Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/15/10 9:20 PM Page 1
Permit #50 Fort Atkinson, WI
PA I D PRST STD U.S. Postage
Lisa Coniglio, PhotoRun.NET
Volume 5, No. 1
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:49 AM Page 2
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:49 AM Page 3
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/16/10 11:42 AM Page 4
COACHING AT H L E T I C S
Indoor Track of the Year
by Larry Eder
by Mary Helen Sprecher
8 Above: Asafa Powell, 2010 Ostrava Track Meet, photo by Jiro Mochizuki, Photorun.NET.
by Cregg Weinmann
Volume 5, Number 1 Spring 2010
Group Publisher: Larry Eder, email@example.com, 920-563-5551, ext. 112 Group Editor: Christine Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: Larry Eder, email@example.com, 608-239-3785 Writers/Contributors: Chase Kough, Clayton Davis, James Dunaway, Jim Hiserman Mary Helen Sprecher, Cregg Weinmann Photographers: Lisa Coniglio/PhotoRun, Victah Sailer/PhotoRun Layout/Design: Kristen Cerer Editor: Toby Cook Pre-Press/Printer: W. D. Hoard & Sons Company, Fort Atkinson, WI Special Projects: Adam Johnson-Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org,
4 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
400 Meter Training: Ideas for Training Designs, Part 1 by Jim Hiserman
The 4x100 Meter Relay
Has USATF Declared War on U.S. Coaches?
by Clayton Davis
by James Dunaway and Larry Eder
COACHING AT H L E T I C S
Best Racing Shoes Summer 2010
Basics of Resistance Training by Chase Kough, NSCA-CPT
Outdoor Track of the Year by Mary Helen Sprecher
On the Cover: Allyson Felix and Veronica-Campbell Brown battle in the adidas Grand Prix 200 meters, on June 12, 2010. Photo by Lisa Coniglio, Photorun.NET.
Special Thanks To: Kristen Cerer, Sue Hall, Alex Larsen, Debra Keckeisen, Tim Garant, Tom Mack, Mary Ward and Sydney Wesemann Dedicated to: Fr. Ralph Passerelli, S.J., Jim Marheinecke, Steve Pensinger, Dan Durante and Terry Ward, a.m.d.g. phone 608-239-3785; fax 920-563-7298 Coaching Athletics Quarterly is produced, published and owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc., PO Box 67, Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538-0067, Christine Johnson, President, Larry Eder, Vice President. Copyright 2010 by Shooting Star Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Publisher assumes no liability for matter printed, and assumes no liability or responsibility for content of paid advertising and reserves the right to reject paid advertising. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Publisher. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in any form without written permission of the Publisher. Coaching Athletics Quarterly is not related to or endorsed by any other entity or corporation with a similar name and is solely owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc. Publisher recommends, as with all fitness and health issues, you consult with your physician before instituting any changes in your fitness program.
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/15/10 12:38 PM Page 5
C A M E R A A T H L E T I C A : S A L U T E S C H A U N T E H O WA R D - L O W E
Chaunte Howard-Lowe, Pictures from the 49th Spike/ Ostrava Track Meet Congratulations on Chaunte Howard-Loweâ€™s American Record, High Jump, 2.04m, 6'-8.25", set May 30, 2010, Cottbus, Germany
Jiro Mochizuki, www.photorun.NET
Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/15/10 12:38 PM Page 6
publisher’s note I spent 4 days in New York, June 10–14. I was there for several reasons. Reason #1 was to attend a press conference on a new take on compression training and recovery wear by Saucony, called AMP PRO2. Research notes that it increases the oxygenation of blood in capillaries, therefore, increasing the speed of recovery. I told them we’ll test the product and tell our readers. Watch for that review! Reason #2 was to ensure that the program for the adidas Grand Prix arrived and that we covered the press conferences for the Diamond League, as well as met with the coaches, athletes and agents who came to the event. Reason #3 was to provide samples to the AAM—the agents and managers group—of their new athlete guide for 2010. The AAM, in cooperation with the athletes, meet management and federations, is working on professionalizing our sport. Reason #4 was to see Doug Logan and Stephanie Hightower of USATF. In AT&F, we wrote an editorial criticizing USATF for the way it had handled the coaches registry, which we think, is a good idea, but poorly implemented. I have rerun the editorial in this publication, on page 30. Please tell us what you think about that review and the registry. And Reason #5, and most important, was to witness the adidas Grand Prix. In its 6th year, the Grand Prix is the culmination of the dream of Todd Klein, then at Reebok, and Mark Wetmore, manager of Global Athletics Quarterly. The first meet had 12 weeks’ prep and 3,500 fans. Six years later, 10 meet records, four world leaders were enjoyed by 10,000 fans on the hot, sunny, humid day! Teddy Tamgho tripled jumped 17.98m or 59 feet, 1⁄4 inch—the longest jump in 12 years! For me, the Allyson Felix vs. Veronica Campbell-Brown duel over 200 meters lived up to the hype, as Veronica held off Allyson 21.98 to 22.03. The crowd went wild! Our sport is all about epic competitions. That’s something that we must constantly remember.
Larry Eder, Publisher
P.S. Please welcome our new managing editor, Toby Cook, who began working on this issue. You will see more of his work in the Summer, Fall and Winter issues.
6 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Photo by: Andrew McClanahan, PhotoRun.NET
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:49 AM Page 7
Indoor Track of the Year
by Mary Helen Sprecher
22-year-old college fieldhouse that needs updating? Well, let’s just say a lot has changed since it was built. After all, standards are different, rules have undergone considerable revisions and, naturally, the technology has advanced. Obviously, the update is needed. Now comes the hard part: Can the entire renovation job be done during the college’s four-week winter break? That was the challenge facing Kiefer Specialty Flooring, Inc. of Lindenhurst, Illinois. Central College needed a total overhaul of its Kuyper Fieldhouse, and the Pella, Iowa–based institution had the tightest of deadlines. “We had a timeline of December 15th to January 13th,” writes Brion Rittenberry of Kiefer. “Bearing in mind the Christmas holiday, this was a very aggressive timeline.” The facility and the college that owned it also had a few specific limitations, including financial constraints. “The owner had an existing prefabricated surface,” notes Rittenberry. “Due to budget and time constraints, the owner did not wish to remove the existing surface. This presented several problems. There were significant areas that were loose, and the existing surface had to be properly prepared to assure adhesion of the new surface.” It required considerable ingenuity on Kiefer’s part. Rittenberry recalls, “We had to pull back all loose areas to allow the concrete substrate to dry properly. Large fans were brought in to help facilitate the drying process. Once the concrete substrate had dried, we sandblasted all exposed areas to remove all dried adhesive from the substrate. We re-glued all loose areas with a special waterproof epoxy adhesive. Once the loose areas had been repaired, we had to prep the existing surface with riding belt sanders. Once this was accomplished, the entire floor was scrubbed to remove dirt and dust. We then adhered the new prefabricated surface to the old, using a special polyurethane adhesive. Lastly, the surface was striped to adhere to the NCAA’s regulations.” The 54,000-square-foot facility, a steel frame building with cinderblock walls and a forced air ventilation system, now has a 200-meter track that meets governing body standards. The six-lane track has an eight-lane sprint straightaway. There’s one chute and a common finish. The track surface is vulcanized rubber, dark grey in color, with light grey and red accents. There are practice areas for field events, including long jump, triple jump and high jump, as well as shot put. The finished facility has retractable basketball nets (a total of five basketball courts, meaning 10 nets) as well as movable bleachers that can be used Photo by: Jiro Mochizuki, PhotoRun.NET
2009 Indoor Track of the Year, American Sports Builders Association Central College, Kuyper Fieldhouse, Pella, Iowa Specialty Contractor: Kiefer Specialty Flooring, Inc.; Architect/Engineer: Central College; General Contractor: Central College; Suppliers: Mondo USA; Governing body: NCAA
during events. Drop-down netting holds balls and other equipment to keep athletes and spectators safe. For all the facility’s advantages, though, Rittenberry is still proudest of meeting the school’s tight turnaround—less than a month from start to finish. “We achieved this deadline,” he notes. “Normally, this timeline is needed just for a new installation. We achieved the timeline doing all the prep work as well.” In addition to school administrators and athletes, someone else is impressed with the facility—the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), which named the Kuyper Fieldhouse its Indoor Track of the Year for 2009. The award was presented at the Association’s recent Technical Meeting, held in Savannah, Georgia. (The ASBA is the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities. It presents its annual awards to recognize outstanding sports facility construction.) Note: The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a nonprofit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality construction of many sports facilities, including track and field. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities, including running tracks and sports fields. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866-501ASBA (2722) or www.sportsbuilders.org. Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:49 AM Page 8
Outdoor Track of the Year
by Mary Helen Sprecher
he overused expression, “time is running out,” was never more accurate. When Texas Tech University wanted its running track demolished and rebuilt, it had a specific deadline in mind: the school had to be ready to host the 2009 Big 12 Championships. That meant administrators needed not only a competition-level track facility, but field events to match. New Mexico–based builder Robert Cohen Co., LLC took the design/build job. The scope of work included design and construction of a unique layout whereby the track infield contained four pole vault runways, four long jump/triple jump runways and eight sprint lanes for the 100m and 110m dash and hurdles. In addition, throwing events (two shot puts, two hammer throws, two discus and two javelin areas) were located at a dedicated throwing area at a separate location. “Time constraints were critical to prepare for the Big 12 meet,” wrote Robert L. Cohen. “Unusually severe weather impeded our progress. We worked seven days a week for a portion of the project. Extremely flat conditions in Lubbock, where the project was located, made drainage difficult. Grades inside the oval were super-critical to achieve desired drainage.” The track was built to NCAA standards with a red vulcanized rubber surface, beige exchange zones and beige sprint lanes. The track had eight lanes on the oval, plus eight sprint lanes. A concrete header curb was built flush with the asphalt, with a raised aluminum curb on lane 1. Existing surface drains were utilized in the project. Absolute attention was paid to the grading of the project. Inclination of the oval in the running direction was 0%, while the lateral inclination was 6%. Long jump and triple jump events, as well as the pole vault area, were constructed to similar grading standards. Hammer, shot put, discus and javelin, which were located at areas removed from the oval, used specific landing areas well tailored to each event. “Our goal was to bring to life the vision of Texas Tech head track coach Wes Kittley,” wrote Cohen. “Wes believes that throws constitute a hazard to runners, particularly during practice, and should be located away from the track oval. In addition, he wanted to showcase his jumpers and sprinters inside the oval for the enjoyment of the spectators. We were asked to furnish construction and design and construction services to make this possible. Although it looks simple, the complex grading requirements of the runways, sprint lanes and ‘D’ zones conflict, and required critically precise execution to pull it off.” Not only was the project completed on May 15, 8 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
2009, in time for the Big 12 Championships, but it received its own honor: being named the Outdoor Track of the Year by the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA). The award was presented at the Association’s recent Technical Meeting, held in Savannah, Georgia. (ASBA is the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities. It presents its annual awards to recognize outstanding sports facility construction.)
2009 Outdoor Track of the Year, American Sports Builders Association Texas Tech University Track—Lubbock, Texas Architect/Engineer: Graef, Anhalt, Schloemer & Associates, Inc.; Specialty Contractor: Mondo America, Inc.; Suppliers: UCS Equipment, Mondo America, Inc.; SportsEdge; Subcontractors: Lubbock Masonry, West Texas Paving, Amco Electric, Bear Lake Enterprises; Governing body: NCAA
Texas Tech University needed its existing running track (shown above) demolished and rebuilt so that it would be ready for the school to host the 2009 Big 12 Championships. It also needed new field events.
The completed project was comprehensive, complex and creatively laidout, according to builders. The vision for the project belonged to Texas Tech head track coach Wes Kittley, whose opinion it was that that throwing events constituted a hazard to runners, particularly during practice, and should be located away from the track oval. In addition, Kittley wanted to showcase his jumpers and sprinters inside the oval for the enjoyment of the spectators.
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:49 AM Page 9
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:49 AM Page 10
Best Racing Shoes Summer 2010 by Cregg Weinmann
ur annual review of new and newly updated racers looks at eight models that trade training shoe protection for speed. As a general guideline, we’ve noted the recommended distance range for the various shoes to assist you in making your racing shoe choices. We define efficient strikers as runners who are very light on their feet and generally land on their forefoot. Heavy strikers land heavily on the heel and/or carry a few extra pounds of body weight. Because biomechanics and racing distances differ, it may be necessary for you to purchase more than one racer. Just make sure that whatever shoes you choose accommodate your foot shape, footstrike, and foot motion.
ASICS Gel Hyperspeed 4
Brooks Green Silence
The fourth round of the Hyperspeed maintains the focus of the original: value, protection, and performance. The shoe gives specific care to its most essential components and improves where it can on previous versions. BEST SHOE Unchanged are the generous SpEVA midsole and the Magic Sole outersole, which is wellRacing ventilated and has rice husks added to the SU 0 1 MMER 20 forefoot rubber compound to improve traction in wet conditions. The fit is that of a great racer—a snug heel and roomier forefoot—thanks to a more closely woven mesh and more effective stabilizing overlays, a synthetic suede support under the ASICS stripes on the lateral side, and a closed mesh panel on the medial side. The fit, flexibility, and overall cushioning are its claims to fame, while the attractive price provides extra value. It should come as no surprise that the Hyperspeed earned our Best Racing Shoe award.
The Green Silence is Brooks’ first new racing shoe in a decade. The shoe demonstrates that performance and sustainability are compatible; many of the components are made from recycled plastics and the shoe is built with water-based adhesives and uses soy-based inks. The new midsole geometry provides flexibility and cushioning, with just enough outersole for traction and durability. The upper is open mesh with a nicely cushioned tongue that opens only on the lateral side in order to provide extra medial support. The shoes have a unique appearance, as the contrasting red and yellow colors are transposed, so the shoes aren’t identical, and the midsole of the right is red, while the left is yellow. The curved shape favors the higher-arched feet, however the roomy forefoot may allow enough wiggle room for lowerarched feet to find an acceptable fit.
Sizes: men 4–13,14 (unisex) Weight: 7.3 oz. (men’s 11) Shape: semi-curved Fit: snug heel, wide forefoot For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics Range: efficient runners - up to a marathon; heavy strikers - up to 20K or a bit beyond
Sizes: men 4–12,13,14 (unisex) Weight: 8.0 oz. (men’s 11) Shape: semi-curved to curved Fit: snug heel, wide forefoot For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics Range: efficient runners - up to a marathon; heavy strikers - up to 20K or just beyond
Karhu Racer Fulcrum-Ride
The Racer Fulcrum-Ride is the first of the current crop of Karhu Fulcrum shoe designs dedicated to top-end performance. The upper is a very open air mesh, close-fitting for support and with a saddle of closed mesh cinching the midfoot. The midsole is low profile, with the fulcrum adjusted to the lowered geometry. The outersole is a matrix of tiny polyurethane Ts layered over a spongy, cushioned foam. Larger Ts in the medial heel and lateral forefoot assist in the transition as the fulcrum rocks the foot forward for toe-off. The ride is responsive, with a nicely cushioned feeling—in part from the polyurethane innersole—and with very good flexibility in the forefoot. Its range makes the Fulcrum-Ride a good choice for tempo runs and speedwork, as its durability and weight exceed that of many of the racing shoes.
The swiftest member of the K-Swiss running family features the same serious focus as the rest of the line. It also features a few triathloninspired touches: laces with linksausage-like texture to stay tied, drainage through the shank, and perforations at the toe and heel for air flow (which K-Swiss calls its “FlowCool System”). The upper is open mesh with HF-welded midfoot overlays. The midsole is very low profile with a Superfoam crash pad and Strobel board for cushioning. There’s a small medial post for stability, which is especially useful in a racer since fatigue usually results in reduced biomechanical efficiency (you know, your form breaks down as you near the end of a race). Overall, the K-Ruuz is an excellent racer for the speedy, but it’s so lightweight that it’s better suited to shorter races.
Sizes: men 8–14; women 6–11 Weight: 8.2 oz. (men’s 11); 6.1 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved Fit: snug heel, wide forefoot For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation Range: efficient runners - up to a marathon; heavy strikers - up to 25K or just beyond
Sizes: men 8–12,13,14; women 5.5–10,11 Weight: 6.0 oz. (men’s 11); 4.6 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved Fit: snug heel, close-fitting forefoot For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation Range: efficient runners - up to 35K or beyond; heavy strikers - up to 15K
10 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:49 AM Page 11
Nike Zoom Streak XC 2
The Zoom XC may be the most versatile of the competition shoes that bear the Swoosh. A hybrid of sorts, it draws from a number of models. The upper is very open mesh with a midfoot band of synthetic suede to shore up the fit (you may have seen it in Nike’s steeplechase model). The midsole is a new foam formulation called Cushlon LT, a lightweight version of the resilient foam in the Bowerman line. The outersole is a mini-waffle pattern, a tip of the hat to its use for cross country, as well as on the track and the roads. The low profile, great fit, and light feel are enhanced by the bargain price; in fact, it could be called the bargain champion of this review. The Zoom Streak XC 2 is well placed in the versatility department, working almost equally well on the track, roads, and cross country. Sizes: men 4–13,14,15 (unisex) Weight: 6.0 oz. (men’s 11) Shape: semi-curved Fit: snug heel, close forefoot For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics Range: efficient runners - up to 25K; heavy strikers - up to 15K or just beyond
Scott’s entry into the U.S. market affords racers more quality footwear choices. The T2C is one of two Scott shoes specifically developed for triathlon racing. The T2C is the more traditional of the two, with laces and a typical mesh upper, in this case with sublimated graphics and welded overlays that offer good support and comfort, even when worn barefoot. Vents around the midsole perimeter and a mesh Strobel board and perforated innersole allow drainage, as well as a measure of cooling—important for both triathlons and road racing. The geometry of the shoe revolves around a slightly convex bottom (“Ergologic Ride”), which allows the foot to roll through the transition smoothly, regardless of footstrike. The generous slab of EVA and rubbery inserts at heel and toe are responsive and protective, giving the T2C a lengthier range for competition—even better than most other shoes of the same weight. The outersole features high-traction synthetic rubber backed with fabric, common but effective for road racing shoes. Sizes: men 7–13,14; women 5–12 Weight: 7.0 oz. (men’s 11); 5.2 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved Fit: snug heel, roomy forefoot For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics Range: efficient runners - up to a marathon; heavy strikers - up to 25K or beyond
Saucony Fastwitch 4
Round four of the Fastwitch is welldefined: it’s a light, stable, versatile racing shoe. The upper features even more of the open airmesh of version 3, carrying it onto the tongue which has a plush, sueded lining. The overlays have been pared back and repositioned with no noticeable change in weight. The lightweight midsole formulation remains unchanged, along with the flexible segmented forefoot that’s ventilated for breathability. The midfoot is well supported by an effectively-placed shank and moderate medial second density—also unchanged from version 3. The good news is that the Fastwitch continues to deliver speedy performance for a variety of runners and uses. Sizes: men 7–13,14; women 5–12 Weight: 7.2 oz. (men’s 11); 5.4 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved Fit: snug heel, roomy forefoot For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to mild overpronation Range: efficient runners - up to a marathon; heavy strikers - up to 20K or just beyond
Zoot Ultra Speed
Zoot has established its place in the triathlon market and has fans on the running side, as well. The Ultra Speed is a new shoe that complements the Ultra Race, the Zoot long distance racing shoe. The triathlon features include lining throughout for barefoot use, lace-free for quick entry, and vents for drainage and the additional benefit of cooling. The upper is TekSheen, a two-way stretch compression fabric which provides an excellent fit as long as you have a curved foot, since the monosock construction is difficult to fit on low- arched and/or high-volume feet. The shank is carbon fiber and offers good torsional rigidity and rolls well to toe-off. The midsole is a lowprofile Z Bound/EVA blend that nicely combines resiliency and cushioning, and effectively splits the fine line between speed and protection. Sizes: men 8–12,13,14; women 6–11 Weight: 6.9 oz. (men’s 11); 6.5 oz. (women’s 8) Shape: semi-curved to curved Fit: snug heel, close-fitting forefoot For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics Range: efficient runners - up to 35K or beyond; heavy strikers - up to 15K, possibly beyond
CREGG WEINMANN is footwear and running products reviewer for Running Network LLC. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com. Copyright © 2010 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC. Reprinted here with permission. Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:49 AM Page 12
Basics of Resistance Training by Chase Kough, NSCA-CPT
n appropriate program of resistance training can improve athletic performance in every track and field event, and at every level from beginner to Olympic champion. Of course, such training is most beneficial when it’s not only based on the requirements of each event, but also on the needs and capabilities of each specific athlete. This article is intended to help you as a coach plan the optimal resistance training program for each of the many athletes you train.
Requirements of the event Each track and field event requires a different combination of physical skills. The coach can learn these requirements either by reading, studying photo sequences, filmed or taped instructionals, contact with other coaches, attending seminars and the like, as well as by a close observation of athletes in the flesh. Whatever the means, it’s a worthwhile investment of your time — the knowledge gained will be useful throughout your coaching career. Your objective should be to analyze the movements involved in performing each event, and break them down into components that can be worked on in the training program. To put it another way, an effective strength training program mimics as closely as possible the movements involved in the event itself — so that the athlete will be able to transfer the new strength gains into improved performance. There are the three major considerations in analyzing each event: 1. Break down the body-movement patterns by muscle involvement and limb actions. 2. Assess the physiological requirements of the event, such as muscular endurance, flexibility, strength, power and/or hypertrophy. 3. Injury prevention: Know the injuries common to each event and know how to prevent them through proper training.
12 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Planning for the individual athlete The key elements to be considered are the athlete’s fitness level, work capacity, recovery rate, and technical experience in the event. No two athletes will be similar in all of these areas. Let’s look at a couple of extreme examples. One is a 16-year-old male who just recently joined the track team and wants to be a high jumper. After basic fitness tests, he appears healthy; however, he is 5'10" and weighs 195 pounds, at least 15 pounds overweight for his age and musculature. He says he enjoys sports, but currently does not perform any other physical activity outside of track practice. In coaching him, you’ll want to start him on exercises to improve his general fitness level. Following dynamic warmup, have him perform very basic plyometric drills, bounding exercises and body weight–reactive jump exercises to improve his own body weight explosiveness. His weight training should be comprised of basic movements to strengthen the legs, lower back and abdominals 1–2 times a week. Additionally, while not sport-specific, 15–20 minutes of cardio 2–3 times per week may be needed to promote extra fat loss. The rest of the time should be spent on basic high jumping principles that include the proper approach, takeoff, flight pattern, leg clearing and landing. Example two is an 18-year-old senior who has been high jumping for six years, starting in middle school. He’s fit, and has excellent high-jump technique. To jump higher, he needs a program that will help him produce more power. His workouts should be a combination of eventspecific weight training and plyometric drills. Weight training can be performed 3–4 times a week, made up of powerful movements that strengthen the legs and core. Example exercises for this athlete should be power cleans, squats, jump half squats, deadlifts, knee lifts, abdominal variations and explosive plyometric drills. No additional cardio would be needed, and in fact, it would only be a hindrance to his speed and explosiveness. Thus, even though both athletes are performing at the same event, and possibly even at the same track meets, their training regimens should be different and specific to their individual needs. And for them to get the most out of their training, you should explain each exercise and how and why it will help them reach their goals.
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:49 AM Page 13
Your objective should be to analyze the movements involved in performing each event, and break them down into components that can be worked on in the training program.
Physiological requirements of the various events Muscular Endurance Events. For athletes who perform repetitive movements for a prolonged time, i.e., distance runners, the focus should be on muscular endurance. The weight training prescription needs to be light-weight loads of less than 67% of the athlete’s one repetition maximum (1RM). You should have them perform 2–3 sets of each exercise for a minimum of 12 repetitions. Rest periods should be short, no longer than 30 seconds. Events That Require Strength. For your athletes in the shot put, discus and javelin throw, a prime requirement for success is strength. When training for strength, they should use weight equivalent to 85% or more of their 1RM. Each exercise should be performed for 2–6 sets with 1–6 repetitions. You can allow them longer rest periods of 2–5 minutes so that they can continue to use heavy-weight loads throughout the duration of the workout. Events That Require Power. Power is a main component of many track and field events, including the high jump, long jump, triple jump and sprints. Speed is an important component of power; for that reason, it’s important that you don’t have your athlete use maximal weight when performing lifting exercises. The weight should range between 75–90% of 1RM, and be performed explosively for 1–5 repetitions. Rest periods should be 2–5 minutes so that each set can be performed explosively. Events That Require Muscle Hypertrophy. Throwers can also benefit from muscle hypertrophy. Their training should rely on volumes of 65–85% of 1RM for 6–12 repetitions. Generally rest periods should be between 30 seconds to 11⁄2 minutes. Exercise Order. Exercise order is another key component of a successful resistance training program. In most cases, you’ll want your athletes to begin with power and multi-joint movement exercises first, proceed to other core movements, and finish with the remaining single-joint movements. Another simple approach to designing a program is arranging exercises from larger to smaller muscle groups.
Photos by: Yohei Kamiya, PhotoRun.NET
Training Frequency and Duration. The number of sessions you have each athlete perform each week is important. While it’s common that at least 48 hours be provided between training the same muscle group, there are many other factors you should note when designing your training program. Elements to consider include the athlete’s level of fitness, the type of exercises performed, if the athlete is currently in or out of their sports season and if the athlete is involved with any other training activities. In general, you should design strength training sessions to take no longer than 60 minutes to complete. Longer sessions may become ineffectual due to the reduction of athlete mental attentiveness, exercise form and intensity. Recovery. For sufficient recovery time, beginner athletes may require fewer training sessions per week when compared to advanced athletes. Likewise, if advanced athletes are performing several other modes of training simultaneously, they, too, will need to reduce their strength training to ensure proper recovery. It’s imperative that you ensure each athlete understands proper sleep patterns, nutrition, and stretching to enhance recovery quality.
Conclusion While the basics of resistance training may seem elementary, it’s imperative that program design begin with fundamental training principles for each event. Likewise, each athlete must be individually assessed for his or her own needs. By doing so, proper development and optimal performance will be created. Future articles will focus on proper strength training for the high school athlete, strength training for sprinters, as well as proper pre-season strength training protocols.
Chase Kough (pronounced “Coe”), a summa cum laude graduate of Oral Roberts University in health and exercise science, is an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer and has been Tyson Gay’s strength coach for the past three years.
Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/15/10 12:38 PM Page 14
400 Meter Training: Ideas for Training Design Part I by Jim Hiserman
The challenge to the coach is to identify strengths and weaknesses of each athlete so the various training plans can reflect the components most critical to the individual athletes involved. 14 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
evelopment of 400 meter sprinters is a complex task that requires a thorough understanding of sprint mechanics, maximum speed development, strength and power development/maintenance, development of Metabolic Adaptations necessary for long sprint performance and development of a cycle-length training pattern design with which to implement all of the above factors. It would also be helpful to have a basic understanding of the implications of different muscle fiber concentrations and body types of 400 meter sprinters to better design individual training plans for the various types of long sprinters. Attempts to devise training plans for 400 meter sprinters seem to have produced more methods than can be counted. However, there are many conclusive facts that have been documented that can provide coaches with a “to do” list of necessary components. These essential “to do” components can provide a challenge to coaches to creatively weave these components into a training plan for the specific types of 400 sprinters they coach. In researching the volumes of articles aimed at 400 meter training, it’s apparent that the long-to-short and short-to-long philosophies both seem to be based on principles found to be necessary for success in the longer sprint. However, taking a critical look at the list of essential components for 400 meter success, it should be obvious that a blend of both methods can provide a wider range of benefits to aspiring 400 meter sprinters. What seems to be lacking in some or all of the Phases of the Yearly (Seasonal in HS) plan is a consistent presence (varying in volume) of Maximum Speed Work and Maximum strength/power work. This appears to be more true for the preparation phase of the yearly plan and the pre-season/early season phase for high schools. Of course, individual strengths and weaknesses will dictate the actual doses of each component that adequately address each athlete’s specific training needs. The challenge to the coach is to identify strengths and weaknesses of each athlete so the various training plans can reflect the components most critical to the individual athletes involved. Of course, all the necessary components must be present in each plan but more time can be allotted for the weaknesses of each individual. Training for the 400 must address the factors identified as essential to successful 400 meter performance. These factors are: • Proper sprint mechanics aimed at mastery of ground contact phases to increase the economy of sprint efforts at high speeds. (Mechanics of Sprinting and Hurdling, Chap. 10/Critical Performance Descriptors for the Long Sprints, Dr. R. Mann, 2007) • The development of maximum speed. Gajer et al. found that better 400 performers were able to achieve higher absolute and relative velocities (% of best 200 times). (Velocity and stride parameters in the 400 meters, Gajer et al. NSA/IAAF, Vol.22, #3, 2007) • Regarding the development of explosive strength and explosive strength endurance Miguel & Machado found higher levels of explosive strength and explosive strength endurance resulted in faster 400 meter performances (Miguel & Machado, Speed Strength Endurance and 400m Performance, NSA/IAAF, Vol. 19, #4, 2004) while Mann (see reference in first point) points out that 400 meter success is determined by the ability to generate great amounts of explosive strength at the proper time (combination of mechanics and strength). • The development of the the following metabolic pathways: aerobic power, anaerobic
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:49 AM Page 15
capacity, anaerobic power, alactate anaerobic capacity and lactate tolerance. Training of these specific energy pathways through a variety of sprint training methods have shown to improve long sprint performance through strength gains, improvement in inefficiency of movement and speed of movement, aerobic capacity development and improvements in the muscles’ capacity to tolerate acid accumulation through development of buffering capacity. (Wilmore & Costill, Physiology of Sport and Exercise, Human Kinetics, 1994) Including training methods that address all the above components requires a working knowledge of each component and successful methods of improving each component. In addition, knowledge of proper sequencing of training methods and choice of cycle-length patterns best suited for designing year-round training are required. This brings the conversation back to the blending of short-to-long and long-to-short methods. All of performance factors mentioned above that have been found to be critical to 400 meter sprint success can addressed through the proper blending of specific training aimed at development of each of these necessary components into a rotating four week block design. Blending short-to-long and long-to-short methods should begin in the preparatory phase (or pre and early season for high schools) with one or two days per week devoted to maximum speed training (short-to-long) and two days devoted to anaerobic and aerobic capacity training (long-toshort). Since speed needs to be present in all phases of yearly training, starting with speed would involve acceleration/sprint work up to 20–30 meters at the start and progress through 50–60m distances into the 80–150m speed endurance at the end of the preparation phase and the first half of the precompetition phase. Energy system development can start with both long (300–600m) and short (100–200m) reps of extensive tempo work and progress in volume through the first half or three quarters of the preparation phase before decreasing volume, increasing rest and velocity of reps until Intensive
pempo is reached around the end of the prep phase or start of pre-comp phase. This gradually evolves into special endurance I and II by the competitive season. Devoting 1–2 days to development of maximum/absolute speed not only addresses the need for development of greater absolute speed, but also for high speed rehearsal of sprint drills to improve sprint mechanics. In addition, this nervous system–oriented work fits in well with strength/power training placed after these track sessions. Placing anaerobic and aerobic capacity work on opposite days allows for the nervous system to recover from the speed/strength sessions while shifting the training to the less intense metabolic/energy System training using extensive/intensive tempo type training. In corresponding with high school coaches this season, this author has found a lack of maximum speed (short)work in pre/early season and a also absence of a mix of maximum speed work and race modeling using speed endurance/special endurance I. A mix of speed and speed endurance is a great way to make sure the efforts are above 90% of maximum speed. Examples of these types of mixed workouts can be found in A Program Design Method for Sprints and Hurdles (Jim Hiserman, 2008). An example of how to mix short-to-long (max speed) and long-to-short (energy system training) using a four week block design appears in the chart on the next page. Using the chart as an example, coaches would build in volume increases (total meters) moving from 20m sprints upward to 60m sprints on speed days. Volumes of energy system work would gradually increase in volume from the first half of the preparation phase until the later prep phase where decreases in volume accompany a switch from ext. tempo to intensive temp0/spec. end. I & II by the late pre-comp phase. The speed moves from short-to-long (20m > 60m), while the energy system work moves from long-to-short (600 > 300m reps) mixed with shorter ext. tempo reps (100–200) to allow for adaptations to higher speeds with shorter rest. Part II will discuss various speed/speed Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:54 AM Page 16
endurance/special endurance I training sessions and how to implement them into high school seasons with meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays with invitational meets on some Saturdays.
PART II In working with some high school coaches this season, this author has become keenly aware of the problem with planning training for a short (12–14 weeks) season coupled with schedules that call for meets in the middle and ends of many weeks. Planning training for this type of schedule revolves around application of proper sequencing of training components within each day and, more importantly, from day to day. Briefly stated, this means alternating days of neural work (max speed, strength/power) with energy system work (lactate tolerance). Speed should precede strength/power and be coupled in the same day. Elastic strength can be done prior to energy system work the day after speed/strength (neural). Aerobic capacity work (using tempo and/or extensive tempo with either short (100–150) or longer (150–200) repetitions can be used for regenerative purposes after lactate tolerance work days or competition days. Individual workout plans are best designed by coaches who know their teams well. Each coach should be aware of his/her athletes’ abilities, recovery capacity, training volume capacity, training intensity capacity, prior injuries, additional stresses
(school, home, lack of sleep, poor diet, etc.), and the overall importance of each competition (in terms of training and/or preparation for the league/section championships). For this reason, it’s not intelligent to “cut and paste” workouts from other coaches, books, etc., for use without tailoring it to the specific needs of the athletes. It’s also important that the training plan for the whole season be kept in focus. This means each week should have an emphasis represented by the volume level, intensity level, recovery/restorative volume level and competition level of the athletes within each program. Using these general guidelines to plan for weeks where two meets are scheduled would look something like the examples below. Late Season Training Week for High Schools with Thurs./Sat. Meets Monday: Neural training components: Speed & strength Tuesday: Energy system components: Spec. end. I or II or mix (lactate tolerance) Wednesday: Neural/light volume: Speed/power Thursday: Competition (speed, speed endurance, lactate tolerance or mix) Friday: Recovery/restorative: Tempo Saturday: Competition (speed, SE, LAT or mix)
Wk. 1/ End./Regen.
1–2 days speed, 1 day short (100–200 reps) ext. tempo, 1 day long (200–500) ext. tempo
2 days speed, 2 days short (100–200 reps) ext. tempo
1 day speed, 2 days long (200–500) ext. tempo
2 days speed, 2 days short (100–200 reps) ext. tempo
1–2 days speed, 1 speed end, 1 day mix of long (250–450) intensive tempo & short ext. tempo
1 day speed, 1 day speed end., 1 day mix of speed/speed end., 1 day spec. end. I
1 day speed, 1 day 1 day spec. end. I, 1 day spec. end. II mixed w/short ext. tempo
2 days speed, 1 day Speed End., 1 day Spec. End. 1 Race Model effort w/short ext. tempo.
1 day speed, 1 day spec. end. II w/short Ext. tempo and 1 comp. day, 1 day speed end. or recovery if only 1 meet/week
1 day speed, 1 day of mix of speed/speed end., 1 comp day, 1 spec. end. I + ext. tempo day if only 1 meet/week.
1 day speed, 1 day spec. end. II, 1 speed end., I comp day.
2 days speed, 1 day speed end. or 1 day each of speed and speed end. & 1 day of mixed speed/sp. end., 1 comp day.
16 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Wk.2/PowerSpeed Wk. 3/ Max Strength
Wk. 4/ Speed
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:54 AM Page 17
Late-Season Training Week for High Schools with Thurs. Meet Only Monday: Neural training components: speed and strength Tuesday: Energy system components: Spec. end. I or II or mix (lactate tolerance) Wednesday: Neural/light volume: Speed/power Thursday: Competition (speed, speed endurance, lactate tolerance or mix) Friday: Recovery/restorative: Tempo Saturday: Neural/energy mix: Speed or speed endurance using race models w/ low volume and long rests. Easy tempo work following race models
3) Development of maximum speed should done with distances starting at 10–20m and progress to 60m as athletes show the ability to execute proper mechanics over the entire distance. 4) Speed endurance work can begin at 50m and progress to 150m, depending on ability to execute proper mechanics. 5) Intensity should be kept between submaximum (SE) and maximum (Sp) with athletes allowed to sprint as far as their individual technique allows.
Late-Season Training Week for High Schools with Wed./Sat. Meets Monday: Energy system components: Spec. end. I or II or mix (lactate tolerance) Tuesday: Neural training components: Speed and strength Wednesday: Competition (speed, speed endurance, lactate tolerance or mix) Thursday: Recovery/restorative: Tempo Friday: Neural/light volume: Speed/power Saturday: Competition (speed, SE, LAT or mix)
High school coaches who are faced with short seasons and multiple-competition weeks need to be as creative as possible to make sure training encompasses a variety of methods to increase motivation and engage the enthusiasm that accompanies the learning of new skills. Training that employs a variety of methods that are rotated in alternative weeks (use of 3- or 4-week block is perfect for this) allows for athletes to be challenged while also creating an environment whereby the athletes can experience improvement in the various training skills that are consistently rotated throughout the season. This mixing of training modes for speed and power into a specific session will serve as an example of how a neural training day can be used prior to a mid-week meet. The following training session plan should involve low volume and long rest periods between reps and exercise modes. Examples of exercise modes, volume and recovery times are included.
Late-Season Training Week for High Schools with Wed. Meet Only Monday: Energy system components: Spec. end. I or II or mix (lactate tolerance) Tuesday: Neural/light volume: Speed/power Wednesday: Competition (speed, speed endurance, lactate tolerance or mix) Thursday: Recovery/restorative: Tempo Friday: Neural training components: Speed and strength Saturday: Neural/energy mix: Speed or speed endurance using race models w/low volume and long rests. Easy tempo work following race models. Weeks involving only a mid-week meet can also switch the example plans from Friday with those of Saturday or use the Saturday or Friday examples on Friday and use easy tempo for restoration/recovery on Saturdays. Pool work is another great variation of recovery work if a pool is available. The above plans are intended as examples only. Coaches need to design progressions to develop speed and speed endurance/lactate tolerance so that increases in training volume and intensity are dictated by the following: 1) Development of proper sprint mechanics should be the foundation of speed training. 2) Sprints at higher intensity over shorter distances should be used to improve technical efficiency of sprint mechanics.
Wednesday: Neural training: Speed/power emphasis Athletes rotate through a circuit that involves 4 stations alternating speed with power. Station #1 Overhead backwards med ball tosses 3x2 reps (1st w/no hop, 2nd w/1 hop, 3rd w/2 hops) w/ 1'/reps and sets Station #2 Block starts 2–3x15–20m w/ 2–3' rest. Station #3 Counter movement box hops 2–3 x3 w/30"–1'/reps and 1.5'/sets. Station #4 Ins/outs 2x60m examples of how to vary this high velocity drill include: (15m accel, 15m max speed, 15m relax, 15m max speed) or (20m accel, 10m max speed, 20m relax, 10 max speed)
Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/15/10 9:20 PM Page 18
Emphasis on learning to be technically efficient must be a consideration when designing sprint training plans for each day. Large groups of sprinters can be split into groups of eight or nine, depending on number of lanes available on track for starts. School with eight lanes can easily rotate 32 sprinters through the circuit with each group of eight starting at a different station and rotating as a group when finished. Schools with one or more coaches for sprinters have the luxury of making sure the exercises are done in a quality manner with feedback that allows for a learning situation for the athletes. Emphasis on learning to be technically efficient must be a consideration when designing sprint training plans for each day. Young athletes with a lack of training and conditioning cannot be expected to be able to handle lactate tolerance work with proper technical efficiency if the distances used are those used by traditional LT workouts of older 200/400 sprinters. To allow for mechanical/technical efficiency of young sprinters while doing lactate tolerance work needed to prepare them for the 200/400, it is best to use shorter distances run at high intensity w/short rests. Examples of these types of lactate tolerance workouts are listed below.
18 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Effective Lactate Tolerance Workouts Using Shorter Distance Reps 200 meter LAT workout examples: 4 x 4 x 60m w/ 2' and 4' 2 x 2 x 100 w/1' & 8' 400 meter LAT workout examples: 2 x 200 w/1' & 10', 3 x 100 w/1" 2 x 150 w/1' & 10', 4 x 60 w/2' 3 x 100 w/1' & 10', 2 x 150 w/1' *Based on Biochemical Evaluation of Running Workouts Used in Training for the 400-m Sprint by Saraslanidis, Manetzis, Tsalis, Zafeiridis, Mougios and Kellis, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Vol. 23, #8, 2009. The aim of this article is provide examples of training design using short-to-long (speed development) and long-to-short (lactate tolerance) that can be applied to a typical high school season. Specifics of design, energy system training, strength training, sprint mechanics and volumes of research and reference sources for sprint training can be found in A Design Method Program for Sprint and Hurdle Training (Published 2008 by Jim Hiserman). A Program Design Method for Sprint and Hurdle Training and Strength and Power for Maximum Speed are available on speedendurance.com for 24.95 and 22.95 respectively with 4.95 Priority Mail in the US for both books together and/or just the Program Design book and 2.95 for just the Strength and Power book.
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:54 AM Page 19
Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:54 AM Page 20
20 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:54 AM Page 21
Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:57 AM Page 22
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:55 AM Page 23
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:55 AM Page 24
24 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:55 AM Page 25
Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:55 AM Page 26
26 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Winter 2009/2010
Photo by: Victah, PhotoRun.NET
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:55 AM Page 27
The 4x100 Meter Relay
By Clayton Davis, Shelby High School Head Track Coach, Shelby, Montana
ver the years, I’ve had reasonable success with our 4x100 meter relays here at Shelby High School. We’re a small Class B high school of 160 students and practice on a cinder track. Because of our facility and numbers, we have had to become fairly good technicians. We’ve also had to become creative at times. This article focuses on several aspects of coaching the sprint relay that I feel are important to having success in this event. The first thing I look at is participants. I use a democratic system where anyone interested in running the short relay must run the 100 meter dash to qualify for the team. I keep a precise depth chart with both the boys’ and girls’ times. Two or three times again during the season they must qualify, especially if they’re not normally running the 100. What I’ve found is that jumpers and hurdlers oftentimes are just as fast as true sprinters. Don’t overlook those field event athletes.
I’ve always believed it’s easier to run when in front rather than from behind. It gives the other runners a lot of confidence when they see the lead their team has. They may become important contributors to your relay. I find that hurdlers and jumpers do a great job on the first leg. They get out of the blocks quickly, are explosive, and run that first corner well. I use a different approach than most coaches on the second leg. Our best relay teams over the years have had the fastest runner on the back stretch. Give that runner a long, straight line and they can really open it up. The other advantage is that this gives your team the lead and then you can simply ask the last two legs to keep it. I’ve always believed it’s easier to run when in front rather than from behind. It gives the other runners a lot of confidence when they see the lead their team has. The most powerful runner should be third, especially someone who runs a good 200 meters. They need to control that gravitational pull and stay on the inside of their lane. A weaker runner will tend to be pulled out and away from the inside of their lane. The last runner should be a strong finisher, not one who tires quickly or fades the last 20 meters or so. Remind them to run through the tape and not to the tape. Unlike some other programs, I coach my relays to use the entire acceleration zone. I want that exchange to be at top speed with as little time lost as possible. Speed wins relays, yes, but smooth and efficient exchanges are vital to success. An average sprint relay team with excellent exchanges can be much better than average. One thing that still puzzles me after 30 years of coaching is 400 meter relay teams from schools with all-weather tracks that struggle with exchanges. If you’re fortunate enough to have an all-weather surface, you should have the opportunity to really finetune those handoffs.
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 12:55 AM Page 28
With girls’ teams, I start 14 shoe lengths back from the beginning of the acceleration zone. The outgoing runner stands at the back of the zone on the small triangle and walks back 14 shoes. That’s where she puts her tape marker. Depending on her speed or experience, I may adjust that somewhat, but not a great deal. We don’t do full relays in practice. We save that for meets. In practice I have the incoming runner start about 20–25 meters away and then run into the zone. I emphasize the exchange happening within the first 10 meters of the zone. I don’t believe in two runners alongside each other for 20 meters and then a handoff. We get in and then get out. The other advantage of an exchange within the first 10 meters is that you have room for some margin of error if for some reason the runners aren’t ready or in the proper position. If a team waits until the last 10 meters of the exchange zone and then has trouble, that team won’t make a legal exchange. I have our boys’ team measure back from the small triangle in the acceleration zone 17 shoes. Once again, a piece of tape goes there. Some teams use more than one. We use one. If I have a runner who doesn’t accelerate as fast, I will leave the tape at 17 and move him up two shoes ahead of the small triangle. This takes time and you have to have patience working with them. My teams learn this on a cinder track and then just have to make minor adjustments warming up at meets. Once a good running order is established, don’t change it. A few years ago I had a very fast boys’ team and decided to change the order. It threw everything off, and they didn’t respond well to it at all. A team is only going to run so fast. You can’t take two seconds off by changing order. Don’t fix what isn’t broken. As far as exchanges are concerned, I coach right to left to right to left. Our method is blind, overhand exchanges with the thumb pointed in. I prefer this because if the incoming runner is too high, he or she can slide the baton down the lower arm to the hand. The outgoing runner is responsible for a quick, explosive start and extending the arm on the signal. We stay away from signals like “stick’ or “hand” because many teams use those cues. I make the cue personal with short, one-syllable commands using either first or last names in a shortened form. I also instruct the outgoing runner not to feel or grab for the baton. That responsibility lies with the incoming runner. What typically happens in a poor exchange is both runners are reaching around to deliver or receive the baton and they work against each other. Once again, the responsibility of delivering the baton lies with the incoming runner. Another critical coaching point for the outgoing 28 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
runner is to focus on their team’s lane and their team’s lane only. Younger athletes get caught up emotionally in the race and see the other seven teams approaching. Their basic instinct is to take off or their team will be behind. The result is leaving early and the exchange is either stretched out far too long or the exchange doesn’t happen at all. Relay runners need to understand they can only control their team and there is nothing they can do to influence the other relay teams in their heat. Practice exchanges every day. Our exchanges are done every day right after the team warms up. Don’t practice exchanges at the end of practice or after a hard interval night. Relay members need to be fresh for exchange work. It doesn’t take a long
Another critical coaching point for the outgoing runner is to focus on their team’s lane and their team’s lane only. Younger athletes get caught up emotionally in the race and see the other seven teams approaching. time, but working on it every day leads to good meet performance. We get to meets one hour early with ample time for all our athletes to have a proper warmup. After the team warms up, I take both the boys’ and girls’ sprint relay teams immediately to the first exchange and practice. I want those teams to work on exchanges before the track gets busy with all the other schools. Relays develop a sense of camaraderie and excitement within a group of young athletes. It also gives athletes a chance to go on to the divisional and state meets when they never had an opportunity to qualify in individual events. Relays are the truest form of teamwork in the sport of track and field. Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/14/10 1:00 AM Page 29
C A M E R A AT H L E T I C A : S A LU T E S B E R NA R D L AG AT A N D C H R I S S O L I N S K Y
Above: Bernard Lagat, American Record, 5,000 meters, 12:54.12, June 4, 2010 Left: Chris Solinsky, American Record, 10,000 meters, 26:59.6, May 1, 2010
Jiro Mochizuki and Andrew McClanahan, www.photorun.NET
Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/15/10 10:11 PM Page 30
Has USATF Declared War on U.S. Coaches? By James Dunaway and Larry Eder
IRST came the appointment of a USATF “Director of Coaching.” Who knew we needed one? THEN came the gutting of the Coaches Education program—a program created and run entirely by coaches without any help from USATF for most of its 25 years—a program that educated more than 20,000 American high school and college coaches —a program that visibly raised the level of U.S. track and field coaching, and U.S. performances—in short, the most successful initiative in USATF’s history. Earlier this year, most of the distinguished coaches who led Coaching Ed for the past decade suddenly resigned because of changes that were being made in Indianapolis. Said USATF, “We’ll get new coachinstructors who will be just as good.” We’re still waiting to be told who they are. NOW comes USATF’s Coaches Registry, which more than one well-known coach has called “blackmail.” That’s not our word, but it was spoken by coaches known and respected in our sport. Blackmail, because if you don’t sign up, you can’t get a coach accreditation for USATF championships. Which means you can’t get into the practice and warmup areas to work with your athletes on the important days and hours before they compete. No matter how good a coach you are. One well-known coach, a former Olympic medalist and world champion, said, “I don’t like it at all, but I signed up because my athletes need me and expect me to be there.” There several other important “privileges” not available to non-registered coaches, but the issue of greatest concern is the coach accreditation for the championships. Sam Seemes, who leads the U.S. Track and Cross-Country Coaches of America, reports that most of the comments he has received about Coaches Registry were unfavorable. The day after USATF announced the program, Seemes and USTCCCA president Curtis Frye send a message to members which included the following: “USTFCCCA Members should know that the USTFCCCA neither supports the Coaches Registry program, nor did we develop the program. We are disappointed that USATF implied in their press release that the USTFCCCA was supportive of the Coaches Registry program they have established. Furthermore, we disagree with the statement that the USATF Coaches Registry ‘will identify and acknowledge the coaches who represent the profession’s highest standards.’” USATF CEO Doug Logan said, “No group is more important to the development of our athletes than coaches.” He certainly has a strange way of showing it. One wonders why USTFCCCA wasn’t informed of Coaches Registry before it was announced, and why USTFCCCA wasn’t asked to participate in developing a program specifically involving its membership? Just as bad was USATF’s timing. Here is a new program, affecting the professional lives and status of more than 30,000 coaches, and USATF announces it at the most important time of the year, when coaches at every level are deeply involved in championship-level competition, and USATF gives them five weeks to decide. That may be legal, but it is certainly not fair to the coaches. In politics, that’s called an ultimatum. And it is usually followed by a war.
in d Coach n a F T A See US Response s Athletic 30 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/15/10 10:11 PM Page 31
A. Letter of Response from Stephanie Hightower, President & Chair/USATF, (received via email, 3.30 PM CST, June 15, from Jill M. Geer): Dear Larry Eder: On June 11, your publication released an editorial co-signed by James Dunaway and yourself entitled "Has USATF Declared War on U.S. Coaches?" The piece contained many factual errors and invalid assumptions. As Chair of USATF's Board of Directors and President of USATF, I wanted to respond. The Coaches Registry is part of our commitment to implementing "best practices" that are on a par with the best-run sports in America. It was designed for very simple and important purposes: 1. To provide an easily accessible system that will enable coaches in good standing to be publicly recognized as such. 2. To provide a mechanism for athletes, their parents and others to know if a coach they are considering has met certain basic professional and ethical standards. 3. To ensure that USATF benefits and privileges are going to individuals who do not pose a risk to the reputation of coaches, athletes, the sport and/or the organization. For USATF to distribute funds, credentials and team staff positions without any vetting process is at best ill-advised and at worst legally risky. The two key elements of the Coaches registry are having coaches undergo a criminal background check and agreeing to abide by a Code of Conduct that states, among other basic points, that a coach shall not advocate the use of performance-enhancing drugs, have inappropriate contact with athletes, or exploit a conflict of interest to financially benefit from an athlete. USA Track & Field's Coaches Registry is a directive of USATF's Board of Directors - not CEO Doug Logan - that has been in the works for more than three years. The first call came at the 2006 USATF Annual Meeting when the Coaches Advisory Committee - comprised entirely of coaches who also are members and in some cases officers of the USTFCCCA called on USATF to come up with a system that would keep coaches in good standing from being lumped in with the "bad actors". Specifically, the role of coaches in the lives of athletes
had become a national focus in the wake of Justin Gatlin's positive drug test, and the sanctioning of coaches such as Remy Korchemny and Trevor Graham by USADA was another blow. One of the reasons for hiring a Director of Coaching was to give American coaches the voice in the organization that they often felt they lacked. With proper staffing in place, our Board of Directors issued a directive to the National Office to devise a "certification" plan for coaches. In recent months, USATF has sent emails to USTFCCCA officers asking for their opinion on the Code of Conduct and the Registry as a whole. We also have had numerous telephone discussions and in-person conversations with them. We realize that having more than five weeks for coaches to register, prior to our Outdoor National Championships, would have been ideal. But recent events have provided a Call to Action. One NGB, whose vetting system had previously been more substantive than ours, has come under intense media scrutiny and faces litigation for not doing more to keep pedophiles from their athletes. As a result, the U.S. Olympic Committee has made clear it will be instituting minimal standards to NGBs for "athlete protection." Rather than playing defense, USATF sought to do the right thing proactively by developing a system our coaches have asked for since 2006. Of course there are those who don't like the system, but we have received feedback from scores of prominent coaches saying this is long overdue. In the end, this is not "us against them." This is everybody doing what is best for athletes, coaches and our sport. It is our intent to work together with coaches in a positive and productive way to make sure we are serving them as well as our athletes. Is this blackmail? Not by any stretch. But transparency and accountability for our sport ... absolutely!
Sincerely, Stephanie Hightower, USATF President and Chair
ly, rtunate er s. Unfo w m o r t h te fi t ig e ve en ie H h eloqu prises th tephan c m u S o s o c t r in ): e te 0 s on ey are ition egis , 201 B. Resp n's pos rica. Th hes to r June 15 e o c , ti a r m a o e A c iz d r E n fo orth s not orga arry d given on in N this wa io s ng her (from L , r a ti e w e p o ta s s h e s e r e fo tim Action at, som b coach e week htower is Call to e fact th t the fiv elite clu th th anie Hig a r h w o in th p o s s e h te e g in S li d e a thank preciate ool, coll concern fact rem igh sch ower ap day. My ind, the h p r f m a u o y ver the o n h in m in a 24 eeks ncern o positio w o to c a t in n 's in k F r ta r T e o po SA on fw s who sue: no lcome U coache hours o most im e is e 8 w 2 e th y g r f th o in te is is than uar any putt letics Q t, less vince m or me, th already s . F th n a s . o A e p c e h g u c e s to a in th o h an is to RBR, en, in rity of c enges is nd Coac seen as spoken has be e F's chall the majo , AT&F a t v ) T t a a A R c h S th B a R U p o ( n f loads. o om atio s wh would im al work ver, one coache organiz e logrun.c tu e c b w n a n o a th u â€™ H f r f s . o t o how che me istry We a opinion realized for coa es' Reg y. To so ir s n h it e n c o n io a th ti u s o ra s m e C e g cu ra consid ing com to chan the dis need fo e coach sport, ws little one in th o f is h o o s , to n th s , y t d r tr m nee gra atf.org) egis suppo hile pro ent@us g of the ching R a w id y. in o s d th C e r n n r o u e p ta r ( a w mm it f th unders ightowe hing co evelop tation o c H d a n h e o ie to c it n m w a e le sm th tion teph es. the imp dear to enthusia rganiza ut to S r coach ts o e o c fo n th je h s a c b a a in u M ts w re s, an er s ide s. riod Perhap d. She w to prov aches to and oth r time pe o r o y c o e tr w v e r th is a g e g e g e th ura nd gin se. ching R e enco ke her a e will e challen the Coa r respon light, w that. W e will ta e g t h w o in a r d d d r n th fo a a to r g , e In inion re rmation ponded thank h wer res their op eds info ach. We to e s o h s n c e ig r e e H p h th . x s f e d, Ms ity, and needs o her wor untabil on the o n c o c True to a ti a d m n r rency a with info transpa er team h d n a er Hightow der a L â€“ rry E
32 KSWISS:Layout 1
SUPERFOAM. CRAZY. THE KEAHOU II IS ALL ABOUT CUSHIONING. IT’S ALSO ALL ABOUT STABILITY WITH THE GUIDEGLIDETM MID-SOLE AND VENTILATION WITH THE FLOW COOLTM AIR SYSTEM. ALL THAT, AND IT’S STILL LIGHT. PHYSICS, MAN. CRAZY.
Published on Jun 18, 2010
Coaching Spring10:Coaching Spring 09 6/15/10 9:20 PM Page 1 PRST STD Lisa Coniglio, PhotoRun.NET U.S. Postage Permit #50 Fort Atkinson, WI C...