Poor Start Mechanics

I am having trouble with my start (3 point). In particular, I don’t feel the ability to be able to “load and explode” if that makes sense. Either my torso comes up too early or my feet are slow to get going (despite me pumping my arms with speed). In addition, I am being told by my coach and others that there is a noticeable pause of delay in my reaction before I get going…Its as if I don’t have that “foot on the accelerator” feel. I have tried to break down what it is, but with less success than I’d like. Also, I am wondering whether I should be going for the quick and short step approach or the long and powerful approach (I believe my coach has spoken on this, but again I’d like other opinions). In addition, I am having trouble deciding which foot to put forward. Lately, I have been putting my right forward, but again my start is just inconsistent. To give one an idea of the type of athlete I am here are some stats/times…I am 5’10 175lbs…10.6 in the 100 and 21.8 in the 200. I have a long torso and short legs. I will do my best to get a video up of some starts so my mechanics can be broken down. Thanks.

Try the Que - Squeezing your ribs.
Maybe practice it with a few lifts 1st, then a few mediball jumps to get the feel for squeezing the ribs. Then try it coming out of the blocks.

Otherwise, yeah, Video :slight_smile:

First do this.
Try to stop listening to everyone just for a few moments or sessions.
The next thing I might do is this if possible.
Go to the track, do a warm up and prepare to do some starts.
When you are fully warmed up and ready to go try a few clap starts on your own. Do you know what a clap start is?
You lay on the track , face down, and imagine someone has just clapped or started you on the command " go" and you get up and run.
this very simple drill might help you feel what I would like you to feel. ( that is the proper mechanics of your start with no one saying anything and you just getting up and scrambling to get going).
This is the video I would like to see not so much the video of your current start.
EVERYONE has lots and lots of imput about how to do things at the track. How to start and how to train etc.
Do you have any of the products here yet? If you don’t that’s okay. Don’t buy anything yet. Wait for just a bit as there are several members here that will direct you to the first and or second or third thing to buy and if you are interested you will learn a great deal.
It sounds to me that you are bit confused which is also natural when everyone is telling you what to do. I am guessing 10.6 is hand? and 21.8 is electric?
The good news is starts can be fixed with relative ease but you need to undo some of the crappola that likely is in your head from too much information.
I was an excellent starter but this never stopped a bunch of people making comments to me about my starts. This happened when Charlie was not around and I learned after that to stop listening to others. I do not suggest you stop listening to your coach but try what I have suggested just so you can see how you feel and let us know.

Angela and boldwarrior…thanks so much for replying to my post. It is not everyday that someone has the opportunity to discuss such a crucial part of their race with experts. It’s ironic because I had a workout yesterday and was still not feeling comfortable with my start. After watching a video on youtube advocating a start similar to the “clap start” (essentially the same thing you described Angela but with no clap…just going when you feel ready) I decided to go out and give this a try. This all before I woke up this morning and read your post. I noticed two things and felt much more comfortable. I have a much wider stance than the traditional start per se (at least as advocated by my coach). There is a good 5-6 inches in between both of my feet when I feel I have properly loaded both feet. This definitely made a huge difference, but is contrary to what I’ve been taught that both feet should be relatively closer together (which always has made me feel bunched up). Everything felt smoother and much more natural and I was able to start lower. I will follow up with video asap to let you guys breakdown what you see and to give more suggestions. I’m not as well versed in Charlie’s methods as I’d like but I have read Speed Trap twice allbeit over 5 years ago. Also, I have looked at The GPP, SPP, the CFTS Training System, and the 2009 Forum Review. Thanks again.

@Angela…I reread your post and realized that the clap start was not necessarily a literal clap…my fault, i misinterpreted that. You’re right as well the 21.82 was electric and the 10.6 was hand timed. I did more starts today and my comfort level continues to increase (I think I will give it a break for a few days). In addition, I solved my dilemma of which foot comes forward; I begin with my right foot forward…video will be forthcoming as soon as I get a chance to have someone film me. Thanks again.

I know it has been a while…I do apologize. I have been trying to be patient with my coach and to work his system. I def believe in it and have seen improvements in other areas…however the start still eludes me…here goes two videos. I promise to get the clap starts soon. Thanks so much for the advice and tips guys.

Here goes the other…

it looks like the second video your shins arent aligned at a decent angle ….i think its important to have the front shin at an angle you want to project, so 45 deg circa from the ground…your shin is almost parallel with the ground which directs you straight out, into a dive, instead of up into aprox 45 degree angle which is more of the direction needed…. i would try to bring your rear end higher in set so its above your head…with the rear end higher it may change the front shin angle to more 45 deg with the back leg angle not quite 45….

also you are not getting a complete pussh off the pedal, but that could be because of not lining up the rear end and shins , again as stated above…… in the charlie francis video series he advocates using the hand to initiate the movement…i think thats successful for some…. i wouldnt argue against it…but i’ve found more success with telling athletes to push fully off the front pedal…. and you cant do that if your lower leg angle is parallel with the ground…. it should be higher……that alone might manifest in better acceleration from the beginning….