The biggest preoccupation I’m dealing with is teaching them how to push.
I want to make sure every session, we are getting better at acceleration.
When I get a lot of them hold a fence to do wall posture drills, they are all inclined to kick back (ankle to butt), instead of stepping down. This very simple thing is hard to coach given the number of the entire squad. I believe there are 60+ people coming out for sprints/hurdles on a sunny day.
I realized from day 1 that I talked too much. I loved worshipping my philosophy, my knowledge, my plan. But on careful reflection, I understood that decorating their minds with my knowledge would never make them run fast, even if they understood what I was saying. The athletes need only feel, not know. Some of the fastest people don’t care a fig about how to run fast… but if they know how to run fast… well done coach! Every session, I try to say less and less.
Put the athlete in a position where they can run fast… do that repeatedly… and they will succeed.
I’ve been trying to demonstrate that way of coaching a lot more.
Does anyone have successful methods/strategies to teach acceleration to a big group of people with minimal cueing?
I remembered Charlie’s push up starts just this morning, but it was raining today and I rather they skip that. Need to give that a go next week. I have them Tuesday and Thursday.
Today I had 2 strategies I wanted to try out.
10 standing jumps holding onto a fence. Tell them for the first jump, get AS HIGH as possible. And gradually quickening it up by lowering height. At the end it should be very quick. Would sound like this: BOOOOM BOOOM BOOM Boomboomboombombom. You’re still pushing down with prejudice, but you travel less high because you quickened ground contact, not because you tried less hard. I paired it with some audio feedback where I would make noise that corresponds to the quickening of the rhythm.
I wanted to do the same with standing horizontal jumps. Jump as far as you can the gradually make it more dynamic, reactive, and quick.
I then made them do 4x20m submax (because of the rain) and I think it kind of helped. Created a situation where they did what I want and I challenged them to mimic it in the acceleration runs. Push up starts definitely might have been thousand times easier to execute tho!
In the beginning, I tried teaching deliberation. I told them that stepping down, and posture were the only things needing work. I told them when they run, it should feel like a march.
I went home… .realized I didn’t even have them march in warmup!! NEVER, ever tell someone to do something that you didn’t give time and attention for. Analogical learning requires that they be familiar with the task at hand in some former context. I vowed to never do that again.
Right now I’m trying to see if I can improve their strength levels through multi-jumps to get them in full ranges of motion. A lot of them cannot hit the hard ‘post’.