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How important is running form to you?


bdjackson
(@bdjackson)
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Regretfully, I have to admit that this was never something I had even considered working on until the end of last year during a conversation with CoachDP. Even after that conversation I did very little future research on the topic after the end of the season. However, I decided that it is something that I would really like to continue incorporating into our warm-ups (MFD) as well as throughout all facets of the season. 

 

With that said, who would be willing to share their literature, videos, research, experiences on this topic to help fellow coaches who may also be interested in this topic. 

 

--Brian 

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Ok, this is a large rabbit whole. 

 

1. Running form creates optimal biomechanics through practicing movement patterns and a lot of synapse science.  

1a. This all changes once you put pads on or change any variable. 

2. If I get a kid stronger, he will be faster regardless of running form. 

3. The best scenario is a stronger, technically proficient athlete.  So both worlds. 

 

Ide argue I can do more for anykid with out running them than you can "running" them simply bc most of these run form coaches forgets it's the engine not the tires that make the car go.

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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Dusty Ol Fart
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I agree with Zach and I'll inject my experience as a parent with my son.  In the off season (Freshmen) I suggested he run track as a means to keep in shape and get a bit faster.  Turns out the track coach at the time was not a "Hands On Guy" just kind of a Overseer of sort.   Son says hey Dad I'm in the Hundred. Gun goes off and it was no contest Dead Last by a large margin.  No Form, No Technique.  Head, Arms, and Legs going everywhere.  As a result little to no improvement at all.  He did get stronger via weight training.  He did get better by attending Position Camp for 10 days.  Off Season before his Senior Year he spent 2 weeks the next off season at "The House Of Speed" run by former NFL'er Don Beebe. 100% Technique and Form.  The improvement was marked.  Significant improvement in form and faster 20-40 and 100 times.  But most important for football purposes is he was QUICKER off the blocks, 20 yard bursts, out of cuts, and redirections.  He was taught how to run by folks who knew how to teach it.  

I would argue "all in" for Form and Technique training of some type in EDD. 

 

I'll add that even the Hogs on the Line benefit if they get one or two steps faster off the block!  Quickness has immense value!  Twitch Twitch!  

  

This post was modified 2 months ago by Dusty Ol Fart

Not MPP... ONE TASK!  Teach them!  🙂


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CoachDP
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When we do our dynamics in warmup, aside from Jumping Jacks (which we use only to get everyone lined up), our focus is on the form run.  Sprints, backward sprints, high knees and butt kickers all allow for an ear-to-pocket technique that is crucial to the form run.  By doing this during Dynamics, we are working our form running every day.  At high school, my goal is to take .1 second off his 40 time every year (so if he's starting out as a 5.0 guy, we're working for a 4.9 as Soph, 4.8 as a Jr. and 4.7 as a Sr.  We usually get larger gains than that, but that's the minimum.  At youth, we want guys to just stop running in a manner that slows you down.  Once you have learned how to free yourself from running while carrying Samsonite luggage, it can change your world.  I've seen it.

--Dave

"The Greater the Teacher, the More Powerful the Player."

The Mission Statement: "I want to show any young man that he is far tougher than he thinks, that he can accomplish more than what he dreamed and that his work ethic will take him wherever he wants to go."

#BattleReady newhope


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bdjackson
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@bucksweep58 so I completely understand where your coming from and agree with your statements. I guess my major concern is the teaching of proper basic form in general as many kids greatly benefit from the pure mechanic change when they begin running properly. And that’s not to say this can’t be completely bolstered through training. But at the level I am coaching this year, I think the biggest change will come from simply showing them to run properly. 

It always amazes me when I see how some of these kids think running is supposed to look. Just last year when we adopted @CoachDP method of warmups I saw dramatics changes in some of my big guys who had just never been taught the basic fundamentals. 

—Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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bdjackson
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@coachdp and it was our conversation about your warmup period that lead me to the observation I mentioned above to Zach. Once I saw some of the slower kids pick up a step or two simply from simple mechanic change I knew it was something I wanted incorporated into warmups and practices/drills when possible. 

—Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Mechanics will help, there's just more cary over if their done in the gear they are gonna perform in.

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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bdjackson
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@bucksweep58 completely agree. Without completely throwing me down the rabbit hole, is there some material you would recommend looking at to help me better understand the basic fundamentals of running mechanics?

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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gumby_in_co
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Our team (5th graders in the Fall) is woefully slow. Last Spring, we were going to incorporate speed training, but  Covid cancelled the Spring season. I will double down on what Zach said. Running form is the fine tuning. You get more dividends by improving the motor first.

Years ago, we started incorporating plyometrics in our warmup routine primarily to help minimize soft tissue injuries. I only have my own anecdotal evidence that it works, but I fell pretty strongly that it does. An unexpected benefit is that our least athletic guys seemed to get "more athletic" over the course of the season. Would they have gotten that way simply by being at football practice? Perhaps, but I still feel that they benefit from the plyo's. Someone (probably Zach) recommended a book to me:

Progressive Plyometrics for Kids

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585189553/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It talks about the value of plyometrics in building/reinforcing the neuro-muscular pathways necessary for athletic performance. The key is to minimize the "dwell" time of a player's foot on the ground. By doing that, you essentially train the body to be a spring.

I still want to try and teach some running form, but at what cost? Practice time is precious, so I've learned to "steal" time by incorporating various teaching points into a drill or session in a non-intrusive way. For me, this probably will mean looking for kids with obvious flaws, pulling them aside between reps and trying to quietly correct one flaw at a time. I was a track guy in HS and went to a lot of camps, plus my sprinting coach was very big on running form. The top things I look for, in order:

1) Running on the balls of the feet. You'd be surprised how many kids "sprint" heel to toe.

2) Feet in a straight line. Many runners cross their feet over their center line or their feet take a curved path from stride to stride. Others run with their feet too wide.

3) Arm swing. Arms are counter weights. First, they must swing in a straight line, wallet to eyeballs. Second, the hands should not cross into the frame of the body. Lastly, at full speed, increasing arm speed can, in fact increase foot speed, but only if the form is good.

4) Foot path. Feet should make a straight line from the back of the stride to just under the butt. Again, curved or circular motion should be avoided. It's why I never coach "butt kickers". That encourages a circular foot path. I want a straight line. The opposite flaw is the "Michael Johnson skim". It's another curved path, but in the opposite direction. It worked for him, but as far as I know, he's the only human that it did work for and I half believe he would have been even faster if he fixed it.

6) Butt tuck. The easiest way to describe this, is to do a standing crunch and hold it. Roll your hips forward like you're trying to avoid getting swatted with a belt. Then, roll your shoulders slightly forward and engage your abs. I guess simplified, don't run with your butt sticking out and/or your shoulders back.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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ZACH
 ZACH
(@bucksweep58)
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Posted by: @bdjackson

@bucksweep58 completely agree. Without completely throwing me down the rabbit hole, is there some material you would recommend looking at to help me better understand the basic fundamentals of running mechanics?

Ide start here.  If you need drills lemme know. 

https://trackandfieldnews.com/track-coach/sprinting-technique-the-key-to-increasing-your-speed/

I can explain it to you, I can't understand if for you.


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bdjackson
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A lot to take in and look over. Really appreciate it guys!

 

—Brian

Being Capable, first begins with being Confident.


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