foot position help

My son is a 13 yr. old football player, who is trying to improve his speed to play running back next fall. My education on sprinting training, technique, etc. has come primarily from this sight and the GPP DVD, CFTS ebook, and the forum review ebook. His main problem from what I can see is that his heel is hitting the ground first. He experiences some discomfort in the left hip flexor area when distances are longer than 20 yards, which may be a result of the improper form. Can anyone give me some ideas on how to break this habit and reinforce the proper technique of the ball of the foot hitting first? Also, should speed work be adjusted, or discontinued (focusing primarily on drills) until this problem is corrected? (His speed work for now has all been hills). Thanks for any help provided.

scott,this is is totally natural for the body to raise itself higher as speed increases thus leading to the athlete getting more on the balls of the feet.heel to toe running is generally performed naturally while jogging(referring to untrained persons with no mechanical thoughts).in order for your son to improve his speed he will need to run on the ball of the foot.

i would start doing walking drills and introduce A/B skips.also you can either decrease the distances getting him to hold proper form and slowly increase as form improves OR you can run longer runs over 60-80m while keeping the speed around 85% so he can get the feel.

Thanks for the ideas. I also think a conscious effort to reduce the stride length will help with the foot position and eventually increase overall stride length due to proper mechanics. He seems to feel the need to reach in order to cover the distance quickly.

stadium runs…20 x with a walkback…this will help prevent overstriding. 10 - 15 steps and no more. Do this three times for warm-up…posting video allways helps.

scott don’t cut the SL.get him to run taller and on the balls and the SL will shorten and fall into me on this! don’t complicate him,just tell him to run when he gets to the stage i’m talking about

we’re doing the drills and will incorporate the stadium steps as part of the warm-up. You hit on a great point X-Man, don’t try to change too much and complicate things all at once. Unfortunately, I don’t have the ability to post video, but I appreciate the comments.