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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)…

What to Do When Disaster Strikes at a Major Meet

Mike Tyson hit the nail on the head when he said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Seeded #1 (4×100, 100, 200, 400) and #2 (4×400) going into the Rhode Island State Championships, we had high expectations. Starting the day off with the 4×100 meter relay, we believed average handoffs would get us across the line first and earn the first State Title of the day. Then we got punched in the mouth so hard it made Kermit Washington cringe. I started coaching high school track and field in the spring of 2001, my first year out of college. The following video (Lane 4, black uniforms) shows the only time I have ever had to choke back tears because of…

Why Coaches Should Attend the 2017 CTF Summer Clinic

When most coaches think of summer track and field camps/clinics, they assume they’re strictly for the kids. So, you may not be aware that the Complete Track and Field Clinic is different. Of course, our focus is on the athletes. But, we also encourage high school and youth coaches (and parents who work with their kids) to register and attend as well. We’re confident when you attend the 7th Annual Complete Track and Field Clinic, you’ll agree it is a World Class event. And you can get Complete Access (more on that in a moment) for FREE when you encourage 3 of your athletes to register. (Just send us the names of the athletes and we’ll register you. If you already paid, we’ll send you…

Multi-Sport Athlete Transitioning to Track & Field

Often, at the high school level, it is common for coaches to persuade their athletes to join the track and field team after finishing up their preferred fall or winter sport. Likely, the main goal for encouraging an athlete to go out for the track team – or the objective for an athlete transitioning to track & field – is to “stay active,” “develop speed/power,” or “get stronger for the next season.” Though not as common at the collegiate level there are times when individuals express interest in becoming dual sport athletes. Participating in two sports in college is not impossible but it takes a special type of athlete to accomplish this, especially at the professional level.        Indoor track & field programs…

Summer Training Ideas for Sprints, Hurdles & Jumps Part II

Summer Training Ideas for Sprints & Hurdles & Jumps Part II “Summer, summer, summertime… Time to sit back and unwind”   Related Article: Summer Training Ideas for Sprints, Hurdles & Jumps Part I A longer season is a successful season… Each championship meet your athletes attend has the potential to be a qualifier for the next. Some athletes survive and advance while others start their summer early, which means a longer break. I have athletes that end their season when finals have ended and others that stick around for quite a bit more time. For this reason, I seem to think the first phase of my training theory for the summer is simple: Stay active Do things you enjoy that are NOT track & field related…

Summer Camp Registration Deadline is This Friday!

If you’re still debating whether or not to come to the clinic this summer, search #ctfclinic on Twitter to see what past attendees said during and after the event. So, every year we get a flood of last minute registrations and countless sad stories from coaches, parents, and athletes who waited too long and get locked out. If you want to take advantage of the $50.00 ‘Early Bird’ discount and NOT have to pay full price, you MUST register by the end of the day this Friday, May 27. ⇒ Register now for the 2016 CTF Summer Clinic (click on the event groups in the menu for their individual pages.) Coaches: Remember, if you send three athletes from your program, you can come for free. If you coach high school…

How to Run the 200m Race

  The 200 meter sprint is the Rodney Dangerfield of the sprint events. It gets no respect. When we commonly think of the sprint events, the 100 meter dash gets all the glory and the 400 meter dash gets all the respect. That leaves the middle child, the 200, left out in the cold. As an athlete whose primary event was the 200 at the collegiate level I’ve developed a certain affinity for running and coaching the event. While I’ve arguably had the most coaching success at 400 meters (and, where I’m from – the 300) I still love the Deuce best of all. In this article I’m going to break this event down so that your athletes can find greater success in the event….

[VIDEO] The Only Way to Peak Your Sprinters When It Matters

Click here if you want more information like this. This past winter, when I spoke at Speed Training Seminars and Track & Field coaching conferences in Illinois, Florida, Indiana, and Michigan, I did 19 hours of presentations on the sprints and hurdles. When I showed this to coaches and asked them if they: Knew what it was… Knew what to do with it… Created one each year as the BASIS of their program design decisions… Without being hyperbolic, at best 2% of coaches raised their hand. I wasn’t surprised. And I don’t know if you’re part of the 98%. But, without it, it is impossible to consistently get your sprinters to run their fastest races in the biggest meets and keep them injury free. Here it…

Gift the Top Selling Programs of 2015 to Your Favorite Coach!

Here’s an easy way to get the coach/es in your life (or yourself) a quality last minute Christmas present…without leaving your couch. I’m doing a Beta test with a new system that allows you to purchase one of our digital programs for someone else. Once you pay for it, they’ll get an email with instructions for completing the registration process. To set it off, I’m making 7 of the top 8 best selling programs available through Christmas Day. You can get 30% off your order on these programs when you use coupon code COUNTDOWN. (The Best Selling program of 2015, Complete Speed Training 2, isn’t available digitally, but the coupon code will work.) Click on the links below to go to the Registration Pages for the…

Why You Need to Develop Speed Reserve

Developing a ‘speed reserve’ through a well designed speed development program is essential to success in any sport where combating fatigue is a requirement for success. Though we look at this term primarily when discussing track and field sprints, it’s applications apply to a range of sports. Speed reserve is, essentially, the difference between an athlete’s maximum speed and their maximum aerobic speed. In many coaching situations, we look at an athlete’s perceived inability to finish a workout in the expected time as a matter of not being ‘in shape’. (A discussion of what ‘in shape’ actually refers to in the parameters of anaerobic training is a topic for another time, but one that fundamentally affects the way athletes are coached.) The solution, for many…

Latif Thomas: Speaking Events in 2015-2016

Latif Thomas Schedule and Appearances    Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT) Connecticut High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic November 15, 2015 Mastering Your High School 400m Training Program     Montini High School (Chicago Area: Lombard, IL) Track-Football Activation Consortium  December 11-12, 2015 Specific Strength Progressions & Acceleration Complexes Teaching and Progressing Acceleration & Top Speed Complexes Block Starts and Acceleration     Hilton- Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort (Daytona, FL) Florida Athletic Coaches Association Track and Field Clinic January 7-10, 2016 Visit the website for speaking topics      Sheraton Hotel (Indianapolis, IN)  Indiana Association of Track & Cross Country Coaches Association T&F Clinic  January 28-30, 2016 Blocks, Starts, & Acceleration Teaching & Progressing Top End Speed (Max Velocity) Mastering Your High School Short Sprints (55-200)…

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