Tag: sports performance

Sprint Technique – 10 Common Errors and Corrections

Whether you’ve been blessed with the ability to fly or not, speed is a skill that can be taught—and thus dramatically improved. It starts with learning and implementing proper running form and sprinting technique. Mastering proper sprint technique is perhaps the most immediate way to improve speed.

Below are 10 Common Errors and Corrections of Sprint Technique:

Problem: Upward Emphasis or Not Swinging Arms Back Far Enough.

  • Correction: Have the athlete pretend he/she is holding a hammer in each hand and pounding nails into a wall directly behind him/her.
  • Main Point: The faster the arm is swung backward, the faster the leg will pull forward.

Problem: Shoulders Shrugged/Upper Back Tension.

  • Correction: Have the athlete consciously relax the traps and shoulders to allow more natural movement. Practice in place looking into a mirror.
  • Main Point: Upper body needs to stay relaxed. Tension can inhibit the free motion required for optimal speed.

Problem: Side-to-Side Arm Movement.

  • Correction: Have the athlete practice in front of a mirror to help him/her understand that this movement is causing excessive trunk rotation. The path in which the arms travel begins with the fingertips even with the chin. The hand should reach the midline of the body, but does not cross. The hand will then travel backwards until it is completely behind the hip.
  • Main Point: There should be limited lateral movement, as the focus should be on forward and backward movement emphasizing the backward motion.

Problem: Cross-Over Knee Drive (crossing the knees inward over the midline of the body)

  • Correction: Explain to the athlete that the legs travel in one plane of movement, it’s like riding a bike. Working in front of a mirror may be helpful.
  • Main Point: Knees need to travel in a straight path.

Problem: Lack of Knee Drive (During Acceleration 10-20 yards)

  • Correction: Likely needs to strengthen hip flexors and core. Hip flexors raise the thigh and core stabilizes the pelvis.
  • Main Point: Need to forceful knee drive getting hip 70-80 degrees in relation to the body.

Problem: Toes Point Inward or Outward

  • Correction: Likely needs to improve ankle flexibility, hip flexor strength. Muscles imbalances in hip internal and external rotation may all need attention.
  • Main Point: Toes need to point forward and should be in line with the knee and hip.

Problem: Over-striding (plant foot too far in from of the body)

  • Correction: Explain that the athlete needs to keep a tighter knee bend as the knee drives during each swing phase.
  • Main Point: During acceleration (first 10-20) yards the foot should strike the ground slightly behind the body. After the first 10-20 yards, the foot will strike slightly in front of the body.

Problem: Under-striding (short, choppy steps)

  • Correction: Cue the athlete to increase the distance between their thighs on each stride. Likely needs to improve hip flexor flexibility.
  • Main Point: Stride length comes from by pushing off the ground harder and fully extending hip, knee, and ankle and driving the forward knee to high knee position.

Problem: Landing on Heels (many larger athletes have a hard time with this)

  • Correction: Make the athletes aware of the issue. Coach athlete on proper foot strike through high knees drills, wall drills, etc.
  • Main Point: The heel will almost make contact with the ground, but athletes should be coached to stay on the ball of the foot because no weight should be taken by the heel.

Problem: Ankle Plantar Flexed (pointed down, leads to over-striding)

  • Correction: Coach the athlete to pull the toes to the knees. Coach the athlete to barely keep the heel from hitting the ground. Practice with high knees, butt kicks, wall drills.
  • Main Point: When foot strikes the ground, the ankle needs to be dorsiflexed (pointed up) in order to deliver a high force into the ground.

True Athlete Performance will be hosting a Linear Speed Clinic Series for $59!

We breakdown the fundamentals of sprinting including proper posture, proper mechanics, and proper rhythm.

  • Hagerstown, Md –  Sundays, May 19th and 26th
  • Frederick, Md –  Mondays, May 20th and June 3rd
  • Chantilly, Va –  Sundays, May 19th and June 2nd

Click Here to Learn More and Reserve Your Spot in the Linear Speed Clinic Series!

5 Lessons Athletes Learn from Sports

We just opened enrollment for our Spring 2019 Programs! Click here to find a location near you.

5 Lessons Athletes Learn from Sports

I began playing sports at an early age. It began with soccer and baseball and then expanded into football and basketball. I even wrestled for a season or two. In high school, I focused primarily on football and baseball, and baseball in college. I have always loved being an athlete, and I have always been appreciative of the lessons I learned from playing sports. These lessons have served me well in all aspects of my life including business and being involved in my community.

1. Hard Work: If you want something in life you’re going to have to make sacrifices that others may not be willing to do. 

2. Practice your craft: No matter what sport it was, if you wanted to get better you had to practice. This is the same in anything you want in life. There are no short cuts. There’s no magic words. Being great at something takes hard, consistent work.

3. Teamwork: A lot of the sports are team sports. When can teach kids how to rely on others, to work toward something that cannot be done alone, and at times be selfless.

4. Leadership: How to encourage, pick up, and educate others. There’s so many opportunities in sports to be a leader. You never have to be the most talented to be a leader. 

5. Losing: this is the toughest part, but you’re not going to win every game/contest. When you lose, losing with grace and dignity is an important lesson to learn. Regroup, make corrections, and prepare for the next game. 

I’m so thankful for the valuable lessons sports taught me at a young age. I’ve been able to use these lessons in almost all areas of my life. 

P.S. – If you have a athlete who is interested improving athleticism and confidence CLICK HERE to find a location and programming in your area.

Josh Daniels is Vice-President of True Athlete Performance and the head strength and conditioning coach for Bishop Walsh High School boy’s basketball program. He has devoted the majority of his career to training multi-directional speedand he’s been performance coach and consultant for 50+ high school teams spanning football, soccer, volleyball, basketball and lacrosse. Daniels is graduate of Eastern Nazarene College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science and he is certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CSCS).

Are your athletes still struggling to increase speed and quickness?

One of the biggest myths that goes around to coaches and parents is that you can’t train speed…

So many coaches and parents of youth athletes fail to help them develop their true speed, quickness and athleticism potential because of this myth.

These same coaches and parents try to compensate with more skills training and extra time spend practicing and playing on multiple teams of that same sport…  even year-round.

Are you making this mistake?

The truth is… not only CAN you train speed, you have a much better chance of developing more speed, agility and long-term athleticism in your young athletes by doing it when they are young and developing.

One of the most important periods of motor development for children is between the ages of 8 and 12. During this time, children are developmentally ready to acquire the fundamental movement skills that are the cornerstones of all athletic development. These fundamental skills include running, throwing, jumping, hopping, and bounding—the ABC’s of athletics. The introduction of the ABC’s of athleticism (agility, balance, coordination, speed) during this period will lay the foundation of athletic excellence for later years.

Training should focus on building them up from a foundational level with exercises, games and drills that not only appeal to their growth and development, but appeal to their curiosity and enthusiasm.

If your athletes are having fun, they will be more engaged.  If they are more engaged they will experience more success.

Consider it a window of opportunity:)

If you want a jump-start to increasing your athletes’ speed and quickness be sure to check out our:

Fall Sports Performance Programs

Programs are specifically designed for 3 different age groups. Programs include all sports and skill levels from youth to high school and beginner to elite.

And for a limited time, you can save 20% off any packages with code “fall20”!

The 20% discount ends 10/17. We will put you on the cutting edge and make sure that you have the latest and most effective training methods. If you act now, you can also save 20% on any packages – Fall Sports Performance Programs

Train hard, Train smart, Train True…