Fast Starts

Hi. This is the first time I posted in this forum. I was in the youtube neighborhood and I was watching some Ben Johnson videos. I tried to look at his start and his accelaration phase. I thought I was doing every thing right until my coach said…

You have poor hip rotation in the blocks, I don’t keep my head down long enough, and my reactions are horrible. Also the double footed starts aren’t helping. What should I do? :confused: :confused: :confused:

Ben Johnson’s start isn’t something you can just watch and then go out and duplicate! Trying to copy an elite sprinters starting mechanics probably isnt the best way to go about improving yours (especially Ben Johnson’s).

Have you looked at the fundamentals 1 DVD? There are a lot of good tips you can pick up on starts in that.

Keeping your head down isn’t going to do anything for you… if you’re trying to copy BJ’s start then you are way off since he kept his head neutral.

Just try to keep things simple and run. You cannot emulate people exactly if they are running a full second or more faster than you (I am guessing since you are younger this is true), so do what works best for you at this point that is technically sound.

Well I almost have his start down. Also the fundementals dvd. What do you mean keeping my head down isn’t doing anything?

Also ben was able to start like that due to his enormous strength, unless you have similar strength levels you will struggle to imitate Ben.

For my age I have tremendous power and strength. For my age of 14. Also it runs in my family so I really don’t have trouble woth it. It’s coming out the blocks that I have tons of trouble. I get the start but I can do nothing and I run discomboulated and I have trouble with my right leg flicking out I just noticed.

I kinda agree. You are trying to process to much. What Ben does, and other elites do for that matter is the result of years of training (strength, speed, explosiveness). It’s not a pancake mix where you just add water and BAMM!

Focus on one thing at a time. If it is an explosive start you desire then focus on the qualities that produce that very thing. Strength and start mechanics. Sometimes people just throw there arms up when the gun goes off to look elite. But remember…even a chicken can flap its wings but it does not mean it can fly :wink:

Build strength and power first. Then learn how to incorporate this into the mechanics of the start. See the above previously named video (CFTS) or fundamentals DVD. Search the forum, study the threads. Then ask some questions. I can tell you now most people on here won’t elaborate much unless you bring questions that show you have done some homework first.

if you are so young, the vast majority of your start training should be done without blocks.
LYing /push ups starts, hills, med ball throws into a high jump mat and so on…

Like I said I have the power and the strength also I have incrdilble endurance. Also I’m not trying to process what Ben does, I am just looking at that start. I also have it down. But the thing is how should my arms go once I get out the blocks. Because I noticed that Ben Johnson, Marion Jones and Asafa Powell do their arms the same way. I prefer to get out with my running style but I know all of yall are experts so I’m asking what should I do with my arms,hips,also how low should I stay?

Here are the starts that I’m talking about look at the arms.
Ben Johnson-

Marion Jones (She is in lane 7)-
Asafa Powell-

My suggestion is to read Davan’s and sonic’s posts again.

trust me, we have all seen these flicks before
and I also understand as your response personnifies your frustration.

That being said, it is easy to gauge the training age and aptitude of an athlete by the questions they ask as well as the response they give.

So, here is a place to start, since you have the “start” down pat.
Send in a video of yourself sprinting and be prepared for critique.

Or simply focus on “stepping down” and gradually beginning to “step over” more as the torso acquires a more erect posture. Do not stay down longer than you need to. Aesthetically, Marion’s drive phase does not seem similar to Bens but both are considered elite athletes of their dispensation. Asafa and Mo do not appear to be using the same start and accel phase aesthetically as Ben, but they have all achieved similar results. So, are the aesthetics most important? Here are a few of the most important characteristics and values:

Angle of torso, and legs upon start (strength)

Ability to recover the first steps (cycling)and “strength” to maintain and increase whatever velocities have been achieved from the blocks. (strength and speed)

Ability to use arms to assist with forceful action (drive down). (strength)

How far do you accel or better still, When is max speed achieved? (strength, speed, mechanics)

Just trying to note that you should not get caught up with the appearance of what is happening until you understand how the basics contribute to what is happening.

Sounds like you’re thinking way too much about it. Try working out away from the blocks for awhile! When Ben was 14, we didn’t even have blocks to train with. We used Medicine ball drills and accels and hills. Once the athletes got into blocks with the right strength and relaxation, it was never a problem.

Also forget about copying Ben, or anyone else for that matter. When you relax and go, you’ll have your own style. You only need to change it if it isn’t doing the job. Someday, you might develop your own ‘quirky’ start that’s so fast that everyone wants to copy you.

Wells said CF

Like I said I have the right strenghth and relaxation. Also I do you medicine balls and the accelaration excercises etc.

But Now I’m not worrying about his start because I have my own now. Its not double footed. It’s a start that is my own and it’s original. I hit the front block 2 times before I get out. I know its hard to understand. But if I didn’t have my fast twitch muscles I would not be doing that well. But you’ll know its me because I flail my arms and while I’m in the air. But I gotta go now I got to go eat diner so bye.

poor thing :frowning:

poor thing :frowning:

I give up

OK, but try and find something for your competitions, too…