Our head boys track coach, Justin Velasquez (who I coached 'back in the day' in high school), is a progressive, science-based track coach. At North Forney, we want to win track meets, but our primary goal is to get our football players faster. We have a few 'straight track' athletes, but most are members of our football team. With that being said, Justin and our track staff get about 45 minutes to take them through a track workout. After that, we take a 15-minute break for our Leadership Academy, then we lift.
Can we all get your athletes legitimately faster in 45 minutes?
IF I RACED A USAIN BOLT AND ANDY REID, ONE THING WOULD BE THE SAME FOR ALL THREE OF US
The majority of us think that speed is a product of stride frequency and applied force (picture the 'road runner's' legs as he is being chased by the coyote). When in reality, stride frequency is a non-factor when talking about short sprinting.
STRIDE FREQUENCY IS THE SAME WITH ALL RUNNERS. Wait a minute; if I raced Bolt and Reid, although Coach Reid would kill both of us in Punt-Pass and Kick, we would all three have the same frequency of our feet hitting the track? YES.
Every 0.3 seconds is the time it takes to reposition the leg on average. As Coach Velasquez says, "understanding this is LIFE CHANGING!"
IF WE ARE ALL THREE HITTING THE TRACK AT THE SAME TIME, WHY IS USAIN BOLT BEATING ME AND COACH REID?
His feet are hitting the track with MUCH MORE POWER.
SOOOOOOOOO...we should all be working on what gets our athletes faster - INCREASING THE FORCE THAT IS APPLIED TO THE TRACK OR HOW HARD THE FOOT HITS THE GROUND.
During the acceleration phase of a sprint, the runner builds their momentum to carry their body to the desired distance. How fast it gets, there is determined by how much force the runner puts down onto the ground when running. The harder an athlete hits the ground, the longer his/her bounds will be in between strikes.
What does this mean? Usain's momentum is being preserved and continues pushing him forward at a high rate.
FORCE = SPEED
Our coaching points at North Forney to get our goons to apply more force when they strike the ground are:
Rotate at the shoulder
Elbows locked at 90 degrees
Hands go from chin to pocket
Hands are relaxed
Heel over the knee (High knee drive)
Knees together upon ground contact (don't "break the glass")
POWER DOWN!! (power on the down stroke as the foot hits the track.
If you want to know more about getting your athletes faster, contact Coach Velasquez: firstname.lastname@example.org. He will help you in an 'easy to understand' non-scientific way to get your athletes in a 'fast-twitch factory'. You will be able to use his SIMPLE strategies to increase speed in your program.