX TO THE FRONT OF THE HEAD TRIPLE JUMP JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD TRIPLE JUMP RULES DEFINITIONS A Trial is an attempted jump. a painted take-off board of contrasting color and of the same size may be used in lieu of a take-off board. c. 4.) 6. it is permissible to place a marker at the side of the run- way or landing pit. whether in the act of jumping or running through without jumping. the jumper takes off from the step phase into a long-jump landing. the jumper must land on the same foot with which he took off. R-R-L into a long-jump landing. firmly secured in the runway. A Qualifier is a contestant who advances to the final round of competition by having one of the top marks in the trials. No markers may be placed on the runway or in the landing pit. the jumper must land on the other foot.

The top six qualifiers (in dual meets) shall advance to the finals for three more jumps. Competitors must have a legal mark in the trials to advance to the finals. Ties are broken by awarding the higher place to the competitor with the second-best mark. the higher place is awarded to the competitor with the thirdbest mark. (It is essential that the surface of the sand be smooth and level with the take-off board for each trial. 8. Each competitor is permitted three trials. Measurement of a legal jump is made by extending the measuring tape from the nearest break in the sand of the landing pit made by any part of the body.7. Qualifiers for the finals jump in reverse order. etc. If the tie remains. with the competitor having the best mark in the trials jumping last. Competitors place in the order of their best mark. Measurements are recorded to the nearest lesser ¼ inch. whether achieved in the trials or finals. 399 . 9. perpendicularly to the scratch line or its extension.).

b. 10. triangular or circular in thickness. They must be placed at least l2-feet apart and may not be moved during competition. Competitors are allowed to place a removable marker at the beginning of the run-up and at the point of take-off. and weigh not more than 5 pounds. After clearing the bar. A Pass is a decision by the competitor not to take any or all of the three trials permitted at a given height. 2.AFFIX TO THE FRONT OF THE HEAD HIGH JUMP JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD H I G H J U M P R U L E S DEFINITIONS A Trial is an attempted jump. The bar may not be lowered once competition has started. steadies the bar or displaces the crossbar. The crossbar must be 12-14 feet 10 inches in length. RULES OF COMPETITION 1. The jumper displaces the crossbar in an attempt to clear it. 400 . 7. A competitor may elect to pass a height to jump at the next higher height or. square. However. 6. 11. The standards are the uprights which support the crossbar. 4. A competitor is eliminated from further competition after three consecutive misses at any heights. The landing pad should not be less than 16 feet long. A trial shall be judged a miss if: a. he/she may determine the successive heights of the crossbar. 8. c. A Miss is an unsuccessful clearance. Once competition has begun. the jumper touches a standard. 9. The jump take off must be made from one foot. elect to take his or her remaining one or two trials at a higher height. 5. The approach to the take-off area should be a level surface with a radius of not less than 50 feet from a point between the standards. no practice is permitted on the approach or take-off area. 12. When only one competitor remains in the competition. 3. except during a jump-off to break a tie for first place. after one or two misses. not to exceed 13/16 inches. Each competitor is allowed a maximum of three trials at each height in the order in which names are drawn or assigned. No weights or artificial aids may be used. The jumper touches the ground or landing area beyond the plane of the crossbar (or the crossbar extended) without clearing the bar. A Flight is a group of contestants participating in a round of trials. a competitor who has passed three consecutive heights may be permitted a warm-up jump without the crossbar in place. 8 feet wide and 3 feet thick.

) c. If the tie still remains. The jumper fails to complete a trial within 90 seconds of being called. If the tie still remains. awarding the higher place to the competitor with the fewest total misses throughout the competition. raising the bar by 1 inch and allowing them one more trial. If two or more competitors remain tied. 13. d. e. Ties for first place only are broken by: a. lowering the bar by intervals of 1 inch and allowing the competitors one trial each until the winner is determined. Awarding the higher place to the competitor with the fewest trials at the height at which the tie occurs. If the tie remains.d. 401 . b. allowing the competitors to take one more trial at the last height they failed to clear. (No misses are charged for a passed height.

Gloves may not be worn. (Consult the rule book for specific dimensions. It may be wrapped for gripping with not more than two layers of adhesive tape of uniform thickness. 7. 4. When only one competitor remains in the competition. A Pass is a decision by the competitor not to take any or all of the three trials permitted at a given height. triangular. may elect to take his/her remaining one or two trials at a higher height. A competitor is eliminated from further competition after three consecutive misses at any height. he/she may determine the successive heights of the crossbar. No competitor is allowed to use the pole of another individual without the owner’s permission. A vaulting box into which the vaulting pole is placed must be recessed into the end of the runway in front of the landing pit. The vaulting box may not contain any foreign materials. 9. A Flight is a group of contestants participating in a round of trials.) 6. The standards are the uprights which support the crossbar. or aids of any kind may be used to help keep the crossbar in place. The vaulting pole may be of any material and of any length and diameter. 5. 2. 10. No taping of the hands or fingers is permitted except to cover an open wound. and weigh not more than 5 pounds. ½ inch in diameter. The lower end of the pole may be wrapped with sponge rubber and/or several layers of tape to protect it when planted into the vaulting box. The crossbar must be 12-14 feet 10 inches in length. 3. after one or two misses. Each competitor is allowed a maximum of three trials at each height in the order in which names are drawn or assigned. 11. A front pad that attaches to the main pad and extends a minimum of 4 feet to the side and 4 feet in front of the vaulting box is also required. or circular.AFFIX TO THE FRONT OF THE HEAD POLE VAULT JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD POLE VAULT RULES DEFINITIONS A Trial is an attempted jump. The landing pad should be a minimum of 16 feet wide and extend at least 12 feet beyond the vaulting box. and must project no more than 3 inches at right angles from the side of the standards opposite the runway. They must be placed not less than 12 feet or more than 14 feet 2 inches apart. A Miss is an unsuccessful clearance. RULES OF COMPETITION 1. indentations. The runway should be a minimum of 130 feet long and 42 inches wide whenever possible. 402 . square. A competitor may elect to pass a height to jump at the next higher height or. not more than 13/16 inches thick. No tape. 8. The pins which support the crossbar must be round.

no practice is permitted. e.12. If two or more competitors remain tied. If the tie still remains. a competitor who has passed three consecutive heights may be permitted a warm-up jump without the crossbar in place. (No misses are charged for a passed height. An official or another competitor may catch the pole after it has been released by the competitor. c. A trial shall be judged a miss if: a. After clearing the bar. 20. lowering the bar by intervals of 3 inches and allowing the competitors one trial until the winner is determined. Ties for first place only are broken by: a. 15. After leaving the ground. 17. 403 . the vaulter moves his/her lower hand above his/her upper hand or moves the upper hand higher on the pole. if it is falling away from the crossbar and uprights. It does not count as a trial if the competitors pole breaks during an attempt. The standards are incorrectly positioned. 13. allowing the competitors to take one more trial at the last height they failed to clear. awarding the higher place to the competitor with the fewest total misses throughout the competition. d. but it is permissible to place markers on the side of the runway. Once competition has begun. e. No mark or marker may be placed on the runway. If the tie remains. 19. The vaulter leaves the ground and fails to clear the bar. raising the bar by 1 inch and allowing them one more trial. However. The bar may not be lowered once competition has started except during a jump-off of a tie for first place.) c. 18. the vaulter touches a standard and displaces the crossbar. d. 14. The crossbar is displaced by the body or the pole from the pins on which it originally rested. b. b. 16. If the tie still remains. f. Any competitor may have the standards moved baclward 24 inches toward the landing pit or forward 12 inches toward the runway from either side of a line through the back of the vaulting box stopboard. The vaulter fails to complete a trial within 2 minutes of being called. A pole may pass under the crossbar without the attempt being counted as a miss. Awarding the higher place to the competitor with the fewest trials at the height at which the tie occurs.

A throw lands on or outside one of the sector lines. palm. A Foul is a throw which is counted as a trial. A legal put must be made from the shoulder with one hand only. d. 3. A Flight is a group of contestants participating in a round of trials. The competitor fails to complete a trial within 90 seconds of being called. but competitors may apply a suitable substance to the hand to improve gripping the shot. A Qualifier is a contestant who advances to the final round of competition by having one of the top marks in the trials. There can be no connecting tape between the fingers and the palm.5-degree sector marked on the ground by lines extending from the center of the circle to the outside edges of the stopboard into the landing sector. During the attempt the Shot may not drop below or behind the shoulder. or between the wrist and the palm or back of the hand. after completing the throw. as is taping not more than two adjoining fingers tightly together. Competitors may wear a leather belt to protect the spine from injury. the competitor fails to pause before starting the throw. Cinches high and 4-inches wide must be firmly secured to the front half of the circle so its inside edge coincides with the inside edge of the circle. wrist. 404 . b. The boys’ shot must weigh 12 pounds and the Girls' Shot must weigh 4 kilograms. The Shot must be thrown from a concrete or asphalt circle 7 feet in diameter and land within a 65. but is not measured because of a violation of the rules. fails to exit through the back half of the circle. or back of the hand. 6. c. 7. After entering the circle. The circumference of the circle must be marked by a steel or plastic band 6mm in thickness or by a painted line. The competitor touches outside the inside edge of the circumference of the throwing circle or stopboard.AFFIX TO THE FRONT OF THE HEAD SHOT PUT JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD SHOT PUT RULES DEFINITIONS A Trial is an attempted throw. Gloves are not permitted. RULES OF COMPETITION 1. An arc-shaped stopboard measuring 4-ft. 2. A trial is judged a foul if: a. The competitor leaves the circle before the shot has landed or. 5. e. 4. or back of the hand is permitted. long. No such substance may be applied to the surface of the circle or the competitors’ shoes. The Shot must be a smooth-surfaced solid sphere without any indentations or projecting points. Taping the wrist.

Competitors must have a legal mark in the trials to advance to the finals. The measurement is taken at the point where the tape touches the inside edge of the stopboard to the nearest lesser ¼ inch. the shot must be carried back to the circle and never thrown or rolled back. 405 . Qualifiers for the finals throw in reverse order. whether achieved in the trials or finals. A throw is measured by extending the measuring tape from the nearest edge of the first mark made by the shot to the center of the circle. The top six qualifiers (in dual meets) shall advance to the finals for three more throws. Competitors place in the order of their best mark. Following a completed attempt. 11. 9.8. Each competitor is permitted three trials. with the competitor having the best mark in the trials throwing last. 10. A competitor may interrupt a trial once started and begin again provided no infraction of the rules has been committed.

The circumference of the circle must be marked by a steel or plastic band 6mm in thickness or by a painted line. without any indentations or rough edges. The competitor touches outside the inside edge of the circumference of the throwing circle. A Flight is a group of contestants participating in a round of trials. A Qualifier is a contestant who advances to the final round of competition by having one of the top marks in the trials. 406 . It is a foul if: a. 2. Competitors may apply a suitable substance to the hand to improve gripping the discus. c. or after completing the throw. Competitors may wear a leather belt to protect the spine from injury 5. A Foul is a throw which is counted as a trial. The competitor fails to complete a trial within 90 seconds of being called. but is not measured because of a violation of the rules. the competitor fails to pause before starting the throw. The boys’ discus must weigh 3 pounds 9 ounces and the girls’ discus must weigh 1 kilogram. The discus must be thrown from a concrete or asphalt circle 8 feet 2½ inches (2. Both sides of the Discus must be identical. but no substance may be applied to the surface of the circle or the competitors’ shoes. 3. b. spectators. 4. The competitor leaves the circle before the Discus has landed. fails to exit through the back half of the circle e. and competitors. A throw lands on or outside one of the sector lines.50 meters) in diameter inside a U-shaped enclosure or cage to protect the safety of the officials.AFFIX TO THE FRONT OF THE HEAD DISCUS JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD DISCUS RULES DEFINITIONS A Trial is an attempted throw. After entering the circle. RULES OF COMPETITION 1. d. The discus most land within a 60-degree sector marked on the ground with lines extending from the center of the circle. Competitors may not wear gloves or tape any part of the hand or fingers.

provided no infraction of the rules has been committed. 9. The top six qualifiers (in dual meets) shall advance to the finals for three more throws.6. 7. the discus must be carried back to the circle and never thrown or rolled back 407 . whether achieved in the trials or finals. Qualifiers for the finals throw in reverse order with the competitor having the best mark in the trials throwing last. A throw is measured by extending the measuring tape from the nearest edge of the first mark made by the discus to the center of the circle. A competitor may interrupt a trial once started and begin again. Competitors must have a legal mark in the trials to advance to the finals. Following a completed attempt. The measurement is taken at the point where the tape touches the inside edge of the circumference of the circle and recorded to the nearest lesser inch. Each competitor is permitted three trials. 8. Competitors place in the order of their best mark.

and the event which proceeds their race. each track event. • The location near the finish line where competitors should wait to be called to the starting line. 5. 408 . 4. 3. Check to see each runner is in proper uniform (and wearing a properly affixed number if required). • Where to break for the inside lane if the race is not run in lanes all the way. Begin checking in athletes 10 minutes prior to the first event and try to stay three flights ahead throughout the meet. • What to do at the completion of the race. the next flight of participants should be ready to take their starting positions upon its completion. (Return to the finish line in their lanes or order of finish until dismissed by the Head Timer. Provide all necessary information to participants en masse prior to their race. Call participants to check-in in advance of • The position to assume at the starting line. Assign each runner to his/her proper race section. (While one race is in progress. 2. Send the entry sheet to the Head Timer prior to each event. including: • The event which is in progress on the track (Either standing in front of their blocks or 2 feet behind the international curvestart line).Officials' Instruction Sheets CLERK OF AFFIX TO THE BACK OF THE CLERK’S CLIPBOARD THE COURSE 1. lane or position on the starting line. Make any changes or corrections necessary on the entry sheets.) 6.

7. l Identify the competitor they have timed by name or lane assignment after each race. Keep the finish line clear of nonparticipating athletes and spectators. Defer to the judgment of the Timer picking the higher place to resolve any disputed finishes. Instruct Timers to: l Judge each runner’s finish place by when the chest — not the head. 11. 9. arms or legs — crosses the finish line. 12. If there is no judges stand available. 3. Position the Tiers in direct line with the finish line. Upon completion of the final running event. Assign the most experienced timers to the most difficult places to pick — 3rd. 2. Check out stopwatches for all the Timers from the Head Coach/Meet Director. 5. Issue each Timer a stopwatch.g..AFFIX TO THE FRONT OF THE HEAD TIMER’S CLIPBOARD HEAD TIMER/ FINISH JUDGE INSTRUCTIONS 1. 4. l Refrain from discussing their times or place-picks until after they have been requested by the Head Timer. 6. Send the result sheet to the Announcer and Scorer's table at the completion of each event. divide your Timers between finishline positions on either side of the track. Notify the Starter when the Timers are ready prior to each race by blowing a whistle or waving a colored flag. 10. Adjust any times as might be necessary (e. 8. 409 . Record the competitors’ finish places and times on the result sheet as reported to you by the Timers after each race. If there is a tiered judges stand at the finish. if the 3rd-place time is faster than the 2nd-place time). 5th etc. 4th. Assign timers the place which they are to pick and time in each race. be sure it is placed at least 5 meters back from Lane 1 so that competitors in the outside lanes can be seen over those nearer the judges. collect the stopwatches from the Timers and return them to the Head Coach/Meet Director.

List the competitors’ first and last names and school affiliations on your event sheet as they check-in. and that no violation occurs during or after landing.AFFIX TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD LONG JUMP JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD HEAD LONG JUMP JUDGE INSTRUCTIONS 1. remind the Landing Judge that only "fair” jumps will be measured and that the marking spike must be placed at the break of the sand made nearest to the take-off board. Jones to follow. announce the qualifiers and begin the finals immediately 11. Determine the order of competition for Varsity Boys. 2. When measuring a jump. Review the “Rules of Competition” for the Long Jump affixed to the front of the clipboard. 7. When you begin a flight of competition. as follows: “Johnson up. 410 . When judging a jump. Change the jumping order. Smith on deck. set a time limit for the completion of all trials. 4. if necessary.” Record a miss if the competitor does not complete a trial within 90 seconds of being called. 6. do not remove the cone from the take-off board or leave the runway until you have called the next three competitors and the pit is raked and ready for the next trial. 10. 8. Allow enough time between levels of competition for each competitor to measure and mark his/her run-up distances and to take at least two practice jumps. However. Watch closely that the competitor’s shoe does not touch beyond the scratch line at take-off. When marking a jump. Give a verbal signal of Fair or Foul after the competitor leaves the landing pit. FS Boys and JV Girls from the Head Coach/Meet Director. Allow competitors in the first flight time to measure and mark their run-up distances and take at least two practice jumps. At the completion of a flight of trials. 5. to allow competitors to participate in other events. close off the runway by either placing a cone on the take-off board or by standing on the runway behind the take-off board. position yourself at the jumper’s take-off leg side of the takeoff board. Varsity Girls. Be sure the measuring tape is perpendicular to the scratch line of the take-off board or the scratch line extended. 3. call the contestants in groups of three. After you have recorded the mark. 9.

and to take at least two practice jumps. After you have recorded the mark. close off the runway by either placing a cone on the takeoff board or by standing on the runway behind the take-off board. 6. When you begin a flight of competition. 8. Change the jumping order. Review the “Rules of Competition” for the Triple Jump affixed to the front of the clipboard. FS Boys and JV Girls from the Head Coach/Meet Director. 11. Allow competitors in the first flight time to measure and mark their run-up distances and take at least two practice jumps. announce the qualifiers and begin the finals immediately. that the jumping sequence is correct into the long jump landing (L-L-R or R-R-L). to allow competitors to participate in other events. Allow enough time between levels of competition for each competitor to measure and mark his/her run-up distances.” Record a miss if the competitor does not complete a trial within 90 seconds of being called. Give a verbal signal of Fair or Foul after the competitor leaves the landing pit. set a time limit for the completion of all trials.AFFIX TO THE FRONT OF THE HEAD TRIPLE JUMP JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD HEAD TRIPLE JUMP JUDGE INSTRUCTIONS 1. 10. call the contestants in groups of three. Watch closely that the competitor’s shoe does not touch beyond the scratch line at take-off. At the completion of a flight of trials. if necessary. Be sure the measuring tape is perpendicular to the scratch line of the take-off board or the scratch line extended. Determine the order of competition for Varsity Boys. position yourself at the jumper's take-off leg side of the takeoff hoard. Jones to follow. 411 . When judging a jump. When measuring a jump. 4. 3. as follows: “Johnson up. 5. 7. 9. However. remind the Landing Judge that only "fair” jumps will he measured and that the marking spike must be placed at the break of the sand made nearest to the take-off board. 2. and that no violation occurs during or after landing. Smith on deck. do not remove the cone from the take-off board or leave the runway until you have called the next three competitors and the pit is raked and ready for the next trial. Varsity Girls. When marking a jump. List the competitors’ first and last names and school affiliations on your event sheet as they check in.

8. 2. If the jumper touches the bar. causing it to vibrate. 5. When replacing the crossbar. When you begin a flight of competition. Also. Before you begin a flight of competition. Jones to follow. 4. mark the underside and outsides of the crossbar so it can be reset in exactly the same position each time it is displaced. be sure all sections of the landing pit are securely fastened together.) Be sure that the ends of the crossbar and the landing pit are not touching the standards. List the competitors’ first and last names and school affiliations on your event sheet as they check in. 412 . Advise each competitor of the starting height for competition and enter the intended opening for each competitor on the event sheet. Determine the order of competition for Varsity Boys. Ensure that the pit will not bulge out and touch the standards upon the jumper’s landing. take-off points. and the starting heights and height progression for each level from the Head Coach/Meet Director. 7. Varsity Girls. 6. Smith on deck. position yourself to the side of one of the standards so that you are looking down the vertical plane of the standards and crossbar and facing the jumper as he/she takes off.” Record a miss if the competitor does not complete a trial within 90 seconds of being called. Mark the position of the base of each standard on the take-off area with chalk or tape so they can be reset in exactly the same position. 3. as follows: “Johnson up. be sure that it is sitting on the center of the supports and that the same sides are always facing down and out.AFFIX TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD HIGH JUMP JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD HEAD HIGH JUMP JUDGE INSTRUCTIONS 1. (The bar-setter should stand to the side of the other standard. do not steady it until you are certain it will not fall. and at least two practice jumps. call the contestants in groups of three. Allow competitors in the first flight time to measure and mark their run-up distances. When judging a jump. FS Boys and JV Girls. should they be knocked over in the course of competition. Review the “Rules of Competition" for the High Jump affixed to the front of the clipboard.

Measurements should be recorded to the nearest lesser ¼ inch. (If there is any difference between those two measurements. Allow enough time between flights of competition for each competitor to measure and mark his/her run-up distance and take-off point and to take at least two practice jumps. 413 . and the bar should be measured before and after any record attempt. When measuring a height. 11. place the zeromark of the tape on the take-off surface and extend it upward and perpendicular to the topside of the lowest point of the crossbar. Each new height should be remeasured (do not trust the readings on the standards).9. the lower height is the official measurement. Remember that only ties for first place are broken using the procedure described on the rules sheet on the front of your clipboard.) 10.

be sure an equal portion of the bar extends beyond the supporting pins on each standard. 5. from the Head Coach/Meet Director. it may be difficult to judge whether the wind or the vaulter displaces the bar. call the contestants in groups of three. 7. Jones to follow. 414 . Mark the underside and outsides of the crossbar so it can be reset in exactly the same position each time it is displaced. and that the same sides of the bar are always down and facing out. and the starting heights and height progression for each level. 3. 2. as follows: “Johnson up. Under such conditions you may position someone behind the standards to hold the crossbar in place with a spare pole until the competitor leaves the ground. Allow competitors in the first flight time to measure their run-up distances. place markers to the side of the runway. be sure all sections of the landing pit are securely fastened together. Review the “Rules of Competition” for the Pole Vault affixed to the front of the clipboard. Smith on deck. Determine the order of competition for Varsity and FS Boys and Girls. When you begin a flight of competition. When replacing the crossbar. 6.AFFIX TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD POLE VAULT JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD HEAD POLE VAULT JUDGE INSTRUCTIONS 1. List the competitors’ first and last names and school affiliations on your event sheet as they check in. position yourself to one side of the vaulting box so that you are looking down the vertical plane of the vault box. The pole-catcher should stand on the other side and be instructed not to catch the pole unless it is falling away from the crossbar and standards.” Record a miss if the competitor does not complete a trial within two minutes of being called. When judging a jump. 4. and to take at least two practice jumps. Advise each competitor of the starting height for his/her competition and enter the height at which they intend to open on the event sheet. 8. Before you begin a flight of competition. (You should never take the responsibility for catching the pole and inhibit your ability to observe each attempt from start to finish!) Under windy conditions.

Each new height should be remeasured (do not trust the readings on the standards). Measurements should be recorded to the nearest lesser ¼ inch. place their markers to the side of the runway. When measuring a height.9. and the bar should be measured before and after any record attempt. 11. Remember that only ties for first place are broken using the procedure described on the rules sheet on the front of your clipboard.) 10. and take at least two practice jumps. the lower height is the official measurement. Allow enough time between flights of competition for competitors to measure run-up distances. (If there is any difference between those two measurements. 415 . place the zero mark of the tape on the take-off surface and extend it upward and perpendicular to the topside of the lowest point of the crossbar.

The Shot must always be carried back to the circle during practice and competition. b. e. FS Boys and JV Girls from the Head Coach/Meet Director. or from any place other than the competition circle. No throw may be initiated until you have given the thrower a verbal OK that the landing sector is clear and the Landing Judges are ready. Review the “Rules of Competition” for the Shot Put affixed to the front of the clipboard. never thrown or rolled back. Record a miss if the competitor does not complete a trial within 90 seconds of being called. Jones to follow.” Inspect each competitor’s shot when you call him/her for first trial. f. Contestants who do not follow these safety rules will be warned once. 4. call the contestants in groups of three. 3. No practice throws may be taken without your supervision. Watch closely for hand fouls as the thrower moves to the front of the circle. Varsity Girls. as follows: “Johnson up. and for foot fouls on the top and sides of the stopboard. 5. 416 . Spectators must stand behind the throwing circle or a safe distance behind the Landing Judges and beyond the landing sector. NEVER along the sides of the landing sector! c. g. then disqualified from competition. 6. Smith on deck. Determine the order of competition for Varsity Boys. officials and spectators by enforcing the following rules: a. Once competition has begun. When judging a throw. Safety is your most important consideration and it is your responsibility to protect competitors. position yourself at the side of the circle from which the Shot will be released (right-handed thrower use the right side/left-handed thrower. d. The landing sector must be corded-off with rope or pennants placed well outside the sector lines. use the left side). 2. competitors are not allowed to throw any implements in any part of the event area. When you begin a flight of competition.AFFIX TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD SHOT PUT JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD HEAD SHOT PUT JUDGE INSTRUCTIONS 1. List the competitors’ first and last names and school affiliations on your event sheet as they check-in.

extended through the center of the circle. At the completion of a flight of trials. Allow enough time between flights of competition for each competitor to have at last two practice throws. The Shot must be carried and dropped off to the side of the landing sector.7. for pick-up by the contestant. When marking a throw. 10. not thrown or rolled. 9. the sector lines and that the marking spike must be placed in the ground at the mark made nearest to the landing circle. and not on. and read at the point it touches the inside edge of the stopboard. announce the qualifiers and begin the finals immediately. Remind them that a legal throw must land within. not twisted. position the Landing Judges at equal spacings across the back of the landing sector. 417 . 8. be sure the tape is straight. When measuring a throw.

g. d. Once competition has begun. 5. or from any place other than the competition circle. 4. e. Spectators must stand behind the discus cage or a safe distance behind the Landing Judges and beyond the landing sector. List the competitors’ first and last names and school affiliations on your event sheet as they check-in. Contestants who do not follow these safety rules will be warned once. Record a miss if the competitor does not complete a trial within 90 seconds of being called. Varsity Girls. Determine the order of competition for Varsity Boys. position the Landing Judges at equal spacings across the back of the landing sector. and it is your responsibility to protect competitors. Review the “Rules of Competition” for the Discus affixed to the front of the clipboard.” Inspect each competitor’s discus when you call him/her for their first trial. the sector lines and that the marking spike must be placed in the ground at the mark made nearest to the landing circle. Jones to follow. When you begin a flight of competition. b. No practice throws may be taken without your supervision.AFFIX TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD DISCUS JUDGE’S CLIPBOARD HEAD DISCUS JUDGE INSTRUCTIONS 1. The landing sector must be corded-off with rope or pennants placed well outside the sector lines. The Discus must always be carried back to the circle during practice and competition — never thrown or rolled back. and spectators by enforcing the following rules: a. Watch closely for foot fouls during the turns and release. Safety is your most important consideration. as follows: “Johnson up. Smith on deck. use the right side/lefthanded thrower. 3. When judging a throw. 7. 6. position yourself behind the cage at the side of the circle from which the Discus will be released (right-handed thrower. call the contestants in groups of three. The Discus must be carried and dropped off to the side of the landing sector (not thrown or rolled) for pick-up by the contestant. officials. NEVER along the sides of the landing sector! c. FS Boys and JV Girls from the Head Coach/Meet Director. Remind them that a legal throw must land within. use the left side). competitors are not allowed to throw any implements in any part of the event area. then disqualified from competition. 418 . When marking a throw. and not on. 2. No throw may be initiated until you have given the thrower a verbal OK that the landing sector is clear and the Landing Judges are ready. f.

10. 9. extended through the center of the circle. Allow enough time between flights of competition for each competitor to have at least two practice throws. and read at the point it touches the inside edge of the circle. At the completion of a flight of trials. be sure the tape is straight (not twisted). announce the qualifiers and begin the finals immediately. When measuring a throw. 419 .8.

O.00 per tape. Ruter P. KY 40291 420 . Box 91053 Fern Creek.ORDER FORM FOR TRACK & FIELD OFFICIATING VIDEO NAME TAC ASSOCIATION ADDRESS CITY I wish to order ( @ $20. STATE ZIP CODE PHONE( ) ) copies of the VIDEO TAPE ON ATHLETIC OFFICIATING Total Order: $ ( ) Please make check payable to: NATIONAL ATHLETIC OFFICIALS COMMITEE Please forward all video tape orders to: Charles M.

David P. 1990. Soviet Training and Recovery Methods.Bibliography Coaching Theory Bompa. St. Modern Principles of Athletic Training. Brook. Rick & Tabachnik. 1985. 1989.. IA: Kendall Hunt. Champaign. 1986. 1983. Brunner. Sport Stretch. Los Angeles: Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles. CA: Tafnews Press. Daniel. Yukelson. Costa Mesa. 7th ed. 1990. Los Altos. Michael J. Ben. Physiology of Track & Field Alter. Mobility Training. Dubuke.. 1991.C. Athletic taping video recording Johnson & Johnson and the National Basketball Trainers Association.. 421 .. NJ: Johnson &Johnson. Louis: Times Mirror/ Mosby College Pub. Coaches update videorecording: sports medicine series. London: British Amateur Athletics Board. Coaching Program: Theory Manual. CA: Orange County Department of Education. New Brunswick. Arnheim. 1988. T. Norman. Theory and Methodology of Training. IL: Leisure Press.

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Bryson Yvonne Brathwaite Burke Jae Min Chang Anita L. Ueberroth Harry L. Easton Shirley T. Hosoi Rafer Johnson Maureen Kindel Charles D. Wolper Hon. and to develop the Paul Ziffen Sports Resource Center. Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles David L. films. and will be joined by many more in the years ahead. DeFrantz James L. DeFrantz. videos. Chairman Anita L. Located in the historic Britt House since 1985. To date. the AAF has committed more than $60 million to create. support and expand existing youth sports programs. hundreds of thousands of boys and girls and more than 600 youth sports organizations throughout Southern California have benefited from our endowment. and includes the Helms collection of sport books. Usher Gilbert R.AMATEUR ATHLETIC FOUNDATION The Amateur Athletic Foundation is the organization created to manage Southern California’s endowment from the Olympic Games. Sanchez Peter V. President Board of Directors John C. Nanula Peter O’Malley Frank M. Argue Evelyn Ashford Mike R. Bowlin John E. photographs and memorabilia. Miller Richard D. Vasquez David L. Tom Bradley Emeritus . The Sports Resource Center is a state-of-the-art learning and cultural center for sports. Wolper.