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Identifying Mental Traits for the “Workhorse Sprinter”

Have you ever had an athlete or athletes that could win multiple events at a championship meet? These athletes are better referred to as your “Workhorse Sprinters…” Your multitalented sprinters who can run the 60 meters through the 400 meters and who might even be able to find success in a field event or on a relay leg. And then there is the combined event athlete who can score points in an individual event and the MultiEvent. Can you think of any athletes on your team who fit this description? Since the sport of track and field requires a lot of mental strength, it is important to note the mental capacity it takes to be considered a “Workhorse Sprinter.” With mental traits, the first thing…

How to ‘Reverse Engineer’ the College Schedule to fit HS Season Length

I got on the phone with Kebba Tolbert the other night because I had some questions. We decided to record it. I had the hour long conversation transcribed and it came out to 24 pages of additional content. If you haven’t already read my entire interview with Kebba, you can get it here for free. Today I want to share a chunk of that interview. I think you’ll find it interesting. It’s about what I call ‘reverse engineering’. Most courses, certifications, products, etc., are built by and around college and elite level coaches discussing the nearly year round professional and collegiate seasons. So as high school coaches, we have to digest this information and then ‘reverse engineer’ these 40 week programs written for freaks to…

Unicorns, Show Ponies, & The Mythical Straight Leg Bound Progression

In 2012 I spoke at the MF athletic All Star Track and Field Clinic in Atlantic city. I roomed with Tony Veney. If you’ve ever roomed with Tony Veney, it is quite the experience! (Don’t be mad at me Tony!) During one of my breaks, I had the opportunity to sit in on a lecture being given by Caryl Smith Gilbert. I knew she was a Tony Wells disciple, but I didn’t know much else. What I did know was how fast her sprinters were running and I was interested in what she was doing. One thing she did spend a good deal of time on was the elastic strength / strength endurance / straight leg bound progression she did in the fall. The main…

Sprinters Need to Stop Running in Practice

 

Running is not sprinting. Sprinting is not running. Let’s say you can currently throw a fastball 90mph. You want to get it to 100mph. Do you think the solution is to spend the bulk of your time throwing large volumes of pitches at 75 miles per hour? No because that would be dumb. Sprinters hate running. Frequent tempo runs are death marches for sprinters. They half ass them. They run with terrible mechanics which only makes it more difficult to express speed and power during the times they really need to. These times are called “meets”. QUESTION: How many days per week are your sprinters running in practice? ANSWER: Too many. “Oh but Latif if they’re not running enough they won’t be in shape.” In…

My Favorite Sprints, Hurdles, & Jumps Programs to Steal From

There are only a few days left before Christmas and we’re having a ‘Last Minute’ sale. All digital programs are 30% off through the end of the day on Christmas Eve. Click here to see our full catalogue of track and field programs. (Use coupon code XMAS30 at checkout.) We have a lot of programs here at Complete Track and Field. It can be confusing and even overwhelming trying to figure out which resource/s best suit your needs. Well I’m a coach, too.  I thought it might be helpful to list and talk a bit about some of the programs I’m referencing, studying, and/or stealing from in my season right now. Just some quick background: I have around 40 boys and girls in my group….

How to run separate short and long sprints workouts at the same time

Chances are you’re in charge of the entire sprints group. You know your 100m runners and 400m runners often need different types of training. But, if you’re watching short sprints come out of blocks, you lose track of the long sprints rest period and you screw up that workout. If you’re timing the long sprints interval workout, you’re not addressing the abomination taking place over at the starting line. In the past, when I had a lot of things happening during practice, I felt like my head was on a swivel and I was consistently about 10 seconds behind real time. I was doing both groups a disservice when I tried to write separate programs. I was doing both groups a disservice when I coached…

Training in the Hallways: Mangaging Shin Splints and Training Volumes

To make sure I crossed every ‘t’ and dotted every ‘i’ before launching my new Complete Program Design for Sprinters program, I asked coaches to answer the following: What is your biggest question about training in the hallways? I’ve received 318 responses so far and noted some clear patterns in what you asked. I took all the posts and grouped them into roughly 10 questions that covered a solid 80% of what I read. I made an audio recording answering all the questions so far as they specifically applied to training on concrete hallways and gym floors. Have a listen to my answers to the top 2 questions: How do you avoid/manage shin splints? How do you get all the volume in when you have…

Stop Doing “Recovery” the Day After Speed Work [PART 3]

“When you free yourself from volume concerns, the picture becomes much clearer.”    – Vince Anderson (Texas A&M)   ==> Click here to read Part I: Training Deeper in the Same Pool ==> Click here to read Part II: Training Shallower in the Same Pool   I heard Vince say this at the first USTFCCCA Event Specialist School back in 2011 and it blew. my. fricken. mind. Volume as the constant was dead.  When it comes to planning workouts for high school sprinters, especially 200/300/400 types, too many coaches still default to a volume-centric approach. Instead of thinking about the meet preparedness of their athletes as a function of the amount of volume they could handle, I was able to flip the script and focus on what…

Stop Doing “Recovery” The Day After Speed Work [PART 2]

In Part 1, I explained the many benefits of using back-to-back training sessions of high neuromuscular demand as a model when your are planning training for your sprinters. In regular people terms this means back-to-back speed days. If you haven’t read it, it’s worth checking out before continuing on here because it explains the underlying ‘Reason Why’ behind the activity and exercise selection discussed below. Click here to read Part 1: Training Deeper in the Same Pool. Building on the ideas contained in that article, we’ll now move to our next preferred practice session format:   Training Shallower in the Same Pool   Training shallower in the same pool means incorporating back to back sessions of high neuromuscular demand with the first being the more…

Stop Doing “Recovery” The Day After Speed Work [PART 1]

“It depends.” It’s the empty, but honest answer to nearly every training question I get from high school coaches about optimizing program design for their high school sprinters. The reality is: What you do at tomorrow’s practice doesn’t matter nearly as much as WHY you’re doing it and HOW you implement it. We’ll go in circles forever if we go down the path of “What if…” so in this article I’m taking a slightly different approach. Imagine you’re sitting at your computer planning your workouts/practices for the upcoming week. You schedule your standard speed related day for Monday. So your biggest question now becomes: What exactly should I do on Tuesday? If your brain immediately blurted out ‘extensive tempo’ or ‘recovery’, keep reading. Because I…

How to write better workouts for high school sprinters

We live in, apparently, the Golden Age of Gurus. It sure is a lot for me to keep up with. In times like this, I do my best try to live by the wise words of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer: Your world frightens and confuses me. Now that it’s time to start preparing for the 2018 season, what’s a coach to do? I think a good idea may be to review the reasons kids actually run fast. Then prescribe activities that align with what is known to work. Basically, it’s a philosophy of advanced simplicity. Take the 400 for example. Lots of coaches spend a lot of calories doing some really pointless and cruel stuff to their 400 runners.   Question: Let’s say we’re going to…

Does the squat and deadlift improve sprinting speed? (Part 2)

In part #1 of my previous article, (see: Does the Squat and Deadlift Improve Sprinting Speed? Part 1), you saw the proof for exactly why both the squat and deadlift are very useful choices when the number one goal is to get faster.  Now, the next question that often arises is what kind of squat and deadlift will give you the most bang for your buck in the speed development department?  Lets first look at the squat.  Click on the link below to access a comprehensive scientific review compliments of Dr. Bret Contreras that evaluates a somewhat recent study from a researcher by the name of Swinton back in 2012 (1):   Related article: Traditional Squat vs Powerlifting Squat vs Box Squat (by Bret Contreras)…

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