Director of Track & Field/Cross Country at the University of Iowa, Joey Woody, runs an athlete through a series of drills designed for the sprints and relays. Once these drills have been executed, athletes will know how their feet need to strike the ground to drive their body forward in a race.
Drill Summary: There are two main drills in this video.
Ankle Hops – Hop forward, working on hitting the ground, exploding up, and come back into a dorsi-flexed position in the air. It’s important to maintain a small bend in the knee, stay tall and pull the toes up. Coach Woody does this drill every day to strengthen athletes’ shins and ankles to be explosive. This drill can be done forward, backward and laterally.
Acceleration A Skip/March – Focus on swinging the leg from the hip and keeping your knee up in front. The march is in a walking motion (remember to swing arms and get the knees up) and the skip is at a faster pace that focuses on being active when the leg goes down into the ground.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Explode up.
2) Keep feet close together.
3) Swing the leg from the hip.
4) Keep your knee up in front.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Developing Speed & Power for Sprints, Relays and Hurdles.” View other world class Track & Field videos!
An innovative approach to teaching the discus throw is through the use of discus balls and bowling pins. Jim Garnham, University of Buffalo assistant coach, believes that throwing a bowling pin can create muscle memory for throwers and promote the proper mechanics for the discus event.
Drill Summary: The athlete takes a discus ball and executes a wheel drill to throw the ball. After doing a few reps with the discus ball, switch to using a bowling pin. The bowling pin will keep the thrower’s arm extended and help them turn their lower body into the throw.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Work the lower body into the throw.
2) Don’t lift up on the throw.
3) Finish extended.
4) Body should face forward after rotating.
Norfolk Real Deal Track Club head coach and 2008 Nike Coach of the Year, Dwayne Miller, presents three weight lifting exercises for runners. In the clip, you’ll see two time Olympic Gold Medalist, LaShawn Merritt, demonstrate the lifts under direct supervision of Coach Miller.
Drill Summary: There are three exercises in this clip.
Power Clean – Coach Miller uses power cleans during the early season, about three times per week. Remember to drop the hips and keep the legs roughly shoulder-width apart. The power clean is a great exercise for total body strength and the core.
Squats – Keeps the hips strong. Keep the legs shoulder width apart and come up slow after squatting. Stay balanced. This drill stabilizes the hips and hamstrings.
Dumbbell Press – Coach Miller spends 50% of his workouts doing upper body work. The dumbbell press develops the shoulders and promotes faster arm movement for faster running. Do about three sets of 10 at a moderate weight.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Drop the hips, get them low (power clean).
2) Be quick to generate speed and power.
3) Keep your balance (squats).
4) Use a weight you can handle (dumbbell press).
Michael Pullins, assistant track coach at the University of Southern California, uses the “Alternating Step Drill” to train for both the long jump and triple jump. Athletes will improve their ability to create momentum from a standing position as they explode up and forward from one foot at a time.
Drill Summary: Coach Pullins recommends doing this drill on a softer surface, such as grass, to avoid wear and tear. Begin in a standing position, then push off and jump as far as you can off of every alternating step. Focus on keeping toes up on every leap and also using arms to generate momentum. Do this for about 20-30 yards, then take a quick break and do it again.
Baylor University director of track and field, Clyde Hart, has coached 34 national champions and 533 All-Americans during his time in Waco. Now, he explains some of his thoughts on training for each gender and how moving from quantity to quality in your yearly training routines can help your athletes.
Clip Summary: The theory that Coach Hart preaches is “quantity to quality” as the season goes on. He discusses building a good base in a pyramid of training, then advancing up the pyramid by switching the ratio of aerobic to anaerobic work.