2 Most Important Words for Coaches

Posted by Latif Thomas

A week or two ago, I sent out a survey asking if you’d be interested in a program based not on training (how many 30s to run or medicine ball throws to do on a Tuesday), but how to organize your program so you can manage large groups of kids (with a small staff) and ensure your athletes who sprint and hurdle and jump get an appropriate amount of event specific training in…even though you can only be in one place at a time.

Because these are the kinds of issues we deal with at the middle and high school levels. Let all the Big Timers in the forums get worked up debating force vectors, swing times and affiliate links. I don’t have time for those kinds of details. I’m just trying to get through 6-8 x 30m and give varsity runners some feedback before total chaos breaks out somewhere amongst the roughly 100 sprinter/jumper/hurdlers I’m in charge of every day. Me and my first year assistant.

Ok guys, it's time to start practice!

Apparently most of you can relate. So if you’re like me and you’re interested in making sure you cover the basics across a lot of events and kids with a wide range of abilities and interest levels and you’re not staffed like a football team, then these are the two most important words to you as a coach:

Training Inventory.

Simply put, your ‘training inventory’ is your list (warehouse) of drills, exercises, circuits, workout routines, etc. that you pull from when designing your daily practices. Without a training inventory that you actively reference, you’re tripling or quadrupling the amount of time it takes to get ready for practice because, in essence, you have to reinvent the wheel every time you write a workout. I do not have time for that.

Let’s say tomorrow is a max velocity day. So you’ll start practice with a max velocity themed warm up.

-Which low intensity ‘getting them ready to go fast’ drills will you use early on? (Check your training inventory)
-Which max velocity/speed specific drills will you use? (Check your training inventory)
-What order will you put them in? (Check your training inventory)
-Do you know exactly how to teach them all? (We’ll find out when I watch your kids warm up at the next meet…)

Related: What is the Best Way to Train 400m Runners?

Fast forward three weeks. You’re not going to do the same warm up on your speed days for the entire season. You’re going to bore you athletes into a coma. And you can’t run fast when you’re in a coma.

Do you have a big enough inventory of drills and exercises to change your warm up around?

What about the max velocity workout itself?

What’s your inventory of drills to teach max velocity mechanics? (A Skip, A Run, Fast Leg and Fast Leg variations, etc.)

What’s your inventory of max velocity workouts? (Straight 60s, fly 20s, fly 30s, Ins/Outs, etc.)

Now that the workout is over, you’ll want to get some explosive work in. Let’s say you want to do a multi-jump routine…

Do you have an inventory of jumping/hopping/bounding drills?

Do you know how to progress them from simple to complex? What order do they get taught in?

Can you teach them? (That means ‘demonstrate’…)

Wait you’re not 20 anymore? You can’t pull off a standing triple jump the way it’s supposed to look? Do you have an inventory of these drills on video that you can show your captains/team leaders so they can teach and demonstrate?

Because you would never ask an athlete to perform a movement they’ve never seen done correctly, would you?

How about acceleration work? Got an inventory of skills and drills for that?

How about general work? (core, bodyweight circuits, etc.)

How about medicine ball throws?

I think you get the idea.

If you want to save yourself a ton of time and energy preparing for practice, spend less time at practice while getting more done and see better results at meets, you need an inventory of drills, cues, workouts and exercises that cover all 5 biomotor abilities: speed, strength, flexibility, coordination and endurance.

Where do you go to find such a thing? Simple.

Complete Speed Training Vol. 2: How to Build Champion Sprinters

I created the program to be a training inventory because I know how much goes into preparing all the details of a day of practice. Or a week. Or a season. And it will make your life a lot easier. I guarantee it. Because I cover everything you could possibly need to know over the course of 11 DVDs.

My girls 4x100 team the moment they were told they broke the State Championship Meet Record. Good times!

Gidday Latif

The New Zealand domestic season is winding up and the athletes I coach have all hit fantastic PB’s to date and I put a great deal of this down to a shift or rather a fine-tuning of my coaching philosophy based on your ideas in CST2. Down here at the bottom of the country (where we account for less than 2% of registered athletes in the country, but account for 10%+ of international representatives in any given year) there is one highly experienced coach who has been pumping out high quality international level athletes for a few years now, but I am now on the cusp of doing the same thing, especially with my group of sprinters and that is really exciting, especially as I am a relatively young coach (who still likes to crank out the odd race to keep the young fellas on their toes :)) To date CST2 has been by far and away the best investment I have made as a coach (and that includes attending conferences here and abroad run by some of the best coaches in the world). The results speak for themselves – for example, having a New Zealand 100m junior schoolboy champion from this area is pretty much unheard of, especially given the margin and ease of his victory. So from me and my dedicated group of athletes a huge thank you!


Lorne Singer
Athletics Southland Development Officer

This past winter I had the opportunity to speak about training sprinters at both the Wisconsin Track Coaches Clinic and the New England Track Coaches Clinic. I gave the coaches who attended my all time lowest prices on Complete Speed Training 2 and for the rest of the week you can get that price.

I’ve never offered the program this cheap. I’ll never offer it again this cheap. So get it now.

Save yourself countless hours of program design and workout planning.

Complete Speed Training 2 Clinic Special (through Friday April 8, 2011)

To your success,

Latif Thomas

P.S. Got questions? Ask them below.

Latif Thomas - Latif Thomas owns and operates Complete Track and Field and serves as the Co-Director of the Complete Track and Field Clinic at Harvard University, the largest track and field clinic in the United States. A popular speaker and presenter at some of the largest coaching clinics across the country, Latif has true passion for the sport and it definitely shows. Over the past 19 years, he has coached more combined League, Division, All-State, and New England Champions in sprints, hurdles, and jumps than he can count. Follow @latif_thomas on Twitter.

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