training program develops the muscle movements and bursts of energy required to beat the competition.
Speed training programs should ideally start at a young age. Drills for adolescent athletes focus on developing the correct mechanics and muscle memory required for quick sprints. Everything from posture to arm movements should be practiced and repeated to increase fleetness and reduce injury. Drills for pre-adolescents should be fun and more like a game. The age of the athletes and specific sport have to be considered when deciding which practices to implement.
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If you train or coach runners don’t make these mistakes, read what Latif Thomas has to say…..
The biggest mistake high school ‘long sprints’ coaches make is wasting time and energy searching for solutions to problems that don’t exist.
You can write the most beautiful annual plan or the most individualized and specific workouts the universe has ever known.
But, if your sprinters secretly hate the 400, fear the 400 and/or don’t possess the level of inner confidence proven to fuel great performances, they’ll still get beat by inferior athletes running inferior workouts who Believe they’re going to run faster.
I’ll be honest:
I don’t excel at writing workouts. I don’t need to. Or try to.
The season is less than three months (and that’s only for your very best runners) of training little kids with low training ages. They don’t need nuanced workout progressions because they’re too inexperienced to absorb or apply that much detail.
The real secret to my success is simple:
I’m good at motivating kids. At developing self confidence. At inspiring them to buy into the program, system and philosophy… hook, line and sinker.
I look at it like this:
Like you, I only have so much time in the day. It means I can’t get to everything I’d like to do.
So I focus on what’s going to get me the most ‘bang for my buck’.
For my money, that’s spending more time studying and applying the ‘Science of Mind’ than the ‘Science of Periodization’.
We all coach for different reasons. But it’s generally a safe bet that near the top of that list is: 1) Help kids, 2) Develop faster long sprinters (200/300/400 runners), 3) Larger numbers of #2
All of which lead to more winning, which, last I checked, is a good time for everyone. So, if you want to experience more of the things I just listed, spend more time refining your system of developing self belief and less time trying to jack workout progressions from coaches whose programs have almost nothing in common with yours.
And remember this:
Since you coach one of the most disrespected and irrelevant sports your school has to offer, you have to think of yourself as a marketer. Because you’re competing against the soccer program, the basketball program, the lacrosse program and the baseball program. Against sports kids have been playing their whole lives.
If you want to grow your numbers, how are you going to compete with the Club Soccer or AAU coach who tells your athletes that year round soccer or basketball is going to get them noticed by college coaches and scouts?
Or the dad who is reliving his failed baseball career through his son?
Simple. Make their experience on the track team more fun and rewarding. We have a unique opportunity in an individual sport like track and field because each personal best is an individual experience.
The ‘team’ didn’t PR in that 400, ‘I’ PR’d in that 400.
It wasn’t the starting point guard getting the credit while I stood on the wing. I did the work and I got full credit for reaping the full results of that work. It doesn’t matter if that result is winning an All State Championship or breaking 70 for the first time, everyone can take pride in their own individual improvement.
It’s going to take time to cultivate a default ‘I can’ mindset in your athletes because right now they don’t really believe they can. They might BS you if you ask, but they won’t look you in the eye when they say it. They ‘hope’ to. They ‘want’ to.
But they don’t expect to.
If you want to find the Missing Link to sustained success, improvement and growth in your sprints program, spend the bulk of your energy this season on the Periodization of Expectation.
My process isn’t random. I develop and apply it systematically, the same as I would if teaching acceleration mechanics or an Olympic Lift.
I do and say certain things at certain times in certain ways to certain people based on their current ability to receive and apply the lesson.
It’s a game changer. And the only thing more fun than winning is seeing the look on a kid’s face when you tell them they just achieved their goal time, something they thought was unobtainable just a few months ago.
By Mike Boyle
Functional Strength Coach
I wrote this a while ago but finished it yesterday after getting three different versions of “Stop Rolling Your IT band”.
As is always the case in life an on the internet, someone has to decide to take the other side of an argument.
I often think that those who do so are simply looking for recognition in a crowded field.
Recently, we have had two widely distributed “articles” critical of foam rolling. The word articles is in quotes because both so-called articles were actually blog posts.
I find it funny because it seems difficult to me to criticize something that universally makes people feel better. In one article (which was actually written four years ago), the author, Mike Nelson, makes the very basic case that pain is bad and the foam roller causes pain; therefore, the foam roller must be bad too. However, in reading the authors bio, I can’t help but notice that he has been a student for the last sixteen years as opposed to a coach, and moreover, carries a clear bias toward the neurological origins of pain.
I am not discounting the neurological basis of pain as that would be as illogical. However the author’s primary premise seems to be that pain is bad and should be avoided at all costs. It is also worth noting that the author is a paid practitioner of a technique he feels is better than foam rolling.
It is obvious that I don’t agree and, I intend to make a scientific case for my disagreement rather than a personal one.
I am also of the belief that pain is bad. However, I will qualify that statement and say that most pain is bad. In the case of the foam roller, I will go so far as to say that pain is good. I frequently tell my athletes that the foam roller is the only violation of our Does It Hurt rule. In a nutshell, my normal reaction to any question as to whether someone should do any exercise is to ask “Does It Hurt”? If the answer is Read the rest of this entry »