Volume 9 Number 2 / November 2015
in every issue
4 A Letter from the President 5 USTFCCCA Presidents
8 Stepping Up
Correcting errors to improve the results
By Willie Banks
16 Perceived Performance
Highest effort doesnâ€™t always equal highest performance
By Dave Nielsen
28 Max Performance
Tips for getting organized and getting things done
By Andrea Tepe
34 Injury Protocal
For the Dawn of the Student Athlete Wellness Era
By Matt Gittermann
42 Run Up and Transition
Characteristics in Javelin Throwing
By Andreas V. Maheras, Ph.D.
48 Top Model
Coaching Models in Division III Track & Field
By Jonathan M. Welty, Dr. Algerian Hart, and Dr. Mark Cole
60 USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame Class of 2015 62 The Bowerman Finalist 2015
Photograph courtesy of Kirby Lee
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A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT Publisher Sam Seemes Executive Editor Mike Corn Contributing Editor Kristina Taylor
ne of the best quotes I heard last year was from a speech given by Dr. Rick McGuire, he stated the simple and obvious way most all of us feel; “I am a coach, and I am proud to be a coach.” I truly believe many coaches have this mindset, and have their priorities straight when dealing with their student athletes. However, I also believe that many coaches are skeptical about being able to affect the bigger picture changes that must be made in our sport. As collegiate cross country/track and field coaches we all have many commonalities that we share. Much like how we talk to our teams about the power of synergy and teamwork, our coaches association allows us to unite around these commonalities, and push our sport to greater heights than we could ever attain individually. The USTFCCCA, for years now, has been very methodical and consistent in bringing about positive changes for our sport, our coaches, and our student athletes. With these thoughts in mind, I encourage each and every one of you to attend this year’s convention with the mindset to engage in activities, and discussions that will ultimately move our sport in a unified, positive direction. There are a number of very pressing issues that will be discussed and debated at the convention this year. The most effective way for you to have an impact and make your opinions known is to be part of that discussion in San Antonio. Our strength as an organization is the same as our own individual programs, we have diversity, and we have numbers, and we also have great participation. If you are a coach who is proud to be a coach, then we need your commitment to be at the convention and to make a difference for the sport we love. Pessimism is for those that want to wait and see how things turn out. Optimism is for those who believe they can control their own destiny and make a difference. We need all hands on deck as we continue to tackle pertinent issues on our way to making our sport and association better. I, like you, am very proud to be a coach!
Damon Martin President, USTFCCCA Director of Cross Country and Track and Field Adams State University. email@example.com
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DIRECTOR OF MEDIA, BROADCASTING AND ANALYTICS Tom Lewis DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS
Kyle Terwillegar Membership Services Dave Svoboda Photographer Kirby Lee Editorial Board Tommy Badon, Todd
Lane, Boo Schexnayder, Derek Yush
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National Office 1100 Poydras Street, Suite 1750 New Orleans, LA 70163 Phone: 504-599-8900 Fax: 504-599-8909 Techniques (ISSN 1939-3849) is published quarterly in February, May, August and November by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner, in whole or in part, without the permission of the publisher. techniques is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos and artwork even if accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The opinions expressed in techniques are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the magazines’ managers or owners. Periodical Postage Paid at New Orleans La and Additional Entry Offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: USTFCCCA, PO Box 55969, Metairie, LA 700555969. If you would like to advertise your business in techniques, please contact Mike Corn at (504) 599-8900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIVISION PRESIDENTs DIVISION I DENNIS SHAVER
Dennis Shaver is the Head Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Coach at Louisiana State University. Dennis can be reached at email@example.com
Dave Smith is the Director of Track & Field and Cross Country at Oklahoma State University. Dave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Dall is the head Track & Field and Cross Country coach at Texas A&M Kingsville. Ryan can be reached at email@example.com
Mark Misch is the head Cross Country coach at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Mark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary is the Associate Head Track & Field Coach at Carnegie Melon University and can be reached at email@example.com
Robert is the Head Cross Country and Track & Field coach at Rhodes College and can be reached at shankman@ rhodes.edu
Jerry Monner is the head Track & Field coach at Grand View University. Jerry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad Jenny is the head Cross Country coach at Doane College. Brad can be reached at email@example.com
Ted Schmitz is the head Track & Field coach at Cloud County Community College. Ted can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Cox is the head Track & Field and Cross Country coach at Cuyahoga Community College. Don can be reached at email@example.com
NCAA Division I Track and Field
NCAA Division I Cross Country
DIVISION II NCAA Division II Track & Field
NCAA Division II Cross Country
DIVISION III NCAA Division III Track and Field
NCAA Division III Cross Country
NAIA NAIA Track & Field
NAIA Cross Country
njcaa NJCAA Track & Field
NJCAA Cross Country
NOVEMBER 2015 techniques
Correcting errors to inprove the result By willie banks
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he triple jump had a banner year in 2015 as Christian Taylor won in Beijing with an American record 18.21 meters (59-9) and Cuba’s Pedro Pichardo twice exceeded 18 meters (59-0 3/4). But 30 years after I set a world record of 17.97 (58-11 1/2) and 20 years after Jonathan Edwards jumped the still-standing best of 18.29 (60-0 1/4), the event is suffering. Reliance on the double-arm takeoff is handicapping athletes. Jumping too high in the hop phase and not focusing on swing-leg speed in the step phase are other mistakes. Correcting these and other issues at the elite levels could make a 19-meter (62-4) jump possible.
ORIGIN OF ERRORS
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The triple jump used to be a secondary event — for those who fell short in sprints, pole vault, high jump or long jump. But it gave the average athlete a chance to be an important part of the team. Since the late 1980s, great athletes have focused on the triple jump. Mike Conley, Christian Olsson, Inessa Kravets, Tatyana Lebedeva, Will Claye and Taylor could and did add medals in other events. But with most athletes focusing on other jumps, less technical attention was given the triple jump. Many coaches had their athletes mimic movements of the best, not knowing whether they were doing the right thing. For example, after Bulgaria’s Khristo Markov won at the 1988 Olympics, a lot of athletes switched to his technique. It featured an over-the-head arching arm that came crashing down in front of him as he hit the ground in his hop leading to his step phase. It was almost a long jump arm swing above the head, which helps prevent upper body rotation in that event. Coaches failed to understand the error in his jumps, and didn’t take into account his tremendous leg power. Today we understand this type of arm movement results in undue downward forces being generated from the hop into the step phase. The significant thing about Markov missed by many coaches
was that the whole body lined up perpendicular to the ground when his foot hit the surface of the ground, giving him the base of support to jump off the foot into the step. Any mistake in location leads to injury. Markov eventually succumbed to the injuries that is a natural result of this technique. Lack of high-quality research also led to mistaken notions about my approach run. When I was at the top of my game, I remember a coach telling me how confused the Eastern European coaches were about my run. They didn’t understand why it was so long. My runup was only 16 strides. I added an additional eight “movements” (four walking strides and four pushing strides) as a way to build momentum, not as part of my actual run. The problem was that my run became about 50 meters, often too long for most runways. That meant that I often had to start my run on the side of the long jump pit on the opposite end of the runway. In some cases, my first eight strides were almost L-shaped. As long as I could fit my 16 strides in, I could start anywhere and still have an accurate run to the board. I had an “active” start rather than the typical “static” start. Copying my run was a mistake, but many people did. Any significant study at that time would have led to the conclusion that my run was too long.
MISTAKES AMONG ELITES Victor Saneyev, who preceded Brazil’s João Carlos de Oliveira as world record holder, used a long hop phase and was weak in his jump. This prevented him from fully exploiting his speed. Markov used the over-the-head arm swing, which prevented him from jumping farther and contributed to tears in his quadriceps and hamstrings. Conley used a double-arm takeoff. Phillips Idowu used the double arm and long hop — using his long jump leg, leading to the weakest jump phase of the jumpers I have seen. (Hay 1985) Today the best jumpers should be jumping mid- to high 18 meters. When I improved my step phase in 1988, I was able to reach 18 meters (59 feet) with an aiding wind. Had NOVEMBER 2015 techniques
stepping up I not hurt my Achilles, I believe 18.50 (60-8 1/2) was very possible for me. With his size and power, Brazil’s Jadel Gregório is capable of jumping close to 19 meters. The limiting factor is the 13-meter length of the runway from the board to the pit. Eventually, officials will increase this distance, and marks will improve considerably, especially for athletes who take off using their long jump leg. Pichardo is the first Cuban I’ve seen use the proper takeoff and add the much needed jump phase at the end. Cuban coaches are doing fantastic things with their young athletes but fail to complete the job. Still, their young jumpers are learning the proper technique early. They have a base of plyometrics, bounding and speed to help them maximize the technique. U.S. high school coaches are not stressing the basic skills of the triple jump — bounding and “active landings.” An active landing is “pawing” the ground like a horse. However, the basic meaning is to bring the support leg and swing leg together under the hips and attack the ground downward to produce an upward “bound” into the step or jump phase. At more advanced levels, coach Randy Huntington and his group are teaching the correct methods.
DOUBLE-ARM DOUBTS A recurring argument is over the use of the double-arm technique at takeoff. But it is fairly clear that the use of a full double arm is a cumbersome way to take off in the triple jump. Anyone employing the technique exhibits a distinct slowdown in their run. The body naturally slows when arm action changes. You never see a sprinter put both arms down. In a study of of the world’s elite men jumpers, it was shown that speed leading to the takeoff board correlates to the best jumps. (Kreyer 1992, Hutt 1988). As an extension of the studies, we can assume that the faster the speed in the last 5 to 6 meters of the runway, the better the jump will be. A single-arm takeoff allows athletes to maximize their speed. People point most frequently to Viktor Saneyev, the triple Olympic champion, as the example of the double-arm takeoff. But he was really using a 1.5-arm takeoff. A single arm takeoff is most efficient because the “hop” phase is not necessarily a jump — it is a “loaded” run off the board. (Yu 2008) The hips must push through the board and the swing leg 10
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must supply the upward drive, thus preventing a loss of speed caused by “gathering” to jump. Another errant arm action is when an athlete brings the arm above their shoulder and brings it down when hitting the ground from the hop to the step. This is a drastic mistake because it brings force down when force should be brought forward and up.
FIXING THE ARMS Arms are critical because they affect the length of time on the ground, the jumper’s balance and the angle of takeoff in each phase. The basic technique in the triple jump requires that the arms be coordinated with the legs. As an athlete gets more elite, arms and legs will move more independently and fluidly. Intuitively, the arms move in reaction to the opposite leg as in running. However, the triple jumper must learn to resist this
natural movement and use the arms to generate speed and balance. Instead of the arm swinging back with the swing leg, the arm will stop and move forward, allowing the swing leg to move back independently. This allows the athlete to use the double-arm swing for the hop to step and step to jump. More research needs to be done to determine if the single-arm swing for the hop to step is more effective than the double. Recent observations may indicate, especially in women, that the single-arm action in the hop to step phase is the preferred technique. To train these actions, coordination drills are used. A coach should consider each appendage as an independent body. Create actions that will force the athlete to do one thing with her right arm and a completely different thing with her left arm. For example, rubbing your belly and patting your head. kirby lee photo
Turbine runs are helpful. The athlete swings his left arm from the shoulder in a circular motion from the top to front to bottom to back then up top again. Simultaneously, the right arm is going in the opposite direction â€” top to back to bottom to front to top again. This is like a turbine with rotors going in opposite directions. The athletes runs while making this arm action. As proficiency is gained, athletes are asked
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to do the same thing backwards. Arms must be trained independently. When I was a freshman at UCLA, Coach Tom Tellez made me walk around the track doing the double-arm action for a week. I was not happy about it, but I learned how to do that technique and soon became a national record holder. When I train my athletes, I do the same. We work on the arms independently and then add legs to the mix.
DOUBLE-ARM SLOWDOWN Studies are showing how double-armtakeoff athletes slow more in the last two steps into the takeoff board. I realized that the amount of speed lost in the double-arm takeoff was significant enough for me to change to a single-arm style. Bing Yu discovered that for the hop and step, the single-arm movement was the optimal motion. Conley was an exception, but in general the
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HEIGHT AND ANGLES The key to success is carrying speed throughout the three phases of touchdown. Jumpers who are “hop-dominant” have extremely high hops after takeoff, like a long or high jumper. This leads to a poor angle of landing and reduced quality of the step phase — ultimately a poor overall jump. Most hop-dominant jumpers use their long jump and high jump takeoff leg for the hop phase. This is a mistake because it takes away from the ability to convert the speed on the runway to forward momentum at takeoff. A good angle of takeoff, about 12 to 15 degrees, results in a superior speed throughout the jump. The swing leg should line up with the plant leg in each phase so that everything is perpendicular to the ground at touchdown (the point where the support leg hits the ground in the hop to step and the step to jump). This enables the athlete to move through the three phases with minimal loss of speed.
FIXING THE ANGLES
single-arm takeoff is much better for maintaining speed. The position of the body at takeoff deserves effective study — not just foot placement on the board. Even if an athlete can place a foot on the board, the hips can be three feet behind the board. A better jump results when the athlete’s hips, at foot contact with the board, are a foot from the board and pushing off rather than spending time to pass the board before takeoff.
Most coaches tell the athlete to “shorten the hop” or “don’t jump so high.” This doesn’t address the athlete’s needs. Jump height is determined by the angle of takeoff from the board, but that is directly related to the distance the athlete’s center of mass is to the board relative to point of takeoff. In other words, it is directly related to how close the hips are to the foot at the board leading to takeoff. If you view Jonathan Edwards’ video ( the jump can be viewed on YouTube here: youtube. com/watch?v=rgHYUDoG8_A) of his world record jump, you will notice that his body is tall when his foot hits the board and almost right above his foot like a sprinter. The next movement is a fast thigh drive and push off the board. The body is still erect, but the forward momentum results in him leaving the board after he has passed the board, which results in a fast, long, flat hop. The best way to illustrate this is to stand tall with both feet together. Take one foot and step back, keeping the other foot in the same spot. Next go back to two feet together. Finally, take one step forward, keeping the other foot in the same location. When the moving foot is behind you, that is the position for a high jump takeoff. When the feet are together, that is the position for the long jump takeoff. But when the moving foot
is in front, that is the position for the triple jump. As illustrated in the Edwards video, if the foot is on the board and the body passed the board before the jump is attempted it will flatten the angle of takeoff and the athlete will achieve a significantly better overall triple jump.
RATIO OF PHASES Before 1975, when de Oliveira broke Saneyev’s mark, world record holders were all hop-dominant. Since then, every world record holder has been jumpdominant. The current elite athlete ratio (in percentages) is 34, 27, 39. Hay made a good point in his essay regarding the benefit of the jump-dominant athletes. He suggested that technique emphasizing the jump phase might be the optimum for most triple jumpers. (Hay 1995) But today the hop-dominant jumper is the most common, even thought they are not the most successful. It makes one wonder what coaches are studying. Women tend to have a hop-dominant style and their step phase is not as effective. Until coaches understand that a beginner should use their non-long-jump leg for the takeoff leg, they will hamper their athletes’ ability to maximize their distance. Even if it seems intuitive to have the athlete use their long-jump leg twice, there is no evidence that the two jumps create a significant increase in the distance of the step phase to make up for the weak jump phase using the non-long-jumping leg. The speed is too slow to produce a good jump from the non-long-jumping leg. The limited runway also prevents the elite jumper from maximizing the hop step. Charlie Simpkins could jump 13 meters (42-8) on his hop and step but lacked real estate to complete the jump phase and always cut it short. This will continue to frustrate the best triple jumpers who don’t use the jump leg on the final phase. A novice jumper should be taught to emphasize a flat long hop. Women also should be steered toward a jump-dominant technique. But it is not as significant a change because they won’t run out of runway on the hop and step.
NEED FOR SWING SPEED Critical is the swing leg speed and position at touchdown in each phase. The swing leg must be in the “cylinder of force” when it passes the plant leg or the jump will be flat and the momentum of the jumper retarded. The “cylinder of force” is NOVEMBER 2015 techniques
stepping up that area surrounding the foot as it hits the ground and all airspace above it. One of the best analysis of this technique can be found in the YouTube video by Brian Clymer, “A Closer look at Jonathan Edwards’ WR TJ.” His explanation is excellent and the video shows clearly the position of the body and legs for best hop-step performance. The fact that Edwards stayed in the cylinder of force throughout the jump allows him to transfer the speed most efficiently. Physics says that force is consistent. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If a person pushes against the ground, they can go up because the ground doesn’t move and the weaker object, the body, reacts in the opposite direction. However, force doesn’t go sideways, so if the foot hits the ground in front of the athlete, all the force will dissipate in front of the athlete and no forward motion will ensue. But if the athlete hits the ground with swing leg, hips, torso and head in alignment and above the foot, a quick and effortless jump will occur because force will push straight up through the head and push the body up and out. Thus it is important to speed up the swing leg to keep it in the cylinder of force on each jump. Long jumpers use a penultimate stride “rocking step” to produce upward movement. In the triple jump, it is best to “run” off the board.
FIXING THE SWING The swing leg must be aligned with the support leg at touchdown from the top to the step and step to the jump phase. Doing less results in poor jumps. A regimen of quick bounds and hurdle hops is very useful for teaching this skill. In addition, attaching a pulley with weights to the athlete’s thigh and doing short hops while swinging the leg attached to the pulleys will foster quicker and stronger swing leg drive.
CONCLUSION My fastest 100 meters was 11 seconds. I couldn’t squat better than 220 pounds, and my best bench press was about 176 pounds. I was 6 foot 3 inches and weighed about 172 pounds. Despite my enthusiasm for the event and technical studies, I failed to work on the weakest part of my jump — the step phase. I made many excuses and never fixed the problem, depending heavily on my jump phase to compensate for the failed step. If I had gotten a typical 38-foot hop and step — instead of staying around 36 feet — I could have gone over 60 feet. 14
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The next generation of triple jump greats will learn from these mistakes — shunning the double-arm takeoff and preserving speed through a flatter hop and better use of the swing leg in the latter phases.
Coaches/library/2008/Horizontal%20 Jumps/3DrBingYu.pdf Clymer, B. (2013) “A Closer look at Jonathan Edwards’ WR TJ” 2013 YouTube video analysis: youtube.com/ watch?v=LwgIU4UqtMU
REFERENCES Hay, J.G. & Miller, J.A. (1985). Techniques used in the triple jump. International Journal of Sport Biomechanics, 1, 185-196. Kreyer, V (1992) About the female triple jump. Legkaya Atletica Russia No. 3 March 1992. Hutt E. (1988). Model technique analysis sheet for the horizontal jumps: Part II. The triple jump. New Studies in Athletics, 4 (3), 63-66. Yu, B. (2008) Biomechanics of Triple Jump (2008). usatf.org/groups/
Olympian Willie Banks has spoken at top-level USATF and IAAF courses and traveled the world giving triple jump seminars. His videos, “Banks on Triple Jump,” are widely used, and he has coached at Chukyo University in Japan, the USOC training center in Chula Vista, California, and San Diego County middle and high schools. He founded the San Diego Sports Institute to train young athletes and also works with World Record Camps. Ken Stone, founder and editor of masterstrack.com, helped prepare this article. kirby lee photo
Perceived Performance Highest effort doesnâ€™t always equal highest performance By Dave Nielsen 16
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ny given performance requires some sort of effort. Generally, higher level performance requires more effort and vice versa. Many times the leap of logic is to assume the highest (perceived) effort must indicate the highest level of performance. This can be problematic in both
training and performance as mind and body can be fooled into connecting too closely effort and performance. The following is a discussion of this principle taken from the insights of Dr. Manfred Steinbach. Dr. Steinbach was a very talented German athlete. A two time Olympian, he
competed in the 100 meters at the 1956 Olympics. In 1960 he finished 4th in the Olympics in Rome by long jumping over 8 meters (thatâ€™s 26â€™ 2.25â€? for the metrically challenged). The same year he posted a mark of 8.14 meters besting Jesse Owens 25 year old record but lack of wind measurement kept the mark from being ratiNOVEMBER 2015 techniques
PERCEIVED PERFORMANCE fied. This great athlete was also blessed with superior intellect and insight. Dr. Steinbach is a physician (neurologist), a professor of sports medicine, and enjoyed an impressive career of service to government and sport. The premise, to be short, is that effort and fatigue can confuse a person as to the quality of performance. I think this is a universal message extending far beyond sprinting. However, my first goal is to present this as a sprinting concept. To this end, let’s imagine someone sprinting 100 meters. Using an axiom I remember
from my sport science classes of some 40 years ago, most people accelerate to about 90 percent of their maximum velocity in 20 meters (about 65 feet). In almost all cases, it takes less than 6 seconds for a person racing from a stationary position to top speed. Depending on the athlete’s top speed and training experience, top speed is realized between 35 – 70 meters on average. Graph 1 displays 100 meter velocity curves of Yohan Blake’s and Carmelita Jeter’s 2011 World Championship performance. The average velocity per each 10 meter segment
(in meters per second) is displayed on the “Y” axis. The “X” axis is meters of the race run. Table 1 is the data used to generate the graph. See Graph 1. The graph clearly shows both athletes accelerate very quickly with the steepest rise occurring in the first twenty meters. The final 10 percent or so takes a bit longer with Blake hitting top speed at the 57.9 meters and Jeter at the 58.4 meters. Therefore, since it took Jeter slightly more distance to achieve top speed and because her average velocity was less, it took her a greater amount of time to
Table 1 100 Meter Acceleration Curves for 2011 World Champions Carmelita Jeter and Yohan Blake 10m ave Velocities
100 meter time
Top Speed (V-max)
Distance to V-max
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reach top speed. Both athletes begin to lose velocity after hitting top speed – neither sustaining it for any appreciable time. Since it was a race, and for the World Championship title at that, one can be certain the effort was high. Therefore roughly 40 meters or 40 percent of the race, these two athletes are trying to run as fast as they can but in fact are running slower than there top speed that day! It is obvious then that speed endurance is very important but most coaches would agree that the magic is speed. “Find me someone fast and I’ll work on the other stuff,” is certainly a common sentiment. The development of speed is a premium. Not surprisingly the World Record holder displays incredible speed and fitness. His velocity average for the last 60 meters of the race was in excess of 12 meters per second. Stride length in the last 40 meters of the race averaged over 2.8 meters (9 foot 2 inches)! His speed endurance is also exceptional slowing less than 2 percent in the final 20 meters as compared to his peak average velocity between 60 and 80 meters. However, it is notable that changes in running did occur in the final “slowing” 20 meters. Stride length increased and stride frequency decreased 20
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in the final 20 meters. This represents his final mechanics as other than that of his peak speed mechanics. In point, I am sure the effort was at peak level during the final 20 but velocity, stride length, and stride frequency were not the same. The considerations here are effort and the changes that occur once the athlete has achieved top speed. As seen above, the pattern of running changes after the athlete achieves top speed whereas the effort likely remained the same. Once achieving top speed the remaining effort revolves around speed endurance. Speed endurance is certainly a critical training component but is not the same as speed development. For speed development, the athlete needs to have a feeling of “headroom” to run faster and to sense that he or she can run faster. Or, when “hitting” that top speed, get a feel of ease or relaxation while moving very fast and then “shut it down.” In this way, they have saved energy for another opportunity to sense and experience the same pattern in the next repetition. It is important to recognize, for both coach and athlete that “top speed” varies day to day and repetition to repetition. Speed development activities should be devoted to building
up to a high rate of speed and not to the effort of hanging on as changes in running mechanics occur. Running velocity is the product of stride length and stride frequency. The primary factors in determining the magnitude of each are force applied to the ground, direction in which force is applied, duration of the application, and frequency of the application. Sprinting is quite a challenge as legs and arms make many rotational cycles in a very short period of time. There must be a reciprocal action of antagonistic and agonistic muscles and occurring repeatedly in a very short period of time. In other words if I use my hip extensor to drive my leg down to push on the ground, my hip flexor needs to relax or it will inhibit the action to push. Meanwhile, the other leg must be doing the opposite and this rapid changing occurs more than four times a second in most all sprinters. Steinbach pointed out that the elite sprinters were the ones gifted with a neural system that was very adept at handling the high speed transfer of signals. Training for speed development is to then to involve training these neural pathways so that they can carry messages to the muscles more
PERCEIVED PERFORMANCE Graph 2
quickly and effectively – to both contract and relax. Training activities for speed development should include running which brings the athlete up to or near top speed but not going to the point that effort exceeds performance. The point where effort exceeds performance is seen in the graphs above as changes in stride length and frequency disrupting the optimal speed balance. Training for speed development should therefore be centered up to and at the optimal balance of stride length, stride frequency, and the contraction/relaxation cycles. Avoiding neurological and physiological fatigue in top speed development is wise so as not to jaundice the athlete’s perception of 22
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actual performance. Training that Dr. Steinbach suggested are build ups, fly ins, and “ins and outs” at appropriate distances as suggested by the graphs above. He points to the development of speed in American football players, especially wide receivers, as a great vehicle for speed development and may be at least partially due to the success the USA has in the sprints. Build ups of 30 to 60 meters seems to be an appropriate range. The length of the” build up” is dependent on the athlete’s current ability on a daily and chronological basis. After the athlete reaches a running velocity where he or she struggles or at least is just maintaining the speed they
are running, the athlete should relax and shut it down. The fly in is where the athlete takes a running start into a measured segment where they try to run at a high rate of speed for that distance. Generally, the more intense the effort the shorter the segment length should be. A longer fly in can be considered more as speed endurance whereas the shorter fly in geared more to speed development. “Ins and outs” are build ups to a high rate of speed followed by a relaxed segment and then another build up to high speed and then immediate shut down. This can be done as an exercise totally controlled by the athlete on their “feel” or by organizing the effort by defining the length of
each segment. An example of the latter is to mark off three ten meter segments. The athlete has a running start to the first segment so that he/she reaches a high rate of speed entering the first segment. They run very fast for the first ten meters. The second ten meters the athlete relaxes slightly, akin to pushing in the clutch on the car, so that they are still going very fast but with seemingly little effort. They then speed up through the last ten meter segment (in this case about four steps) followed by a gradual shut down. It is important to note that the middle section of the “in and out” is as important as the other two as it trains the perception of relaxation and speed. Recognition of the level of athlete is important for proper exercise prescription. Graphs 3 & 4 are velocity curves for averages of boys and girls test run performances at the Reno Pole Vault Summit in 2010. My team of college athletes tested this group of high school attendees at the 2010 Reno Pole Vault Summit. The subjects were given a 3 meter run in to seven timed five meter segments measured with photo electric timing gates. They ran one trial carrying a pole and one trial without carrying a pole. The total distance run for this study was 38 meters, a little over 40 yards. Note the acceleration curves are quite similar to the elite athletes above but with a considerably slower top speed. 24
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By the third segment (18 meters) both girls and boys had accelerated to 90 percent of their top speed. The girl’s average clearly shows they have reached top speed. The boy’s average on the graph suggests they may have reached top speed a little later but were at least very close. By noting the velocities, the time to this “top speed” was in excess of five seconds. This is presented to suggest appropriate training for younger or less skilled groups. See Graph 3 and Graph 4.
Conclusion The principle of perceived performance suggests that if the link between effort and performance is too strong athletes can be fooled into confusing the two as one. This confusion generally takes place when fatigue, high effort and a lowered performance level are occurring simultaneously. Further, repeated bouts within multiple sessions and over time, can hinder the ability to improve performance as one begins to identify peak performance at a lower level. While this is not irreversible, it slows improvement or attainment of a higher level. It should be noted that this principle is not intended to diminish the value of endurance or enhancement thereof. It serves, in this example, as a clarification of specificity regarding speed training. Further, I think this concept can be broad based in application from ath-
letics to life pursuits. A short succinct article by Dr. Steinbach served as my primary reference for writing “The Principle of Perceived Performance.” This article, which I am not unable to find, was required reading by my mentor Peter Tegen, USTFCCCA Hall of Fame Coach, when I served as his assistant at Wisconsin. The principle remains with me though and worth sharing. The data for Blake and Jeter came from The Biomechanics Research Project in the IAAF World Championship Daegu 2011 and was headed by the Korean Society of Sport Biomechanics. Data for Bolt came from a study authored by Mackala Krzysztof and Antti Mero, A Kinematics Analysis of Three Best 100 M Performances Ever, Journal of Human Kinetics, volume 36/2013, pages 149-160. I am responsible for the graphing of this data provided in these other two studies.
Dave Nielsen has been the head track and field coach at Idaho State University for nearly 30 years. In addition to Olympic Pole Vault Champion and former world record Stacey Dragila, Nielsen has coached multiple ISU athletes to All America status and Big Sky Conference titles.
Max Performance Tips for getting organized and getting things done Andrea Tepe 28
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he beauty of our sport is the diversity: cross country, sprints, throws, jumps, relays, multievents. The same things that make our sport interesting and valuable can also make it a challenge. When one competition season ends, the next one is beginning and if it isn’t the middle of a competitive season, it means coaches are hitting the road recruiting and making arrangements for the upcoming year. We all face the same time restraints and it can be a challenge to find time to fulfill our responsibilities during regular business hours. When days in the office are limited because of travel, it is important to make the most of the time we do have at our desks by working efficiently.
Day to Day Efficiency Working in an office typically means a lot of interruptions. There are times when interruptions can completely disrupt a task you are working on, possibly wasting your valuable time. If you have tasks that require uninterrupted concentration, find a time when you are least likely to be interrupted, whether that be when everyone is out to lunch or the other coaches are out at practice, and complete those tasks during that designated time. You could also consider adjusting your office hours slightly if you need quiet time without distraction. When making an effort to become more efficient, instead of thinking, “we’ve always used information A and done B to get to C” try thinking, “with information A, what is the best way to get to C?” It is possible that B wasn’t the most efficient way, even if it was equally effective.
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Regular meetings with all staff members present are crucial to having an organized program where everyone is on the same page. Keeping meetings productive and on task is the responsibility of whoever is running the meeting, most likely the head coach, but can be aided by having a meeting agenda. This can help you accomplish all of the goals that you
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max performance have for the brief amount of time that everyone is in the same room together. Agendas allow everyone to have a paper to take notes on as well as something to take away from the meeting for a reminder of what was discussed.
Meet Management Sometimes it feels impossible to be efficient during a home meet, especially for the meet director. If your institution doesn’t host many competitions, it may just be a day or two during the year that you struggle through and breathe a sigh of relief when it’s over. If you host a lot of competitions, it is easier to experiment with ways to be efficient in your preparation during the months and the days leading up to the meet. Meet information is the first order of business for any host institution. It is helpful to post meet information as early as possible but whatever is posted should be as close to final as possible. When writing your meet information, all the necessary information coaches need to know for your competition should be addressed. Changing deadlines, meet policies or drastically modifying a schedule after meet information has been posted should be avoided. Remember to always indlude a date and time stamp as to when the document was last revised. The days leading up to hosting a meet involve finalizing details. There are some modifications to meet information that are inevitable and sometimes cannot be made until entries close, such as a time schedule. If you modify your time schedule, make sure to indicate that it is a final schedule versus a tentative schedule that should have been originally published. Any changes to the general meet information should be highlighted so coaches can easily note the changes. Don’t forget to update your time stamp! When you host a competition, you should always save any documents that you create. This will help in the future as a method of refreshing your memory of the policies that were in place, the information that was provided to visiting schools, and it will save you time in the future. Keep general documents that are used for all home meets in a separate folder so they can be easily found and updated. This also serves as a sort of checklist to make sure crucial details are
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not left out. If you are planning on utilizing the same meet management policies, relay cards, or other general documents for each meet you host, you can prepare these items ahead of time. Throughout the duration of the meet and immediately following, you should take notes to serve as reminders for the next time you are preparing for a similar event. You should include what went well, what did not work, any ideas that were tossed around during the event that are worth revisiting, and any changes that should be made to the meet itself as well as the time schedule.
Compliance/Business Paperwork Every department has different policies and forms for their compliance and business offices. Make sure you understand how your department works and which forms need to be completed prior to each task you perform. For example, at our institution, for a single individual to come on an official visit, there are eight different forms that need to be completed for our compliance office to approve all aspects of the visit. Completing these forms is clearly a task that takes time but it is important to find a way to complete them efficiently while also remembering to complete each one. I will share what works for me in my department, although that doesn’t mean it will necessarily be the best way for you as an individual or for your department’s requirements. The initial approval of the official visit involves forms that are completed as the coaches reach certain steps along the recruiting process. For example, one form is done when we receive the transcript. A second form is submitted when we are ready to arrange travel for the official visit. There is another pre-approval form that is easy to forget because of the location of the form. Because it is easy to omit, I got myself in the habit of completing it at the same time the official visit travel is requested, which makes me more likely to remember to complete it. If I do forget, I will always come across it in the days leading up to the visit, so there is still a chance to submit it prior to the visit and avoid any violations. As information about the official visit starts coming in, important details are added to a spreadsheet that all of the coaches
access. We keep information on the spreadsheet that we will need to complete final paperwork for the visits as well as to create itineraries. This spreadsheet saves us from repeatedly accessing each individual PSA’s profile on our recruiting software. While it may seem inefficient to have a spreadsheet of information that is already kept elsewhere, the time spent typing the information in the spreadsheet is saved later on when completing the official visit forms. A day or two before the visit, I complete the last few forms using the information from the spreadsheet. Some forms are completed from blank PDF files and others that are completed through our recruiting software. I handle these two types of forms differently to work as quickly and accurately as possible. I complete the PDF forms one document at a time, filling in information for each recruit, saving a copy of each in case changes need to be made, before moving on to the next form. I complete the forms through our recruiting software one PSA at a time so I only have to access each person’s profile once. In order to be efficient and timely in completing compliance and business office forms, it is helpful to develop a routine. When tasks are routine, you don’t need to give yourself reminders to complete them and that leaves more time to work on other tasks uninterrupted. In the sport of track and field, we teach athletes the value of routine with lifestyle, warm up, cool down, and diet. Routine is valuable in the office as well because you feel amiss when your pattern is broken. For example, when returning from a trip, an expense report typically needs to be submitted. Immediately upon returning to the office, gather all receipts (which should be kept together in a single envelope when you are traveling in order to avoid losing them) and complete the expense report to close the chapter of last week’s competition and move on to the next week. From January to June, this Monday morning routine can feel so natural that during the off week between conference and the NCAA Preliminary Round, Monday morning feels like something is missing!
Team Travel There are times when traveling with 50 or more people cannot be simplified. There
will always be a little bit of chaos and time spent waiting in line. However, there are a few things you can do in order to make things run smoothly and a little more efficiently. For a team with a large travel party and at least one bag to check per person, baggage fees can add up. One idea to save time would be to send a bus to the meet a day before you depart carrying all of the luggage and equipment. While the extra days of paying for a bus is a consideration, the amount of money saved on checking bags and equipment can come out to be about the same if your university has a contract with a local company. By not having bags at the airport, check in goes much more smoothly and sometimes ID’s don’t need to be checked at the counter, just at security. Not to mention, bags don’t get lost and you won’t have any issues with pole vault poles. With small groups traveling, you may be able to check in online and print boarding passes in advance. If you don’t allow your athletes to check personal bags, most of them could head directly to security when you arrive at the airport. Less time waiting makes for happier groups! It is rare to go to a track meet and not see at least one team with boxed lunches. Although all college students enjoy free food, there will inevitably be complaints if athletes are required to eat an assigned meal. Giving athletes an opportunity to place an order in advance can help avoid arguments over the last turkey sandwich. When planning to order boxed lunches, you can gather orders from everyone in the travel party the week prior to the meet. Creating a boxed lunch form from a catering menu is an easy way to gather informa-
tion at a team meeting. Make sure the form is easy to read and has specific instructions (for example, circle ONE item from each category) and don’t forget to include a spot for their name. If your team doesn’t meet, each coach can bring forms to their event group to complete. The orders can be put on a spreadsheet with each person’s name and order as well as delivery instructions, a contact name and number, and a reminder to the restaurant to write the names on the box. When the boxes arrive, set them out in alphabetical order for faster distribution and a way to take attendance (don’t let anyone pick up a box for a buddy). Save the spreadsheet if you place boxed lunch orders often; then you don’t have to take orders again unless someone would like to change their previous order. No matter what size program you work with, we all have a lot on our plates and have room for improvement. Trying to be more efficient on a day to day basis can give you more time to work on something you really enjoy but just don’t have enough time for. Take time to reflect on what tasks you find yourself completing on a regular basis, how it can be improved, and keep a record of ideas for changes in the future.
Andrea Tepe is in her second season as the Director of Operations for the LSU Track & Field program. Prior to her arrival in Baton Rouge, Tepe served as the DOO for the University of Akron program for four years.
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Injury Protocal For the Dawn of the Student Athlete Wellness Era By Matt Gittermann
ecent years have shown that NCAA athletics is leaving the transitional period from the old school ‘No Pain, No Gain’ era to the ‘Student-Athlete Wellness Era’. The wizened coaches’ perspective that ‘these kids aren’t as tough as they used to be’ may linger but we as a profession need to move onto an athlete-centered approach in regards to injuries that meets the needs of the contemporary studentathlete and thus will extend the duties and responsibilities of the collegiate coach. The very nature of every event group within track and field is to create a training program in which we are trying to create ‘microinjuries’ in order to stimulate supercompensation of physiological systems. However, with the demands for higher levels of performance, both coaches and athletes push the boundaries, toeing the line of individual human limitations in order to drop that extra fraction of a second or get that extra centimeter of effort. As a result, that line can accidently be crossed and as a result a student athlete can become slightly hurt, or when warning signs are missed, injured for an extended time. The key to successful injury management is to move from a reactionary standpoint to one of prevention, with the hope of putting the workload of addressing injuries prior to, rather than after they happen in rehab. Everyone understands that injuries will occur despite your best preventative efforts due to bad luck, genetic inclinations, or structural and anatomical reasons, but a large number can be avoided by addressing deficiencies in the muscular systems early on. However, even preventative measures and rehabilitation will not meet all the needs in this era.
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injury Protocal Whether due to increased litigation of civil action lawsuits in athletics or an intellectual awakening of sorts, the publication of documents by the NCAA such as Mind, Body, and Sport and the proliferation of the NCAA Sports Science Institute have pushed student-athlete wellness to a position of importance next to or near actual team performance at some institutions. Thus, there is more than just a diagnosis and recovery that will be necessary when regarding injuries, rather a coach needs to work from a holistic standpoint when evaluating the needs of an injured student-athlete.
Preventative Measures: In the world of distance running, overuse injuries are the most common, however, they are usually a symptom or magnification of other issues at play such as strength imbalances, muscles weaknesses, inflexibility or structural deficiencies which can also lead to more acute injuries. In order to prevent many of these injuries, one needs to focus on developing both strength and flexibility from the core to extremities and from big muscles groups to small. The goal of your flexibility program should be to increase range of motion, specifically in a manner that allows the stride to move unhindered through its natural cycle in order to allow for proper ground contact. The biggest thing to watch out for is tightness in the hip and pelvic area as this inflexibility can lead not only to injuries in the hips and upper legs due to the large muscle groups trying to power their way through a resisted movement, but can also lead to pain and injury that manifests itself in the knee or lower leg area due to incorrect foot strike brought about by the lack of ability to get to ground contact in an appropriate position. Unfortunately, if there is one area on a daily basis in which athletes go through the motions, it is usually during the daily stretching routine as it becomes a time in which socialization can take over and at times linger in a manner that negates the warm-up. Adding structure and accountability to this portion of
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your practice can lead to a significant decrease in injuries while increasing the desired range of motion. In addition to stretching for flexibility, incorporation of mobility programs that attack different points on the body will also not only increase range of motion, but increase strength in specific areas of concerns. Once again, the highest emphasis is on the core of the body, so creating dynamic strengthening routines such as a hip mobility series (example: straight leg raises, fire hydrants, donkey kicks, etc.) or hurdle walks increase the functional range of motion while simultaneously increasing strength without damaging the stretch reflex capabilities. The incorporation of formal strengthening programs moving from simple body weight exercises to more traditional strength training that focus on the core moving towards the extremities can create strength in the abdominal region and lower back that can have a significant impact on pelvic tilt, hip extension and the resultant knee lift from improving anterior pelvic tilt. Most coaches have moved on from the traditional crunches to a larger scope of core strength that addresses the full scope of the core from abdominals to knees on the front and hamstrings to mid-back on the posterior side. In addition, the focus on the core of the body from the beginning sets the body up better for the introduction of formal strength training and far larger loads. Once again, working from the core towards the extremities, building lower leg strength from knee to ankle can help prevent shin splints, tendonitis and various other annoyances and a dedicated foot strengthen program can help prevent arch injuries and plantar fasciitis. Once the basics have been addressed in regards to strength and flexibility the next logical step is to move into the weight room. While there are great variations in strength programs, facilities, and the possible presence of a strength coach, there are a couple factors that should remain constant. First, one should address mobility through the three major joints of the legs as the inability to move through
a full range of motion through the hips, knees, or ankles can prevent the body from being in the proper position through the full lift, thus putting one at risk of injury. Therefore, a mobility assessment under a light load should be done before lifting and no progression in terms of load should be done until the athlete shows proper range of motion through all three joints and lift can be performed with correct form. At this point, the old school high rep, low weight endurance methods have been replaced with focus on strength and power in most strength training programs. If one’s school does not have a strength and conditioning coach and thus the responsibility falls on the event specific coach, please take the following into consideration: • Lifting should focus on power and strength development, not endurance • Focus on major lower body compound lifts first (squats, leg presses, etc.) • Use specific muscle lifts (leg extensions, leg curls, etc.) to addressed identified muscle imbalances • Periodize your strength training like you would your running training portion in terms of volume and intensity • Strength training needs to be monitored to be highly effective and safe • Lift after workouts in order to take advantage of the release of hormones and to keep recovery days a day to recover The final classification of preventative measures falls in the therapeutic realm using a variety of modalities that from an anecdotal standpoint sometimes have more value than the research may or may not support. However, with the psychology of the student-athlete a big part of their success, if they feel that the following methods work for them or you believe they are having a significant effect anecdotally, continue on with those methods. In regards to research regarding foam rolling (self-myofascial release), while it does not increase athletic performance, it may affect both short-term and long-term flexibility and range of motion while reducing the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness. Sports massage and deep tissue therapies show similar results in increasing range of motion and
soreness reduction. Finally cold water immersion also has its opponents and conflicting research, however when used correctly (mid to low 50-degree range of temperature) it may have an effect on muscle soreness as well.
Going Beyond the Diagnosis: The diagnosis of an injury is only the starting point, not an ending point or conclusion as one needs to investigate what was the underlying cause of the injury. While overtraining played a part into the equation, it most likely magnified an existing structural issue or imbalance. Beginning from the core of the body out, go through each joint looking for flexibility issues in regards to the range of motion and strength of muscles, tendons and ligaments associate with the movement. After flexibility and mobility, look at the muscle groups from big to small, looking for dramatic weaknesses in a large muscle group that may be causing a smaller muscle group to take on more load than it should. Or identify any large scale muscle imbalances between
complimentary muscle groups (i.e. quadriceps and hamstrings). Sit down with the student-athlete and talk about their nutrition at length. Walk them through their daily caloric needs and then take a look at the type of meals that would help them meet those needs. Be sure to address amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, and ‘good fats’ they need to be eating and provide samples of 3,000, 4,000 and 5,000 calorie diets. Have them track their calories for a few days using a phone based app to get an idea of where they are at before a diet modification and for a few days after. In most cases student-athletes are far below what they need to be without an eating disorder being present. Ensure that there is a proper chain of communication occurring between all parties involved. A coach needs to be at the center collecting information regarding rehab and physical therapy from team doctors, athletic trainers, and specialists in order to relay that information to the studentathlete, event coaches and strength
coaches to ensure that it is consistent and concise. One cannot rely on the “grapevine” method of getting information from a student-athlete as they may misinterpret the information or in some cases not reveal the whole story in hopes of getting back quicker. If necessary, work with the sports medicine department to have them develop a formal injury report listing injury, current physical therapy, next evaluation or milestone and projected timeline for return to running.
During the Injury: When a student-athlete is injured, it is easy to let them slip through the cracks as your focus is on those studentathletes who are currently competing. However, it is important to note that during this time frame, the studentathlete can be in a fragile state of mind as many times their self-worth and selfidentification is as being the one thing they cannot be, “a runner.’ As a result of not being able to fulfil that portion of their life, athletes can become frustrated, depressed and at times drift
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towards risky behaviors. Sit down with the student-athlete and create a formal recovery plan, much like you were creating an individual training plan, as this will give the student-athlete a focus that is necessary to fulfill that missing aspect of their self-identity. Focus on milestones they should be aiming for and give them a realistic timeline of recovery, as it may be easy to discuss optimistic timelines try to err on the realistic side as not to falsely create the illusion of a setback when the optimistic timeline of reaching a milestone is not met. Rather than â€˜banishâ€™ them to the pool or bike during practice time, give them a role at the beginning of practice that helps the team such as setting up equipment, helping athletes identifying the paces for the workouts, keeping splits or encouraging the
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moral of the team. This will keep them engaged with the team aspect and allow them to feel like they are making a contribution to the program. Obviously during this time period, depending on the injury, the studentathlete will be completing some sort of cross training program in order to maintain their fitness. Depending on the timeline of the injury one can expect a certain amount of detraining to occur. For a rough point of reference; nothing is impacted at five days of non-training, at about 10 days of complete nontraining you begin to see significant decreases in metabolic activity, followed by significant decreases in VO2 max starting at two weeks, and at four weeks significant reductions in cardiovascular adaptations. Years of training experience can contribute to a slower
process of reduction as can the inclusion of cross training. In regards to cross training, both aqua jogging and cycling research has shown both can similarly maintain the general aerobic fitness from running, but cannot reach the race specific endurance one requires at the 5,000 meters or below. Elliptical training research has been shown to only reduce VO2 max over a four week time span by less than two percent when complete non-training reduced VO2 max by over four percent in the same time frame.
Return to Run Protocol: Once the athlete is ready to return to running, one needs to take into account various factors when creating a return to run program to ensure that there are no setbacks. These factors should include: â€˘ Severity of injury
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injury Protocal • Injury history of athlete • Timeline within the competitive season • Goals and desires of the student athlete It is important to note, that two athletes that may have the same exact injuries may not follow the same return to training program. Regardless of what you devise, there is a need to remain athletecentered during this part of the process. If a student-athlete is not comfortable with the vigor of the return to training program, you may want to downgrade it a bit even if you have higher goals than the athlete. Throughout the process you will need to listen to or ‘read’ the athlete to figure out how they are feeling and make adjustments to the protocol. It will also be important to look out for the health and well-being of the athlete from the perspective of protecting the athlete from themselves. As is the nature of the sport, most student-athletes are highly motived individuals that tend to err on the side of too much rather than too little, so it may be necessary for you to regulate what they are doing in order not to suffer a setback. For impact related injuries (i.e. stress fractures and stress reactions) the first step we take is simply to progressively add weight by first taking away crutches followed by removing the walking boot for a portion of the day, and finally removing the walking boot all together. From there we progress to alternating jogging and walking, slowing increasing the duration of the running intervals while decreasing the walking intervals, a period that can happen over one to two weeks depending on the aforementioned factors. From there we begin a hybrid running, cross training program where total time of activity is equal to their max in season volume, and over the course of six to twelve weeks increase running volume while decreasing an equitable amount of cross training volume. Comparatively, soft tissue injuries can have a more abbreviated timeline in terms of a return to run protocol, but can linger if not properly accounted for. Adding in volume versus intensity can differ relative to actual nature of the injury, with some allowing for a full return to volume quickly with a slower return to intensity and others allowing for quick incorporation of intensity but a
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much lower volume.
Addressing Recurrences of Injury: As frustrating as it is for a coach to have an athlete re-injure themselves, it is necessary to be empathic to the fact that the “injury-prone” athlete will be far more frustrated. Some athletes will be battling injury for all four years of college and simply walking that tightrope of being injured takes a mental toll via the anxiety that accompanies it and the depression that occurs immediately following an actual injury. These “injury-prone” athletes will need the most care and attention as they will require the assurance that there is a way to be healthy and have a positive experience, but that way may require modifications from the whole group training. Once again working with the athlete-centered model, begin to develop modified training plans that limit total volume, or increase cross training days, or increase off days. Find strategies that work and eliminate ones that do not, unfortunately, this will require trial and error, which may take months or years to figure out an optimal plan. While a single injury may be brushed off as a fluke or outlier for that studentathlete, two injuries especially if similar, would suggest taking deeper looks into physiology of the student athlete. When returning from injury with a prolonged timeline of recovery, this is an optimal time to work on changes in form. Using the same methods as before in injury analysis begin from the core out starting with the core region and work your way towards the extremities. Considerations and observations should include pelvic tilt, hip drop, mobility of swing through, position at ground contact, position at toe off, hip extension, and foot strike to name a few. There are multiple phone apps that allow you to do effective rudimentary analysis of form in addition to more complex form analysis software that are beginning to propagate themselves at sports medicine clinics. However, before you begin, do your research in regards to what to look for and what are the underlying factors that lead to the ‘suspect form’ before making any changes. With “injury-prone” athletes it’s
necessary to create and maintain a professionally close relationship as the student athlete will need to be comfortable enough to be open to bring up and discuss topics such as depression, eating disorders, amenorrhea, etc.. This is not an easy relationship to develop and in all situations this requires a lengthy build-up of trust in order to speak openly about such topics, especially when the coach-athlete relationship is made up of opposite genders. At times, conversation topics regarding depression may go beyond your expertise so an established relationship with campus counseling services is helpful when one needs to elevate the help needed. This trusting relationship is also helpful or necessary in order to consider one-time or regular testing of slightly invasive testing such as iron/ferritin blood testing, bone density scans, calcium and potentially hormone level measurements. In the end, an exorbitantly large number of our student-athletes are not going to end up as professional track and field athletes. As such when the number of serious injuries begin to pile up over the years, it may be necessary to have the conversation regarding long time physical effects and short term mental effects of battling through such injuries over time. At times, it may be necessary for you as a coach to step-in on the athlete’s behalf and discuss options beyond competing in college in order to prevent long term lasting physical effects and create better immediate mental health. Obviously the inclusion of college scholarships into the equation makes it a more complex discussion regarding ‘retiring’ but this is a topic that appears near the top of the NCAA’s student athlete welfare agenda in the coming years.
Matt Gittermann is the head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach in charge of distance events at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
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Run Up and
Transition Characteristics in Javelin Throwing Andreas V. Maheras, Ph.D.
n the course of a javelin throw the main goal is to develop the greatest possible javelin velocity before release. Although how this is accomplished hardly matters, for most throwers, sound biomechanical execution will produce the best performance. A discussion about javelin velocity will necessarily involve a discussion about rhythm which is of paramount importance in developing maximum velocity under control, both during the run up and the transition phases. The run up and the transition should be one smooth, rhythmical activity ordinarily consisting of thirteen or fifteen steps. The transition phase includes the javelin withdrawal which usually occurs during the second step of that phase.
The Run Up Rarely does the run up phase need to be longer than eight steps (figure 1). Too often, longer run ups result in excessive speed which creates the conditions for loss of rhythm and a slowing down during the transition phase. For all practical purposes, i.e., specificity of training and rhythm establishment, it is a good idea that the thrower uses the same number of steps throughout her career. If in the early years, the run up is shorter, that
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run up and transition
will be because the steps are shorter and slower not because they are fewer. As experience improves, the length of the run up will increase alike. Below, a rudimental 15-step execution is briefly described with eight run up and seven transition steps. In a proper run up, the thrower stands just behind the check mark facing straight forward and the javelin comfortably supported above shoulder level with the tip down from horizontal. The thrower starts the run up by stepping on the check mark with the right foot and begins to run smoothly forward bringing the left foot forward (step one) and the throwing arm also moving rhythmically to the movement of the legs. The intensity of the rhythm gradually increases with each step. After executing eight steps, the right foot should hit the second check mark (if the thrower uses one), and the transition phase begins.
The Transition As the right foot hits the second mark, the right hand moves naturally and rhythmically forward. This movement continues while the javelin hand starts moving back and the left foot (step one in the transi44
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tion phase) contacts the ground. The backwards movement of the javelin continues as the right foot comes forward to conclude step two of this phase, and the javelin withdrawal is either completed in this step or concludes when the left foot touches down again in step three of the transition (figure 2). For the next two steps, four and five, the javelin remains withdrawn and left behind as the thrower moves forward. Following, a longer step with the right foot is executed as far as possible and without tension to complete step 6 of the transition. This exaggerated sixth step with the right leg/foot forces a shorter last step with the left foot, step seven in the transition, which is the plant of the throw. As the thrower withdraws the javelin during the transition phase, the legs continue their task of driving dynamically forward to further accelerate the throwerjavelin system. All this culminates in the sixth, also called the penultimate, step to prepare the body for the final effort of the throw. Before the penultimate step, the run is fairly uniform with acceleration such that that it allows the thrower to achieve the optimum velocity for the ensuing throw. As the left foot pushes off
in step five of the transition phase, the withdrawal of the javelin has already been completed and at this point the upper body and to a lesser extend the hips turn sideways. The push off of the left foot during the penultimate step creates a cross step while the thrower is airborne. The landing of the right foot to complete the penultimate stride, step six, is quickly followed by the landing of the left foot which completes the seventh and last step of the transition phase.
Transition Steps Relationships Over many years of analyses and observations, a numerical relationship was developed between the last two strides of the throw. This relationship in terms of both length and time seems to be extremely important for the throw. According to the veteran biomechanist, Terauds (1985), errors in this ratio upset the rhythm and damage the throw. He further postulated that the proper relationship between the last two strides is the key to a good throw. The execution of the sixth and seventh steps should be such that the ratio between those two steps in distance is approximately 1.62 (figure 2). That means that the length of the penultimate
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step should be 1.62 times longer than the final throwing step. If the thrower has a throwing step of say two meters, then the penultimate step should be 2 x 1.62 = 3.24 meters. From that relationship we estimate that the last step is (1/1.62) = 0.62 of the penultimate. Similarly then, if a thrower has a penultimate step of say 3.24 meters then the throwing stride should be 3.24 x 0.62 = 2.00 meters. In figure 2, during the last four transition steps of the throw, the penultimate, t3, is the longest, followed by t1 which is the second longest and t2, third longest, whereas the throwing stride, t4 is the shortest. In t3 there is an active landing of the left foot, the impulse, and the ensuing take off produces the penultimate step. The fact that t2 is shorter than t1, shows a long jump like action on the part of the javelin thrower where the very last step, the one that precipitates the actual jump, is more or less shorter and quicker than the preceding steps. Similarly the javelin thrower wishes to achieve a long penultimate step on her way to establishing a favorable throwing stride. A shorter and quick impulse step will aid in that effort.
Path of Run Up and Transition As far as the direction of the whole movement, ideally, the most advantageous action for the run up and the transition is to follow a straight line. Indeed, many javelin throwers follow a straight path to the transition phase. However, many throwers, including high caliber throwers, deviate from a straight path, particularly during the transition phase following some individual pattern. According to a commonly observed 46
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pattern, a greater release velocity can be achieved when the javelin is directed through the right of the right shoulder. For that to happen successfully, the thrower should curve to the left during the last two steps, steps six and seven, of the transition phase to enable the javelin to be in line with the overall direction of the run, up to that point. In this fashion, the right foot will land about 20-25cm to the left of the line and the left, planting foot, between 30-40 cm further to the left (figure 3). It should be noted here that the deviation to the left is precipitated by a placement of the fifth step (impulse) slightly to the right of the line so the center of mass is to the left of that foot. By executing this sequence in the last three steps, the javelin is directed through the right of the right shoulder and with a slight body lean to the left, the thrower enables the planting left foot to be directly under the javelin which may also marginally increase the height of release.
in increasing the throwerâ€™s technique effectiveness. Simple video or pictures of the thrower taken with ordinary handheld cameras can be easily analyzed with pen and paper to assess the relationship between the transition steps. Regarding the direction of the movement, drifting to the left during the latter parts of the transition phase is a preferred technique for many throwers. Similarly, there are throwers whose javelin lands outside the right (or left) sector. This error may be corrected by drifting to the left (or right) during the transition or by changing the direction of the run up along a diagonal path from the right to the left of the runway. Moreover, when the wind is from the left, it would be a good idea for the thrower to indeed run diagonally from right to left or if the wind comes from the right, to do the opposite. It is a mechanical error to move straight on the runway if distance can be increased by altering the direction of movement.
The execution of a javelin throw is a smooth and at the same time dynamic activity which is comprised of the run up and the transition steps/phases. Usually but not necessarily, 13 to 15 total steps are utilized. All steps are executed as one, evenly accelerated and coordinated movement. It is imperative that the thrower practice those two phases many times over, to establish a biomechanically sound pattern and create the foundations for the maximization of the final effort of the throw. The consideration of the observed relationships, between and among the transition steps, will aid
Terauds, J. (1986). Biomechanics of the Javelin Throw. Del Mar, California: Academic Publishers. Dunn, G. & McGill, K. (2003). The Throws Manual. Mountain View, CA: Tafnews Press.
Dr. Andreas Maheras is the throws coach at Fort Hays State University in Kansas and is a frequent contributor to techniques.
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Coaching Models IN Division III Track & Field By Jonathan M. Welty, Dr. Algerian Hart, and Dr. Mark Cole
Monmouth Sports Information photo NOVEMBER 2015 techniques
thletes are motivated for many different reasons. Internal or external factors can drive an athlete, but what role does a coach play? Is it the coaches job to have a relationship with his or her athletes, or is it best for the athlete to decide the most important influences? These are the questions that must be addressed in order to identify which coaching model is the most beneficial for coaches to implement. The goal of this investigative study was to analyze the trends in three coaching models, the Coach-Centered Model, the Athlete-Centered Model and the Relationship Model, utilized in collegiate coaching. While the study is investigative in nature, trends were found in coaching model analysis. It was found that coaches with more years of experience are more likely to understand and identify which model they are using compared to their less experience counterparts. It was also shown that one coaching model, the Relationship Model, had a trend of more athletic success than the other models that were utilized.
Athlete-Centered Model The Athlete-Centered Model is described as the coach being one of many stimuli for an athlete. Simmons and Freeman state “In an athlete-centered model the coach should act upon the athlete as a beneficial stimulus, much like other training factors do such as nutrition, environ-
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ment, sleep, equipment, etc.” This model claims to focus on the performance and development of the athlete in a real world situation where the athlete encounters other day to day stimulus besides his or her training regimen.
nally, but that the athlete and coach must be equals in their relationship.
Materials and Methods
The Coach-Centered Model states the coach is at the center of the model and the athletes are merely inputs into the training system of the given coach (Freeman & Simmons, 2006).This method suggests a coach utilizes the same training scheme for each athlete and hopes that the training plan will produce star athletes. This model focuses on the goals of the coach, instead of focusing on the individual needs and desires of each athlete.
This study was approved by the Internal Review Board of Western Illinois University. The participants in the study included the head Track and Field coaches from schools of three NCAA Division III Conferences. No assistant coaches were asked to participate as this study reflects head coaching philosophies. Participants completed a consent document that informed them that it is possible that partaking in the study may cause them to research their individual coaching style and philosophy. Out of the head coaches asked to participate, seven expressed interest and completely participated in the study.
Coaching Model Analysis Survey
The Relationship Model is a coaching model that is based on communication. This model does not favor coach or athlete, but rather states that there must be a relationship between them in order for improvement to take place. Eric Heins stated at the United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) convention, “coaching is based on a relationship . . .” (personal communication, Dec. 16, 2013). Essentially, this model recognizes that each individual coach and athlete alike have stimulus that motivates them exter-
Each of the coaches was sent a Coaching Model Analysis survey. The 23 item survey tool was delivered to the participating head track & field coaches. The 23 item survey was sent out in an electronic format via email. The survey was utilized for three purposes. The first purpose was to collect demographic data on each participant to make correlations and show trends. The next section was used to assess the coaching model selected by each participant. Lastly, the survey assessed the success rate of a given coaching philosophy. The parameters for
coaches were utilizing the AthleteCentered Model. In fact, only one participant was graded in the range to be a Relationship Model coach. Coaches 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 were all identified as Athlete Centered Model coaches, while coach 4 was graded as a true Relationship Model Coach, and no coaches were graded as using the Coach-Centered Model. Breaking down the data further the coaches were again split into long-term and short-term groups. Coaches with 20 or more years of coaching experience were better at predicting their coaching model than coaches with less than 20 year of experience. Coaches 1, 3, and 4 belong to the long-term group. Coaches 1 and 4 were correct in their model selection and Coach 3 was 0.01 away from having a mean that equates to his selected model. Coaches 2, 5, 6, and 7 belong to the short-term group and they were all incorrect in their model assumption. Each short-term coach selected the Relationship-Model and they were graded as an AthleteCentered Model coach, each reporting a mean above 7.0. Table 1 displays these results. See Table 1
success in this study included both academic and athletic achievements. Top athletic performances were viewed along number of Academic All Conference athletes. Success for purposes of the study, reflect both the academic and athletic success of the student athlete. An athlete that has had success has earned an Academic All-Conference award and/or an Athletic All-Conference performance. The survey included a range of questions, including short answer questions, as well as 9-point likert scale ranking questions. Statistical analyses were then performed on the composite data using descriptive statistics for all of the variables. Correlations and other appropriate statistical analyses were be used to asses any relationships. Monmouth Sports Information photo
Coaching Model Analysis Each coach was asked to select a coaching model in the demographic analysis. Following the demographic analysis, each coach had their coaching model graded on a 9-point likert scale to determine their coaching model. After Section II of the survey was completed, the scales were averaged to find the coaching model. Coaches were graded using the likert scale of 1-9; 1-Not at all to 9-All the time. The coaches that fell in the range of 1-3.99 were Coach-Centered Model, 4-6.99 were Relationship Model, and 7-9 were identified as Athlete Centered. Most coaches selected the Relationship Model as their preferred model, but after grading it was determined that a majority of the
Coaching effectiveness was based on several factors including: roster size, number of NCAA Division III AllAmericans, number of All-Conference Athletes, number of Academic AllConference Athletes, retention rate of student-athletes, and injury rate of student athletes. To compare coaching models it was necessary to find the averages and descriptive statistics for the Relationship Model coach and the Athlete-Center Model coaches. The Relationship Model coach reported a mean roster size of 65 studentathletes, had 4 NCAA Division III All-Americans, 44 total All-Conference athletes, 15 Academic All-Conference athletes, lost four athletes to retention issues, and only had one athlete out during the season due to injury. Table 2 displays the descriptive statistics for the Relationship model coach. This means 6.15 percent of Relationship Model athletes were All-American, 67.69 percent were All-Conference, 23.08 percent earned Academic AllConference, 6.15 percent were lost to retention issues, and 1.54 percent of those athletes had an injury. Comparatively, the Athlete-Center
Model coaches reported a mean roster size of 61.17 student athletes. Table 3 displays the descriptive statistics from Athlete-Center model coaching group. Insert Table 3 nearby In this group there were six coaches all with calculated CMA scores of 7.0 or higher. From the calculated means, it was determined that 0.47 percent Athlete-Center model coached athletes were All-American, 17.05 percent earned All-Conference, 42.78 percent were Academic AllConference, 6.81 percent of athletes were lost to retention issues, and 6.07 percent were out due to injury.
Discussion In 2011, Horn et al. studied the importance of coach-athlete relationships. In the study it was found that athletes desire different qualities from their respective coach, but it was never decided which relationship was best for studentathletes, nor was it decided how effective each coach was. Kavussanu et al. 52
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in 2008 studied coaching efficacy and effectiveness to find that a major factor of effectiveness was age and experience. In order to identify the best coaching model available this study reviewed coaching effectiveness in correlation with coaching model utilized and experience. In analysis of the coaching model scores and each coaches demographic information several trends were found. These trends included increased awareness of coaching model due to experience and differentiation of model due to experience. While analyzing the long-term coaching group vs. the shortterm group, it was seen that long-term coaches were more effective at selecting their coaching model than the short-term group. The short-term group was compromised of four coaches, all with less than 20 years of coaching experience, while the long-term group was compromised of 3 coaches with more than 20 years of coaching experience. All coaches in the short-term group selected the
Relationship Model as their preferred method of coaching, but upon analysis it was determined they were all utilizing the Athlete-Centered Model. This trend follows the findings of Kavusaanu et al, stating that coaches with more experience are more capable of selecting their coaching model. In their study of Coaching Efficacy and Coaching Effectiveness, they determined that coaching experience would help to predict technique efficacy. The second trend that was viewed was the differentiation of coaching model due to experience. In reviewing of the groups, it was easy to see that the short-term coaches all selected and scored into the same model, while the long-term group had differing model opinions. The short-term group all selected the Relationship Model, and as stated earlier, all scored in the AthleteCentered model category. The trend that I noted was the uniformity in their scores for their coaching model analysis. The short-term group only had a range of 7.3- 7.8 with a standard deviation of 0.73. It appears that the shortterm group coaches had similar mindsets when it came to coaching methods and style. The opposite was found when analyzing the long-term coaching group. Two coaches selected the Relationship Model and one selected Athlete-Centered, and each coach had a significantly different score. Horn et al. study confirmed that relationships are a vital aspect to coaching success and bringing success to student-athletes. However, they never identified what type of relationship was most beneficial. They simply stated that athletes with different background will require different attention from their coaches. The benefit of that statement is that Relationship model coaches have the ability to adapt their training modalities to best fit the needs of studentathlete and coach together, whereas the Coach-Centered model or AthleteCentered model shift their attention to the needs/ wants of either athlete, or coach. Through this study, trends were found in coaching model effectiveness that showed the Relationship Model
top model can lead to higher level success, but also showed that coaching experience could bring about a higher rate of success for athletes as well. The primary hypothesis of the study is that Relationship Model coaches will have viewed more success than those coaches that utilize the Athlete-Centered Model or Coach-Centered Model, based on the necessity of equal relationship between coach and athlete. While this study is exploratory, trends in the data show the hypothesis is supported. In review of the descriptive statistics comparing the Relationship Model coaches to the Athlete-Centered Model coaches, it is clear that there is a higher trend for success from the Relationship Model. It should be noted however, that this data does not truly reflect the entire population of NCAA Division III track & field coaches. With that being said, there may only be one Relationship Model coach in this data set, but the data still reflects that the Relationship Model coach had the most success overall. As Horn et al. discussed in 2011, relationships are essential between an athlete and coach. The scope and limit of that relationship is what needs to be taken into consideration. Horn et al. described that individual athletes have different needs and desires from each coach. With that being said a unique relationship must be had with each student-athlete. All three coaching models discussed: Athlete-Centered Model, Coach-Centered Model, and Relationship model display the function of a relationship, but the dynamics of the athlete-coach relationship changes with each model. Through descriptive statistic comparison, this preliminary study found that the Relationship Model best serves the individual needs described by Horn et al. in 2011. The Relationship Model was proven to decrease athlete burnout as discussed by Isoard-Gautheur and Gulliet Descas in 2012, as well as improve athlete retention and loyalty in terms of consumerism to the program as discussed by Lee and Trail in 2011. The study examined the impact of the relationship on success of NCAA Division III track and field program and it was found that Relationship Model coaches and coaches with more experience and comfort with their style could be more successful than their counterparts. Coaches 54
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should assess their coaching model and make sure that they are comfortable with their coaching method to ensure the best relationship with athletes that will lead to the greatest amount of success.
REFERENCES Amorose, A., & Horn, T. (2000). Intrinsic motivation: Relationships with collegiate athletes’ gender, scholarship status, and perceptions of their coaches’ behavior. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 22, 63-84 Blais, M., Vallerand, R., & Lachance, L. (1990). Perceived autonomy toward life domains scale (PALDS). Unpublished manuscript, University of Quebec at Montreal Brière, N., Vallerand, R., Blais, M., & Pelletier, L. (1995). Development et validation d’ une mesure de motivation intrinsèque, extrinsèque et d’ amotivation en context sportif: 1’ Echelle de motivation dans les sports (EMS). [Development and validation of an instrument to measure intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation and amotivation in the sport context: 1’ Echelle de motivation dans les sports. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 26, 265-489 Chelladurai, P. (1978). A contingency model of leadership in athletics (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. Chelladurai, P., & Saleh, S. (1980). Dimensions of leader behavior in sports: Development of a leadership scale. Journal of Sport Psychology, 2, 34-45 Chelladurai, P. (2001). Managing organizations for sport and physical activity: A systems perspective. Scottsdale, AZ: Holcomb Hathaway. Chelladurai, P. (2007). In G. Tenebaum & R.C. Eklund (Eds. ) Handbook of sport psychology (3rd ed., p. 113-135). NY: John Wiley. Feltz, D., Chase, M., Moritz, S., & Sullivan, P. (1999). A conceptual model of coaching efficacy: Preliminary investigation and instrument development. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 765-776 Grolnick, W.S., Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (1991). The inner resources for school performance: Motivational mediators of children’s perceptions of their parents Journal of Educational Psychology, 83,508-517 Halstead, J., & Taylor, M. (2000).
Learning and teaching about values: A review of recent research. Cambridge Journal of Education, 30, 169-202. Hodge, K. & Lonsdale. (2011). Prosocial and antisocial behavior in sport: The role of coaching style, autonomous vs. controlled motivation, and moral disengagement. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 33, 527-547 Horn, T. (2002). Coaching effectiveness in the sport domain. In T.S. Horn (Ed.), Advances in sport psychology (p. 309-354). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Horn, T., Bloom, P., Berglund, K., & Packard, S. (2011). Relationship between collegiate athletes’ psychological characteristics and their preferences for different types of coaching behavior. The Sport Psychologist, 25, 190-211 Isoard-Gautheur, S., Gulliet-Descas, E., & Lemyre, P. (2012). A prospective study of the influence of perceived coaching style on burnout propensity in high level young athletes: Using a self-determination theory perspective. The Sport Psychologist, 26, 282-298 Isoard-Gautheur, S., Oger, M., Guillet, E., & Martin-Krumm, C. (2010). Validation of a French version of the athlete burnout questionnaire (ABQ): in competitive sport and physical education context. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 26, 203-211 Jöreskog, K., & Sörbom, D. (2004). LISREL8.71for Windows (Computer Software). Lincolnwood, IL: Scientific Software International, Inc. Kavussanu, M., Boardley, I., Jutkiewicz, N., Vincent, S., & Ring, C. (2008). Coaching efficacy and coaching effectiveness: Examining their predictors and comparing coaches’ and athletes’ reports. The Sport Psychologist, 22,383-404 Kline, R.B. (2005). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. New York: The Guilford Press. Lee, D. & Trail, G. (2011). The influence of personal values and goals on cognitive and behavioral involvement in sport. Journal of Sport Management, 25, 593-605 Losier, G., Vallerand, R., & Blais, M. (1993). Construction et validation de l’échelle des Perceptions de competence dans les domains de vie (EPCDV). [Construction and validation of the perceived competence in life domains scale (PCLDS)].
Science et Comportement, 23, 1-16 MacKinnon, D., Krull, J., & Lockwood, C. (2000). Equivalence of the mediation, confounding, and suppression effect. Prevention Science, 1, 173-181 MacKinnon, D., Lockwood, C., Hoffman, J., West, S., & Sheets, V. (2002). A comparison of methods to test mediation and other intervening variable effects. Psychological Methods, 7, 83-104 Myers, N., Feltz, D., Maier, K., Wolfe, E., & Reckase, M. (2006). Athletes’ evaluations of their head coach’s coaching competency. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 77, 111-121. Nunnally, J.C., & Bernstein, I.H. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Otis, N., & Pelletier, L. (2000). Construction et validation d’une échelle sur les perceptions des comportements interpersonnels associés à la motivation autodéterminée [Construction and validation of a scale on the perceptions of interpersonal behaviors associated with self-determined motivation]. 23ème congress annuel de la Société québécoise pour la recherché en psychologie: programme et 56
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résumé des communications, 134, Hull. Pelletier, L., Frontier,J., Vallerand, R., Tuson, K., Briere, N., & Blais, M. (1995). Toward a new measure of intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation in sports: The Sport Motivation Scale (SMS). Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 17, 35-53 Simmons, S. & Freeman,W.(2006). Take the lead: A revolutionary approach to coaching cross country. United States: Will Freeman & Scott Simmons Smoll, F., & Smith, R. (1989). Leadership behaviors in sport: A theoretical model and research paradigm. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 19, 1522-1551. Raedeke, T.D. (1997). Is athlete burnout more than just stress? A sport commitment perspective. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 19, 396-417 Trail, G.T., & Lee, D. (2010). The development and validation of the value and goal typology scales. Manuscript submitted for publication. Williams, G.C., Cox, E.M., Kouides, R., & Deci, E.L. (1999). Presenting the facts about Smoking to adolescents: The effects of an autonomy-supportive style. Archives
of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 153, 959-963
Mark E. Cole, Ph.D. ATC, LAT has over 20 years of experience working with athletes in the clinic, high school, collegiate, professional and Olympic settings. He holds a doctorate in Health Sciences specializing in Sport Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Algerian Hart, Ph.D., is the Sport Management Graduate Coordinator in the Kinesiology Department at Western Illinois University. A former world-class athlete and coach, and recognized NCAA speaker for Hazing, and Drugs and Alcohol Awareness. Jonathan Welty, M.S., is the Head Cross Country Coach at Monmouth College, in Monmouth, Illinois. A graduate of Western Illinois University’s graduate program for Sport Management; Welty was a multiple time All-Conference athlete at the NCAA Division III level. For the full study and results please contact Jonathan Welty: jwelty@ monmouthcollege.edu Monmouth Sports Information photo
Through their ongoing support of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, these companies demonstrate their strong commitment to the sports of Track & Field and Cross Country. The USTFCCCA strongly encourages each member to purchase products and services from these supporters.
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USTFCCCA Coaches Hall Jim Bibbs
After nearly a decade as an assistant at Michigan State coaching some of the finest sprinters in the world, Jim Bibbs was chosen to take over the men’s track & field program in 1977, becoming the first black head coach in the school’s history and one of the Big Ten’s first in any sport. Bibbs continued to helm the men’s program for the better part of the following two decades, retiring in 1995 to conclude a coaching career that spanned 36 years between the Detroit Public School system and Michigan State. His sprinters were the class of the Big Ten during his Spartan years. In total, Bibbs – a former standout sprinter in his own right – mentored his athletes to 52 conference titles, 26 AllAmerica honors, three NCAA titles and multiple world records. Two pupils stood tallest among his accomplished list of star sprinters: Marshall Dill and Herb Washington. Both men were Spartan teammates in the early 1970s and combined for three NCAA titles, six All-America honors and 18 Big Ten titles. Prior to his coaching days, Bibbs was not only a world-class sprinter, but also a fine baseball player. The New York Yankees offered him a Class A contract upon graduation from Ecorse High School, but he instead chose to attend Eastern Michigan to earn his degree. He joined the track team (freshman baseball was unavailable at EMU) and soon after broke the world record in the 60-yard dash at 6.1. He went on to win three consecutive Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles at 100 and 220 yards. Bibbs also found success at other levels of the sport. In five seasons as the head coach at his alma mater Ecorse High School, he coached the boys’ team to a fourth-place state finish in 1964, third-place in 1965, runner-up in 1966 and finally the state title in 1967. He served as the coach of the women’s track & field team at the 1967 Pan Am Games, guiding Team USA to eight wins in the 11 events.
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NCAA team championships in every sport at every level of the NCAA are all special in their own way. However, very few and far between are the national titles that transcend those boundaries as milestone achievements in sport. In 2008, McMurry’s Barbara Crousen won one of those national titles. In a come-from-behind, 35-31, victory over Cortland State at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Crousen became the first woman in NCAA history to coach a men’s team to a national title in any sport. Nearly a decade later, that short list of female coaches with men’s NCAA team titles still only includes her – twice, as McMurry went on to win a second national title in 2012 – and Jennifer Michel of Western State (2011 men’s NCAA DII cross country). In winning the 2008 national crown, her Warhawks’ performance was as dramatic as it was historic. McMurry entered the meet-finale 4×400 relay with 29 points, four behind leader Cortland, which had failed to qualify a team to the final. The odds were against Crousen’s Warhawks, who had qualified to NCAAs as the 14th and final team and had barely made the final as the seventh-fastest of the nine advancing teams in the prelims. Anchored by Hanneus Ollison, who ultimately had a hand in 34 of McMurry’s 35 points, Crousen’s squad stepped up to the occasion and finished third in a race in which third, fourth, fifth and sixth were all separated by less than a second. Four years later in 2012 her squad once again claimed the national title, this time in much more comfortable fashion as the Warhawks scored 66 points to topple runner-up UW-La Crosse. That team featured four national champions and 29 total All-America efforts. Crousen announced her retirement in 2014. The 2012 national title capped an era in which her men and women accumulated eight top-four national finishes and a combined 16 top-10 efforts.
Only five schools in NCAA Division III men’s track & field history have national team titles from both the NCAA Indoor Championships and NCAA Outdoor Championships on display in their respective trophy cases. It’s an exclusive list: UW-La Crosse, Lincoln (Pennsylvania), North Central (Illinois) UW-Oshkosh and Frostburg State. But only one of those schools owns the distinction of pulling off the very first indoor and outdoor team championship sweep in DIII history: Frostburg State, coached by Bob Lewis. In 1986 – at the mid-point of his 31-year tenure leading the men’s track & field program and both genders’ cross country squads at the small Maryland university – Lewis led his men to the NCAA Division III indoor team title in the championships’ second year of existence and followed that up in the spring with the outdoor team crown. He nearly pulled off the double again the following year, finishing less than 10 points behind team champion UW-La Crosse for third indoors and winning a second consecutive national outdoor title. To this day, only six men’s teams have ever won back-to-back NCAA Division III outdoor team titles. His career at Frostburg State was defined by a consistent presence at the national level – his teams scored at the NCAA Outdoor championships in 23 of his 31 years – with the Bobcats’ presence made most known during the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Including those three national titles, this era in his career saw his men finish inside the top-10 nationally nine times during the outdoor season, four times during the indoor campaign and twice in cross country. His outdoor teams were particularly successful, with a four-year run of top-five finishes beginning in 1985 with a fifth-place showing and wrapping up with a fourth-place effort in 1988 – sandwiching the two national crowns. In 2001 Lewis led Frostburg State to a top10 finish in his fourth different decade, as his Bobcats finished tied for third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with UW-Stevens Point. He was inducted into the Frostburg State Hall of Fame in 2010.
of Fame Class of 2015 Billy Maxwell
Wherever Billy Maxwell has coached and in whichever role he played on those coaching staffs, there’s been one constant throughout his career: winning. Maxwell has enjoyed tremendous success throughout a career as a sprints, hurdles and jumps coach – and an exceptional recruiter – that spans back to the mid-1960s. He’s been a part of national championship-winning staffs as an assistant coach at Tennessee, won a national title as the head coach at LSU, and coached contenders at Texas and Nebraska – where he has coached for more than two decades. In total, he’s coached 28 NCAA Champions and more than 350 All-Americans. After jump-starting his career with a pair of state titles in four years as a high school head coach at Columbus High School in Georgia, he began a long a fruitful collegiate coaching career in 1970 as a men’s assistant under 1995 USTFCCCA Hall of Fame inductee Stan Huntsman. During that 12-year stint in Knoxville, he and his athletes – including Olympian Willie Gault – contributed to a pair of national titles, three more national runner-up finishes and four more third-place finishes. The men won an NCAA outdoor title in 1974. Following the 1982 season, Maxwell made the move to Baton Rouge to helm the men’s and women’s LSU programs. His five year tenure with the Tigers included a third-place national finish at the 1985 NCAA Indoor Championships, a runner-up outdoor finish in 1986 and culminated in 1987 with an NCAA Indoor Championships crown – the program’s first-ever national title in women’s track & field and the start of an era of dominance for LSU. Maxwell’s next stop was at Texas in 1991 as an assistant for the sprints, hurdles and jumps, where he remained until 1995. During that time, he coached 14 All-Americans. In 1996 he made the move to Nebraska, his home of the last 21 years. His tenure started out with a bang as the Cornhusker men notched a program-best runner-up finish during that 1996 season, and he’s been producing many of the Big 12’s and then the Big Ten’s finest sprinters and hurdlers. During Nebraska’s time in the Big 12 his athletes claimed 25 conference titles, and they’ve picked up where they left off in the Big Ten with eight more since 2011.
Few NCAA Division II programs in the 1980s were as successful in track & field and cross country as the Cal State Northridge squads coached by Don Strametz, who would later lead the Matadors to more success at the NCAA Division I level. For more than three decades Strametz guided the CSUN track & field and cross country programs. After a successful run as the Locke High School coach from 1974 through 1979, he took over the CSUN cross country teams in 1979, the women’s track & field team – which had just won three consecutive AIAW national titles – in 1981 and the men’s track & field program in 1985. He remained at the helm of each until his retirement in 2011. The first third of his career was accentuated by success at the NCAA Division II level. His women’s cross country program was particularly exceptional, having finished as the national runners-up at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships back-to-back years in 1985 and 1986. In 1989, Strametz and the Matadors made the most of their final year at the NCAA Division II level, as Darcy Arreola won the national individual title and CSUN took fourth-place overall. Their 1989 showing was the sixth time the CSUN women had finished topfive at the NCAA Championships. That same year, his men finished fifth at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, making their third top-10 finish during Strametz’s tenure. Those men’s cross country runners combined with the Matador sprinters, jumpers and throwers in the spring for a national runner-up performance at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships. His women finished a program-best fifth overall for the second season in a row, capping a streak of six top-10 finishes. In total, he coached 10 NCAA Division II individual national champions in outdoor track & field between the men and the women. Strametz and the Matador programs made the jump to the NCAA Division I level the following season, and it didn’t take long for him to deliver the school’s first DI national champion. Already an NCAA DII cross country champ, Arreola won the outdoor 1500 meters national title in 1991 – CSUN’s very first season in DI. His men’s program produced two different national champions in the long jump in back-toback championships in 2007 and 2008.
For nearly four decades, Gary Wilson was a fixture on the Midwest track & field and cross country scene and a nationally successful coach at both the NCAA Division I and Division III levels, whose influence on the sport remains visible long beyond his 2013 retirement. Four times a national champion while coaching at UW-La Crosse from 1977 through 1985, Wilson spent nearly three decades building a perennial national contending program at Minnesota until retiring in 2013. It was there he co-founded the Roy Griak Invitational, which has become one of the premier cross country invitationals in the country at both the high school and college levels. While at UW-La Crosse, he guided both the women’s cross country and men’s track & field programs throughout his entire tenure, in addition to taking over the women’s track & field squad in the early 80s. Once under his tutelage, the women’s track & field squad went on to win three consecutive national titles. They claimed the final AIAW Division III title, followed by a pair of NCAA Division III titles in 1983 and 1984. His women’s cross country teams in La Crosse reached similar heights, including a stretch from 1982 through 1984 during which the Eagles were runners-up, national champions, and runners-up. By the time his run in La Crosse came to an end in 1985, Wilson had coached the Eagles to a combined 21 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletics Conference titles. His tenure at Minnesota would begin that same year and last all the way through 2013. Wilson helmed the women’s cross country program for the duration of his career as a Gopher, and guided the women’s track & field program through 2006. His Golden Gophers made 15 appearances at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships as a team, highlighted by a program-best ninth-place finish in 2005. The 2005-2006 academic year was a good one for Wilson and his Minnesota women. In what would turn out to be his final season as the head track & field coach, he guided the Golden Gophers to their first-ever Big Ten Outdoor Championships team title and coached Heather Dorniden to the NCAA Division I Indoor 800 meters title – the first individual crown in program history.
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Anybody competing against Akron junior Shawn Barber in the pole vault this year – both indoors and outdoors – had to be content with second place. Barber, who is looking to be the first male vaulter to win The Bowerman, never lost against fellow collegians in 2015. Maybe Barber thought he had something to prove after finishing second at the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Perhaps something finally “clicked” for him. Whatever the case might be, Barber had a year to remember. It all started indoors for Barber, where he broke or re-broke the collegiate indoor record four times (once in exhibition at the Texas Vault Expo). Barber had more clearances of 19 feet (5.80m) indoors than all other collegians in history combined. His final jump with a roof over his head won him his second consecutive NCAA Indoor title and set the current record of 5.91m (19-4 ¾). Barber continued his reign outdoors and was the biggest threat to Lawrence Johnson’s record (5.98m, 19-7 ½) in the past 19 years. A vault of 5.91m (19-4 ¾) won Barber the title at the Longhorn Invitational in May and moved him into second place all-time. Over the next month, Barber continued to win and then in June under the watchful eye of Hayward Field, he won the 2015 Outdoor title. Although outside of consideration of the Bowerman voters, Barber also won gold at the 2015 IAAF World Championships. 62
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Oregon’s Edward Cheserek has been the model of consistency in collegiate distance running since he joined the Ducks out of St. Benedict Prep in Newark, New Jersey. While Cheserek has won back-to-back Division I individual cross country titles, it’s what he did on the track during his sophomore year that has him under consideration to win The Bowerman. “The King” made his debut indoors at January’s Rod McCravy Memorial Track & Field Meet, winning the 3,000-meter run (7:49.56) and anchoring the Ducks’ championship Distance Medley Relay team. Cheserek set a personal best in the mile (3:56.43) at the Millrose Games and won an NCAA Indoor title at the distance in March. Before all was said and done in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Cheserek anchored a championship DMR team and finished second to teammate Eric Jenkins in the 3K. Cheserek got back to his winning ways the rest of the outdoor season. He helped lead Oregon to a DMR title at the Penn Relays (split 3:59.44 as the anchor) and won the Pac-12 title in the 5K. Then on his home track at the 2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, Cheserek doubled down with titles in the 5K (13:48.67) and 10K (28:58.92). Cheserek became the first collegian since 2013 and 2014 The Bowerman finalist Lawi Lalang to win both the indoor mile title and outdoor 10K title.
Coming off a junior year in which he won the long jump and triple jump at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the sky – or the far reaches of the sand pit – was the limit for the Gator standout Out of the five meets he entered indoors, Dendy won nine out of 10 times. The only time Dendy came up short was when he fouled out in the long jump at the Tyson Invitational. Otherwise, he was unbeatable. Dendy won NCAA indoor titles in the long jump (8.28m, 27-2) and triple jump (17.37m, 57-0) and became the first collegiate jumper in the past 29 years to surpass 57 feet indoors. Dendy’s outdoor season nearly mirrored his indoor campaign as he won eight of the nine times he toed the runway. Other than a runner-up finish at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, Dendy won and won some more. Dendy capped his senior year by defending both of his outdoor titles and moved into third place alltime in the triple jump with a leap of 17.50m (57-5). Dendy is the second University of Florida finalist for The Bowerman, following in the footsteps of Tony McQuay in 2012.
Kentucky hurdler Kendra Harrison had a senior year to remember. After a late start to the indoor season, Harrison hit the ground running. Her first meet turned out to be the SEC Indoor Track & Field Championships, where she won both the preliminaries and finals of the 60-meter hurdles. Two weeks later, Harrison won an NCAA title in the same event and tied for the fifth fastest time in history (7.87). Harrison was just getting warmed up as she ran for the record books at the SEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Her winning time of 12.50 in the 100-meter hurdles put her alone in fourth on the all-time chart, with .03 seconds standing between her and second (Brianna Rollins owns the all-time collegiate record at 12.39). One month later Harrison blew away the field for the NCAA Outdoor title with the fourth fastest wind-legal time in NCAA Championships history (12.55). Harrison also competes and excels in the 400-meter hurdles. In fact, her 54.09 is the fifth fastest mark alltime and would have earned her an NCAA title if it wasn’t for Texas A&M’s Shamier Little (53.74). Harrison, however, became the only woman currently in the top five on the all-time collegiate performers list in both the 100-meter and 400-meter hurdles. all ph otos by kirby l ee
No one stepped outside of relative obscurity and into the national spotlight quicker than Stephen F. Austin pole vaulter Demi Payne. After taking a year off from competition following the birth of her daughter, Payne made a triumphant return to the sport. In only her third indoor meet of the season, Payne shattered the one-yearold indoor collegiate record set by Texas’ Kaitlin Petrillose. She originally established the new mark (4.65m, 15-3) on her fourth vault of the meet and then soared past it on the way to the current record of 4.75m (15-7). Throughout the rest of the indoor season, Payne continued to add her name to the all-time chart and won in the process. In fact, the only two meets in which she didn’t earn first place were the Arkansas Open (third) and the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, where she no heighted. Payne more than made up for her disappointing finish to the indoor season with eight wins in 10 meets outdoors. Her rivalry during the outdoor season with Arkansas’ Sandi Morris was one for the ages as Payne twice set the collegiate record outdoors (4.61m, 15-1 ½ and 4.71, 15-5 ½) only for Morris to one-up her. Payne earned the top spot on the podium, however, as she won the NCAA Outdoor title recording zero misses and a new meet-record height of 4.70 (15-5).
Just how versatile and talented is Oregon’s Jenna Prandini? Prandini outscored several full teams by herself at the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships and then again at the Outdoor Track & Field Championships. It was at the NCAA Indoor meet where Prandini notched 23 points for the Ducks, winning the long jump (6.65m, 21-10), finishing second in the 200-meter dash (22.74) and fourth in the 60-meter dash (7.24). Prandini’s time in the preliminaries of the 200 (22.52) was the ninth fastest time in indoor collegiate history. Then at the NCAA Outdoor meet, she upped the ante by scoring 26 points and helped Oregon to a team title. Prandini won the 100-meter dash in a wind-assisted 10.96 and placed second in both the 200 (22.21) and long jump (6.80m, 22-3 ¾). It could be argued that Prindini’s signature moment of the outdoor season came two months earlier when she won the 100 at the Mt. SAC Relays and became the all-time fastest outdoor collegian at low altitude (10.92).
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