While strengthening our athletes to increase velocity and explosion, focusing on proper sprint mechanics is a decisive factor in a fast time. While focusing on sprint mechanics, we like to start with three major components:
To start, we have to look at how we plant and balance. Our three points of contact in our feet are; big toe, pinky toe, and heel. Through these points of contact we create a triangle base that allows for larger surface area to contact the ground. In turn with this surface area, we can now balance and execute a powerful footstrike.
The second focus we institute is our lower body positioning being knee to hip, calf to hamstring, toe pointed to our shin, Driving our knee to hip allows for a cull contraction and drive into the ground producing maximum force at each step. Keeping our calf tucked to our hamstring allows for fast contraction and knee drive up, safety when driving and not allowing reaching, negating a heel flick increasing the time it takes for athletes to put their foot back down.
The third focus we address is our upper body positioning. We like to focus on; arms 90-90, core tight, head neutral with spine, 45 degree lean, and shoulders relaxed. When we focus on keeping our core tight, we are able to brace and control our breathing. Keeping our arms at 90 degrees as they come forward as well as when we drive them back creates force and tension we then use to drive our legs into the ground. Keeping our head neutral with our spine allows for a flat back to increase our thoracic tension and leads us into our 45 degree lean to propel us forward. Keeping our shoulders relaxed ensures we do not tense up in the wrong areas and keep a fluid motion and drive with our arms.
All of these steps and tools can also be taught for more advanced sprinters as well. Developing the basics first through our wall drills, A-series, and hurdle drills leads our athletes to successful times in metric testing as well as outshining the opponent on the field.