Coach to Sprinter: "I want you to lower your arm stroke to bring your knees up"

Rich121 if you are so worried about how your daughter is being coached can’t you remove her from her current situation and either have her coached elsewhere or coach her yourself. I am just not sure what it is you after from this forum as from what you have relayed to us the coach is going to coach in his style regardless of what your input is.

In theory…

…the coach is right!!!

Watching your vid, the arms do appear a little locked round the elbow IMO

The idea of ‘opening’ the arm I’d done so to allow a greater leverage and indeed greater rom to be used…
Mostly taught for coming out of the blocks…

However, type in you tube…
Usain bolt top speed mechanics (for some stupid reason my iPad won’t link) you will see what I presume the coach trying to explain but you can visually

Hope that helps

I remember being curious about this coach’s arm cues earlier on, as I think her elbows are coming too far back. Focusing on driving the arms down should clear this up. Spike, if you don’t like a dad taking an interest in his kid’s coaching, don’t answer his questions.

That is also what we have been working on in the past…I would tell her it almost looks as if your driving your arms up, think of pounding pegs into the ground with your hands, and we have also talked about her arm back/side motion…

I may have misunderstood…

Anyone know of a good video that would help my daughter understand this. as she doesn’t seem to understand when I explain to her?

Here is a much better “side view” showing her arm mechanics.
She is running the 4th leg of an exciting 4 x 400m relay a couple weeks ago…she is wearing blue/white one piece uniform…great finish, just ahead of the poor girl who did the faceplant while crossing the finish line.

Well, I think if she was my daughter, I’d like to see her run like this “girl”:

If your high school coaches think they know better than two of the all-time greats (athlete and coach), you might inquire with the AD exactly what certifications said XC coaches have that qualifies them to be coaching sprinters. As a sprinter, I don’t see anything particularly wrong (excepting side motion stuff) with your daughter’s arm motion. What I do see in some of those videos of some of the other girls are people swinging their arms like cross country joggers with coaches that likely don’t have a clue about sprinting. Maurice Greene said something in one of the old HSI videos about driving the arms like pounding nails, and that’s what I would try to get across. You particularly DO want to concentrate on arm drive during the later stages of the race, because that’s how you keep your leg turnover up.

Watch Sanya up close. Notice particularly the sharpness of the arm movement, and how she varies the stroke length depending on how hard she’s pushing. There’s nothing wrong with cutting down a bit on the stroke in the middle of the race to save a little energy (which really might be what they’re trying to get across but expressing it wrongly), but notice how Sanya gets her hands up during acceleration in the beginning, and again during the drive to the finish.

Let me go on record as being a huge fan of this young lady, she is a fighter! She really dug deep for that finish. Her technique doesn’t need to be messed with either, it looks good. She is going to run club track after the high school season is over, correct? These high school coaches should know when to leave well enough alone.

Thanks for the great video, my daughter is a huge fan of both Sanya Richards, Allyson Felix and loves to watch/learn others too.
Many times a week I have to remind her to finish her homework as she sits and watches their videos on the computer, sometimes for hours at a time… and checking their stats etc. She truley loves the 400m.
For her birthday (July) I am saving to get her to the Olympic Mens/Womens 400m tryout finals in Eugene, Oregon. Which, is good timing too, being at the end of June. That would be the ultimate b-day gift for her. We only live about 300 miles away, so not too far to drive.

T-Slow, I will show her your comment, it will make her day!
Thank you.
Yes, she will be doing summer track, both AAU and USATF. She hasn’t been with a club for 2 years, as we couldn’t afford the travel/time (300 mile round trip) and was only doing the Saturday practice during school… though while with Seattle Speed, she was running her fastest 100m/200m sprints.

The past 4 years I have tried my best to help her for Middle School track, AAU/USATF track and last June she did well with her first/last time competing in the Hershey meet. Running the 800m.
I have had the time to be able to spend with her, as I had medical issues (that are much better now) and was not able to work.
I feel very, very fortunate to have been able to have that time, and even when working (hopefully soon!!!) I will still spend as much time as I can to help and enjoy the time with her.

She had another meet last night.
There were only 3 schools in the meet, so not alot of recovery between some events, such as, she ran the 4 x 100m @ 4:43PM and then started in the open 400m @ 4:53PM (time of each is on video), leaving less than 10 minutes of recovery before running the open 400m. After the 400m, she ran the 200m, then finally, the 4 x 400m. By the time she ran in the 4 x 400m, she was already fatigued.

Here is the 4 x 400m video, I zoomed a little closer so as to see arm mechanics better, she is running the 4th leg:

She also learned not to change her strategy in the 400m.
She was expecting to be running against a certain “rival”, but the school didn’t put her in the race and put another girl in who is a very good 300m hurdler…My daughter thought she wouldn’t need to start the 400m so quickly (which really confused me as to why but we got that out of her head for the future)…but found out differently.
She “assumed” that the girl would “die” in the final 100m…but, instead, she found herself trying to play catch-up.

Great “lesson-learned”, and still, she got a personal best of 1:00.4
She has Districts next week, then Regionals.

Here is the video of last nights 400m, she is in lane #5:

Yeah, I’m a fan, too…

I showed one of our female sprinters both of your daughter’s latest races which she fully enjoyed (wishes she could run the 4 like her) and thinks each one has been an improvement over the last.

Thanks for the support hornblower and TMSSF.

Last week @ the District Championships she PR’ed with a 1:00.35 and qualified to go to the Regional meet this weekend.

Today, she PR’ed again and finally getting sub-60… she ran 59.92.

She placed 3rd in her Heat, and 5th overall for the day.

Only the top 8 are running in the Finals tomorrow and of those, only the top 3 finishers go to the State Championship meet next weekend.

a video of the race, she is in Lane #8:

Cool. Going <60 is also a proud accomplishment for a young female.

She jokingly asks why we didn’t start her in school a year later, as most everyone is a year or more older than her in her grade (she will be 14 until mid-summer).
“I would be one year faster”…then she laughs…

Congrats to Keana! It’s no joke to run a PB all by yourself in the wilderness of lane 8. She should be incredibly proud of herself to run a 59 FAT! I wish I could say I was surprised, but we could all see it coming- she is a fierce racer. Please pass on congrats!

She races again tomorrow? Can she do anything regenerative? Contrast shower? That along with some light shaking massage should help her feel a bit refreshed. Charlie’s advise about massage was bang on; “Put your mind in neutral and rub.” It’s amazing how good you can get in a hurry!

Keep us posted on what happens tomorrow- not that the result matters as long as she runs her usual gutsy race. She already has tons to be proud of for running a PB today.

Rich, will you be training her yourself for outdoors? If so, can you get a little group going? You could control the program, which is a huge bonus. I bet there are lots of kids whose parents don’t have the time or energy (or who aren’t around) who could benefit from your passion for track, and it would make training way more fun for your daughter.


The last High School meet of the season, “The BorderDuel”, which has the top High School track athletes from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, was yesterday. My daughter ran the open 400m and did well.

Track practice ended 2 weeks ago after she finished at Regionals.
For the past 2 weeks I have had her working to the workouts she did last year.
This meet still counts as a High School meet, and part of the 2012 season.

A cool day in Portland, Oregon and of course, it started raining before the 400m race, a big downpour up until the seconds before the race started.

My daughter in lane #6, running in the open 400m race:

She has learned alot just from this race, such as:

Even though she angled her blocks towards the inside of the lane (she proudly says “coach Tony Veney taught me that”) She needs to make sure she comes straight out of the blocks, as she came out shooting towards the outside of the lane and had to reposition.

At the first 100m point she started to slow down, she said she thought she got too far out front and was going to pace herself with the other girls…she ended up having to try to catch up instead.

If anyone can see things that need help with, please feel free to post.

This was a very good race for her, she said she felt stronger running through the second turn and felt she had more left after the turn and…

She bested her previous PR by a Half second.

She ran 59.47, trying beat her High School’s freshman record of 59.11, as this meet counted as a High School meet in season.

She is very happy with her time and is looking forward to summer AAU/USATF track to see if she can keep up with the PR’s.

Except for the 2 meets that she was feeling lethargic because of running the previous day/days, she has PR’ed in every consecutive open 400m race this year:

1:01.17a April 7

1:00.70 April 26

1:02.82 April 28 (2 days earlier: PR’ed in open 400m, ran 4x100m, 4x400m, open 200m. felt lethargic for this meet)

1:00.40 May 3

1:00.35 May 11

59.92 May 18 State Regional

1:01.64 May 19 State Regional Final(PR’ed 17 hours earlier, the previous day, less than 7 hours sleep, felt lethargic, no energy)

59.47 June 2

fantastic effort by your girl. you must be bursting with pride… :smiley:

I trust she will get into some shorter races this summer as well.

Yes, the workout I’m using is 100/200m orientated, and she ran the open 100m, 4 x 100m, and open 200m as well during school.

At the BorderDuel meet she only qualified in the 400m.

She is going to get a whole lot of sprinting this summer and see if we can reverse the decline that her 100m/200m sprints suffered from the beginning of the school season to the end…
Her 100/200m speed consistantly slowed with each meet during the school year, while each time she ran the 400m she PR’ed…

Her first 400m race was’nt until halfway through the season, and she didn’t get to run the open 400m again, until 3 weeks later, all during this time from the first meet on, her 100m and 200m times were getting slower?

The last couple times she ran the 100/200m it brought her to tears, she was worried she was getting slower… I assured her she was fine…