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Ultimate Guide to Coaching Youth Track and Field

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Coaching track for dummies

Postby Mat В» 29.11.2019

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Each season, I look forward to the student-athletes who are just beginning their athletic endeavors for the first time. Freshman athletes—with minimal recreational or organized athletic experiences—are wonderful to coach, but developmentally, they deserve a training program that gradually eases them into the physical and emotional demands of their sport.

Today, sport at any age level has become a science. There is a surplus of literature about any sport available online, in print, or from peer-reviewed sources.

In fact, reading everything available on your sport may confuse you more than support you. A basic, fundamental understanding will provide the necessary oversight to prevent injury, maximize performances, and allow these new athletes to enjoy a positive athletic experience.

My previous athletic experience prepared me exceptionally well for our grueling freshman track workouts. Those workouts were ridiculous, but back then I lacked enough of a fundamental understanding of my sport to know that 2. In high school sports, athletes are not all equal.

Less-experienced or younger athletes require shorter, age-appropriate workouts. A good coach moderates the volume of meters run, jumps taken, or weight lifted to prevent overuse injuries and raise the ceiling for performance of these individuals.

As I mentioned earlier, the literature available is vast, but a consensus exists on the moderation of practice volume , especially for sprinters, jumpers, and throwers. Good coaching never reinforces bad habits, like poor posture, by pushing athletes through fatigue or exhaustion. Let them execute the skill correctly and back them off. This is just one fundamental principle of several presented in this article that work together to prevent injuries, maximize performance, and foster a positive training environment for athletes.

The seven principles presented originated in track and field, because this is the sport I coach and understand best. The principles are not absolutes, but they apply in most contexts. I rely on track and field as a model because many of the raw athletic skills necessary for other sports are embedded within the fitness and coordination developed within track and field.

Again, instead of telling you to read everything you can get your hands on, I have attempted to condense the most widely accepted ideas in track and field down to seven fundamental principles to support your coaching. In scholastic sports, coaches are there for their athletes. We gain buy-in for the team when athletes want to be there. Practices can and should be fun. Athletes should improve each successive year.

Kids try new sports because they want to be successful. I believe athletes have the right to choose their event. Athletes should own their event, and our job is to guide them to success.

A good coach guides, teaches, and educates—they do not dictate. Everybody likes choice, so why not compromise? Athletes expect and demand our critical but caring attention, and we can give it if we plan appropriately.

Remember, we do this for them. Athletes are No. Less is more. Again, 2. No athlete needs more than two hours in a given practice session and no workout should focus on high-intensity, high-volume fitness for the same duration. If you want to be fast, then forget workouts like a 10xm or 4xm. High-volume speed endurance workouts of more than meters will not drop times. Too often, coaches prescribe interval and aerobic work for their sprinters.

Overtraining overloads the central nervous system and the average high school body eventually breaks down from overstimulation. Volume workouts do not build speed—they overuse and abuse, and your athletes lose. By reducing the volume in a training session, our athletes return to practice the next day hungry, healthy, and ready for another great session. If you want to train great jumpers , then you have to let them jump… often! The same is true for throwing, sprinting, hurdles, and even distance running!

Sprinting is sprinting is sprinting. Each event has its unique challenges for the human body. Your athletes must acclimate to their functional motions and to the resistances—weighted or gravitational—applied to their bodies. They must experience these challenges frequently. Before the indoor season, I primarily coached shot put. At the end of last year, I knew that I would have to train a new crop of young throwers.

Plus, there were easy points to score at our county championship because the weight throw was relatively uncontested. Each week, I devoted at least three practice days to weight throw technical drills and at least two out of our four practice days in the weight room getting my athletes stronger, acclimating them to the resistances experienced while executing their functional motions.

We threw weight for 30 minutes with ample recovery time every Tuesday and Thursday. On Mondays and Fridays, we practiced smooth entrances with our arms, lots of spinning footwork, and weighted bar spins in classrooms. We mocked competition as much as possible, whenever and wherever possible.

My sophomore boys, Tim and Brandon pseudonyms , improved their season best performances by 11 ft. In our sophomore all-city championship, Tim threw 28 ft. Brandon improved steadily over the course of the entire season while Tim struggled with his form all season long.

Suddenly, his competitors looked worried. Functional movement must be reinforced in practice frequently if athletes wish to see improvement in their performance, like Tim or Brandon did this past season. I did not become a more knowledgeable weight throw coach this past season. I became a more attentive observer and a more critical voice. Most importantly, I created the time and space for my weight throwers to focus deeply on their functional motion.

I encouraged all my throwers to practice their footwork in the hallways between classes, swing their backpacks like the weight, and show off these skills to their very confused friends. Tim and Brandon demonstrated to me and our team that a commitment to functional movement leads to more confident coordination and improved performances. Beyond practicing the event, coaches should provide weight training exercises that correlate directly with the functional motion.

For example, javelin throwers should rotate their arms for warm-up and use band-resisted mechanics, multi-directional flys, and axe chops with a weighted bar to access their functional motion. In the weight room, shot putters should rely on the incline bench press, deadlift, squat, clean, and medicine ball throw from standing and supine positions. Jumpers need to be in the air, but more importantly, jumpers need to practice their approach on the runway.

Every step matters on the runway. Practice stride-stride-long-short jumps, box jumps, and 1-step pop-ups into the pit. Each event has a set of requisite functional motions that should be drilled at least three times per week in practice. Drills reinforce each technical element of performance. If you want to train better sprinters, then they need to sprint. Building arm strength and resilience to fatigue happens in slow, controlled settings, like in the weight room, with flys, pull-ups, and push-ups.

Hurdlers gotta hurdle; throwers gotta throw. When I train discus throwers, we use the South African drill to improve vestibular control over angular momentum. When one of my athletes asks me why we use the South African drill, I tell them exactly what you just read. If they have further questions, I answer those questions too. Rather, we need to provide them with the necessary knowledge to find success.

Never begin a practice session with slow strength exercises like core or weightlifting. What benefit is there in wobbly sprinting or jumping with a weakened core? When an athlete trains in a fatigued state, their body compensates with poor form, and then reinforces that poor form in subsequent technical exercises. This is how injuries occur. Forget the slow stuff first. Sequencing matters. Functional movement matters.

I recommend following this sequence for all practice sessions:. For example, if middle distance athletes are going to complete a plyometric circuit and a long run for cardio, then make sure that the plyometric circuit precedes the run. When pole vaulters practice, they combine both technique and sprinting in a single minute session, which can be followed by a strength lift in the weight room.

Save a true, sprinting workout for the vaulters on their next practice day. All practice sessions should be planned and sequenced carefully to support the health and safety of your athletes. At the beginning of the year not the season! Develop a plan based upon their goals. However, some planning is better than no planning at all. Develop a plan and stick with it. Embed flexibility into your plans.

Write your plans down! Instead of responding to breaks, like holidays or mid-terms, as they happen, plan ahead with those breaks in mind.

They do not obstruct training if they are always in the schedule each year. Let your athletes have the time off that they deserve, but provide them with adequate resources to maintain their fitness independently.

Gutaxe
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Re: coaching track for dummies

Postby Fer В» 29.11.2019

Hi Mark. Preseason training helps athletes prepare physically and mentally. Young, supported athletes grow into mature, experienced athletes that excel in performance because they know how to balance training with their other obligations.

Gronris
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Re: coaching track for dummies

Postby Dizshura В» 29.11.2019

Vary the distance or angular distance for javelin and award points based on the coordination goal for that day. Set it up differently the next time. When athletes arrive at practice, I hope that they enjoy training for the improvement they will achieve in performance and for the community we build together in a season.

Dugar
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Re: coaching track for dummies

Postby Mezigul В» 29.11.2019

The site is designed source high school coaches in mind, but the tools provided here could be utilized for younger athletes or even college athletes. As a coach at the onset of a new track and field season, you'll likely encounter a wide range of ability among young coachiny. You can later cater strength training to each athlete's ability [sources: HackettFaigenbaum ]. Join Our Community.

Yosida
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Re: coaching track for dummies

Postby Dora В» 29.11.2019

This files was provided by Complete Track and Field By Boo Schexnayder One http://tophapfilmreapp.tk/and/air-b-and-b-near-me.php the greatest dilemmas 51scope any track http field coach is what to do when the weather is bad and you have no legitimate an98 track facility in which to train. Preseason training helps athletes prepare physically and mentally. No athlete needs rar than two hours in a given practice session and no workout should focus on high-intensity, high-volume fitness for the same duration. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.

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