Sprint training from scratch (Tellez says no drills)?

What would be the most efficient means of teaching fundamental sprint mechanics to begining sprinters, and sport athletes. Tom Tellez does not believe in drills, he says you should just run! That may be fine if you have a sound running motor patterns, but what if you do not? Some athletes I have very little time with, and others must also focus on sport skills, so I’m looking for economy of training! If you had only 15 min. to train technical skills, what would they be??

Spending 15 min. to tell someone how to run will make them overthink. Tell them to run and correct one thing at a time. Don’t try and fix everything at once.

I have 20 athlets training at the same time (strength and conditioning) of different age groups, I need some basic skills to teach them, so they have a movement pattern to replicate and improve on. There must be some basic skills to start with, that have a low learning curve?

what tom tellez said has been misunderstood.i know he said this but he does actually use drills for his sprinters.the drills are the normal types with no variations at all.i do believe that the best way to learn how to sprint is to actually sprint.this is what tom is trying to state.we have seen many athletes spending rediculous amounts of time doing drills with terrible form which over time hasn’t improved at all.now in this case the drills aren’t beneficial and conducting cue’s while actually running would be far more rewarding for the athlete.then when the technique improves you can build on it by introducing cueing drills just to reinforce the new movments which have been learned.

TT does no mean to say don’t do drills but what he is trying to state is that technique can be improved alot more by actually sprinting!!! believe it or not but its true

I believe it, but I need some efficient drills?

Drills allow you to isolate on one simple thing at a time and fix it. BUT, practice makes permanent, not perfect, so the drills must be done right over and over to be useful.

100% correct charlie but sometimes its difficult for an athlete to convert the movement from isolated to a whole cycle as in sprinting.also depends on the problem involved also.personally i’m 50/50 on both ideas as both have good results but with proper coaching only.some coaches know what the movement is but don’t have the know how on how its done or what the feel should be.

practice makes permanent and not perfect…correct! but why make something permanent when the movement isn’t correct.this is why proper coaching and proper know how is essential totally.perfection will never be reached by any athlete because the nature of athletes is to push even further resulting in never being satisfied

if the technique proves to be quite complex and the athlete is having difficulty trying to grasp the basics, you may need to break it down; breaking down complex actions into sequential parts may result in short-term gains; however, there is still some argument for trying to teach the technique as a whole; while the component parts are easier and quicker to learn and accomplish, there may be poorer skill retention; therefore, practising it as a whole will take longer, but long-term retention might be better
breaking things down into parts does not work so well where the component parts need to be carried out simultaneously and/or rapidly -perhaps for more the technical events; if athletes are struggling with this type of skill, you might want to “simplify” the technique by leaving out some parts and adding them back in later in terms of emphasis on them, or slow the action down and break it into parts: first the whole, then one element and practice, then a 2nd element and practise both, etc (i repeat, might be more applicable for the more technical events);
so while in the latter you practise the action in the same way that it will finally be executed, in the former the first attempts may be very different from the finished technique
overall, i think, it depends on the individual and most probably the way forward is 50/50, as you suggested, meaning being open to both approaches…

There are two sides to learning. One is skill and the other is the strength to carry out that skill and drills can serve both purposes. Drills can home in on one issue at a time, address that issue in isolation, and offer far more learning/strengthening opportunities than would be possible with sprinting alone, especially early on in the GPP.
Keeping as much learning as possible away from the sprint itself also helps prevent “paralysis by analysis”.
Of course, you still need to make corrections during the sprint itself, but, after drill work, you’ll know in advance that there IS a technical issue and not a strength issue. Strength in the right places, developed through drills, has already made most technical problems go away, giving you more chances to fix less problems.
Also, there are active, universal drills that all sprinters can benefit from and reactive drills that can be used as needed to correct specific mechanical errors.
Rejecting drills because they require know-how is the same as rejecting technical correction of speed work for the same reason.
If you don’t have the know-how, go and get it!

Finding the correct drills to do, so as not to ingrain incorrect motor patterns is my fear, I am looking for the best information I can get, thats why I’m here. But, I have not found a program that starts from scratch. They focus on elite level athletes, or begin in the middle and not the beginning! I have some sprint knowlege, but it is limited to what I have experience, and what I know. I need direction in this area?

Look for the discussion of drills in my material and in the work by Gerrard Mach, who invented most of the active drills. We will also have some film and sequence shots comming out in a few weeks to help with this

charlie,if you coach an athlete from a very early age with naturally good mechanics which alot of kids have would you still reinforce drills even though technique isn’t an issue?? i do agree your comments on drills and how you can isolate movements by the correct use of them but can it come to a point where an athlete won’t need them and can focus mainly on running rather than practicing drills.don’t get me wrong about drills as i’m all for them but only to a certain degree.

kids have great natural mechanics.one of my arguments is as an athlete gets older the technique breaks down due to 1-poor coaching,2-strenght issues,3-the development of the skeleton with age causes imbalances,tightness.is it specifically one of these issues or all?

Will you cover any of this material in Vancouver, and by material do you mean TRAINING FOR SPEED?
Where might I find the work of Gerrard Mach?
Thanks for your time

what are some examples of how certain drills can help correct a technical issue.?

I agree that, if you get the kids early enough, you can often get good technique from the start, but I’d still use drills for the second part of the equation- strength. Also, technique issues can come up again if the hip height doesn’t keep up with the ever-increasing speed requirements.

now i’m confused -unless you are implying the same thing and i don’t get it…
is it right that technique should come before strength? strength will help you in better execution of technique, no doubt, but even via drills that don’t emphasise technique and are mainly for specific strength, the technique should still be there for the strength to be applied to all the right places; comments?
unless it’s a two-way thing with technique and strength inter-related…
or perhaps a technique-speed-strength sequence (to make it short) is limited to training elements only
sorry for this digging, but it helps…

Technique and strength are always inter-related.

I agree with X-Man’s take on TT’s position. I’ve seen Tom use drills with some of the sprinters he was working with last season. A lot of bounding drills and some high knee drills with an emphasis on pushing off the ground.

On my XC team we use some drills as a sort of “dynamic warmup” were, in theory, through a set of drills we cover pretty much the whole range of motion we warm up all the different muscle groups. I think that in theory it’s a good idea, but I don’t think that the some of the bounders we do are pretty much plymetric and usually lead tightness. So I just skip lightly instead of “jumping for hieght” or “jumping for distance”. Any thoughts?

so then what about elite athletes, charlie what about ben, during his peak years did he ever need to do any drills?

from wat i figured is that general strength is required for proper execution of technique and then the strength is worked on specifically where its needed through technique. right?