Female Sprinter-Video Case Study

I would like you guys to take a look at video of one of my athletes. She is a 22 year old female with PR.'s of 12.7x 25.8x and 57.4x.
Those are from college.
Right now she is around a mid 26 200 and high 12 100. Yesterday in a training session she ran 2x150 w/15 mins rest in 19.1 and 19.4.

Anyhow, since I am still learning as a coach as we all are I have been trying to take in as much as I can about proper sprinting technique and biomechanics. Alot of it I am having trouble understanding without someone showing me video and or pictures and comparing images. We did not cover much of that at USATF Level II School.
I have 2 videos of her I would like you to take a look at and tell me what you see. One is a 55 from the 200 start to the middle of the curve. I timed her from my DV camera from her reaction in 8 flat. The other clip is a 30 meter flying sprint coming off the curve and is 3.7

What I think I noticed.

*No dorsiflexion
*Too much backside mechanics

Any info you guys can give me and any information about correct techniqe would be much appreciated. I have spent many hours on dartfish trying to understand things which I will admit to now knowing much about.

Here is the address to my FTP Site. Click folders , click jason and you will find the 2 files there. They are about 2mb each.


There are a few things that I noticed. The first is her start. She needs more extension. The focus should be on the lead arm. She seems to be focusing on the back arm, which is causing her upper body to be pushed down rather than forward. This could be a strength issue, or just a technical one. I will try to find a link to a start drill that Charlie talked about at his Seminars. A quick word of advice…take this stuff to her yourself and don’t mention where you got the info from. I have found that athletes loose confidence in their coach when they find out the coach has been asking around. It is a subconcious thing I think. And remember “paralysis by analysis.” Bring these things to her slowly over time.

The next thing would be Hip Height, or Ground Contact Time, or Ground Contact Area. As you can see in the picture, the Yellow represents where her Ground contact area is, and the Red where is should be. She needs to focus on better arm positioning, getting her knee up (but not too high), and to get her hips off the ground. “Runners go on the ground, sprinters go over it.”

Thanx Herb. Yes we have been working on the arm drive. It is a technical issue mainly. At first she had no arm drive whatsoever now shes finally blasting it up but not OUT enough. Its getting better. Let me know about the start drill you were talkign about though.
By ground contact area you mean shes overstriding?
I have noticed she tends to have heavy foot contacts and sinks into the ground which may stem from the hips as you mentioned.

also, how do you post images from dartfish on here next to eachother or in a collage format as you have done before?

Her focus when the leg comes down should be “DOWN!!!” The more force she puts straight down, the higher her hip height will be. WIth the arms (once they come up to the proper height) should be “DOWN, DOWN, DOWN” as well.

Helpful Links:



Start Drill Link: http://www.charliefrancis.com/community/showthread.php?t=9277&highlight=start

About how I get the collage pics…“Tricks o’ the trade me boy, tricks o’ the trade.” -MacGyver-

I use windows movie maker to take the pic, then I use windows paint to shrink it and paste the pics side by side and add the wonderful coloured arrows.

Thanks alot.
I will them out tomarrow at work.
That is one perk of being a sports performance coach. When I use the computers at our center to go on forums and read articles I am technically becoming better at doing my job and they like that. :smiley:

great work herb,great work

Thanx for the links. Most of that stuff I already do. Just reinforces it for me though.
However for some reason I do not have acess to view the images which were posted?

Main thing I can say is she needs to work her arms alot harder, especially at the start. Also make sure you does the little cup thingy with your hands to keep them from flapping, and to also keep her from concentrating on keeping them open when she wants to clench her fist.

Also Herb, nice pics I should get a video of me so you guys can analyze my technique.

herb, i couldnt download the drill; would you please send me the link via a private message.

thank you

Just so everyone knows. Some nights I turn off my comp. So if my website doesnt work try again durign the day. Its an FTP site so my computer has to be on for it to work.

Thanx to everyoen who has helped so far.
Last night she ran a seasonal best and the best time she has run in a while. As I said her P.R. from 2 years ago was 25.87. Last month she opened up with 27.2 hand time. 2 weeks ago she went 26.87. And last night ran 13.08 and 26.36.
Splits taken from Dartfish she ran 13.0 and 13.3 automatic. At the 150 mark she was at 19.0 auto. So finished the last 50 in 7.3. Unfotunatley her short season is over because of planned vacations but hopefully she can open up with a low 26 indoors and break her indoor PR. of 26. flat.

The video is now uploaded to my website.
She is the one wearing the blue uniform.

Do you have a Fall plan for her?

She will actually be training with me. I will be getting ready for indoor in October. Her plan will be much like mine with some modifications since we have differrent strengths and weaknesses.
The way I like to train and train my athletes is having a basic outline outlining each phase planned around our meet schedeule (which I have not yet done for next year) and I plug in the actual workouts on a weekly basis depending on what I feel we need or based on what the prior weeks workouts look like. In the past few years I have found that to work better than having a set daily plan for the whole year. This way is alot more planning and takes me alot more work as the season goes along but to me it makes much more sense and works alot better.

Just a couple of thoughts on the shots. First, when looking for extention at the start, use the blocks. Without them she’s likely to pullthe back leg foorward without any drive, which is what happened here, causing the knee to come forward long before the support leg can extend, interferring with proper mechanics.
While her hips are low, I’m not sure this is more than a factor of her current strength level (based on the times you’ve described). Leaving the mechanics alone and cncentrating on her physical prep may well solve the problem without any technical changes.
Send along some shots of her comming out of blocks to see if there is a difference.

Hips being low at the start or hips being low during max.V?
I too think this is partially a strength issue however I am not sure where to draw the line whether its a maximum strength issue or a speed strength issue. She is not very explosive and even seems to be struggling with bounding. Her vertical is terrible as well. What I forgot to mention is that up until last year her main event was the 400. Her 400 P.R. is 57.4x and just recently she decided she wants to try and focus on the shorter sprints.

57.x implies a sub25 200. This pup should progress real fast with proper training, in particular considering that she hasn’t trained like a sprinter up to now. Still haven’t been able to dload the videos … I guess I have to catch your server up in the day.

While 57 flat may be close to a sub 25 her best 400 was mid 57 and 200 was 25.87. I agree she should be able to go faster than that perhaps consistent low 25 potential. She is 22 years old and in high school had p.r.'s of 13.0 hand 25.9 hand time and 57mid. Her h.s. coach basically trained her like an 800 runner. Typical old school uneducated mentality of doing repeat 400’s and long runs. First 2 years of college she was still being trained with mostly int tempo and just 2 years ago has been training correctly. I do think however she responds better to longer rep training (speed and special end). The acceleration and max velocity is all basically technical and strength issues that need to be worked out.

Let me know if you still cannot dl the clips. I will leave my computer on tonite.