I read in a prior post about French Training that was started by Peirre Jean - where Charlie made a statement that some coaches believe in dorsiflexsion through out the whole stride. I do believe this however it makes me feel that this might be wrong.

These are the cues I have been teaching my athletes … in order

  1. lift toes
  2. lift heal
  3. step over the knee

when would most of you suggest dorsiflexion to begin?

As the foot is coming down towards the ground. This usually happens naturally unless the athlete has been taught otherwise (e.g. was taught to run on thier toes - ohhhh the sin of it). If you want to see what it looks like in slow motion Charlie talks you through this on the GPP DVD if you coach you really should get it.


One of the reason I teach lifting the toe first on your way up - is I find it lowers the amount backside mechanics.
I find it creates a higher hip hieght and proper angle (lean)


Please see my other post on this. Yes it cuts off backside mechanics- but at the cost of the loss of toe-off, hip height- increasing the chances for quad and ham injuries. (Quad cause you loose the auto fold-up from toe-off, causing the quad to drag the leg through. Ham cause hip-height is reduced, causing foot-strike farther ahead of BDC than is optimal)

Thank you very much for the responses people. I think I am going to switch teh order of my cues to

  1. heel up
  2. toes up
  3. Step over knee

Yours in athletics

On the GPP DVD you can see some of the cues I use and how I like to work on only one thought at a time.
As we’re in a GPP period now, you’ve got time to work on one element at a time.
First, I’d get them to concentrate only on stepping over the support knee.
When that is second-nature, I’d work on toe-up as the foot passes over the support knee. I don’t really know if you need to work on the heel up bit if you get proper toe-off and the quads are flexible enough. I’ve never really worked on that but you might find specific cases where that would help.

Thank you once again Charlie. The similarity I see is taking your Big meet of the year and work backwards for your plan and here we start with teh end and work backwards I liek that - I will watch the dvd again.

We are about to start our GPP - Team cannot start training until Sept 12. CIS Rules

CIS rules huh? I wish they had study rules like that in place when I went to Stanford - a week before exams would have been about right!

The Toe up cue is misguiding as a lot of athletes end up flexing their toes and not their foot. Step over the knee addressess the dorsifexion on the way up but not on the way down. Too many cues have no images and are far too logical sided in comprehension, hence less effective . The precision and effectiveness of language and communicating concepts would be an interesting subject to discuss. What really works in efforts to instruct the athlete effectively? What needs to be addressed is the athletes understandng of where the ball of the foot is and how running on the ball of the foot is more effectice than running in a plantar flexed position. Simple drills such as climbing and descending stairs (walking before running) highligt and develop the proper awareness and promote the desired mechanics , The most difficult challenge is to to hold the dorsiflexion as the foot approaches the ground. Try walking down the stairs with out going into plantar flexion and you will start to understand. If coaches take the time to relly observe their athlete they will realize that the natural action is not dorsiflexion on the way down but pllantar flexion. Without awareness of the habit it cannot be addressed or corrected no rocket science here. Again how do you bring awareness to the athlete what image do they havein their minds eye of what they want to achieve.

While it’s true that the foot is actually moving DOWN towards the ground just before foot strike, there’s a difference between setting up (thought) and the final action (automatic based on the correct set up). We’ve had a lot of discussion about this in the past (see the first Forum review). As you suggest, this is best dealt with by drills.

Often it’s as simple as finding the right cue for the right person, so the athlete can relate the cue to something relevant to them. Something I’ve found from coaching schools and squads.