Universal Sprinting Mechanics

As the title suggests this is a post that i need everyone’s feedback on…Coaches and athletes alike have different methods and opinions about sprinting technique but I feel that we should start concentrating on the core of technique and mechanics…what sprinting mechanics do we all have in common as human beings and how can we improve our natural GOD given mechanics…As human beings our movement patterns don’t differ very much any comments???..

I agree…

So does me

go to the park or a soccor match and you will see near perfect sprint mechanics…if need be video the kids and slo-mo and youll see what i’m talking about.

its coaches who try and change things in young kids who start the issues

Not sure about that. I’ve seen many, and when I say many I intend thousands and mechanics follows a normal distribution, probably skewed towards bad mechanics. Without intervention by coaches, who don’t seem to care.


I notice otherwise. Many with near ideal.

me too if u check “the bad sprinters” out you might see a slightly lower knee lift or hunched shoulders but overall as bipedal animals we basically have the same mechanics some just need 2 be tweaked more than others:cool:

Beginner (8yrs): minimal coaching

at my hs many freshmen are first time sprinters with zero coaching. problems usually include excessive heel recovery during drive phase or low heel recovery at top speed, arms that cross mid-line, low knee lift, popping straight up out of blocks and low hip height at top speed <- might be more a factor of lacking proper strength as opposed to a mechanical problem, though

Whats funny is we just set the state record yesterday in the 4x200 at the state track meet. People were congratulating us and saying that our technique was very good all around. Before we ran I was fussing at 1 of our kids explaining to him why a kid didnt win his heat in the 200 individual cause his technique was terrible (he was fast but terrible technique). It was the same message I was trying to get into his head all season but it guess it finally clicked.

Early years are fine for most. Its when puberty strikes and the body changes begin which changes the mechanics of most people.

Mortac, thanks for the picture. i dont’ post much but when i do its solid info with sound backup

thanks again for the picture

the main reason why i started this post is for us as athletes and coaches to try to come to a common ground about technique although we have different opinions…one coach might say lift the knees another might say step over the knee and i know for me as an athlete those cues can cause the wrong out come…so this post is about taking the core and finding a way to make technique more simple and easy to understand instead of confusing an athlete and yielding bad results…does anyone understand? oh yeah great picture

Different cues are appropriate for different athletes. Some need to think “lift” while others need to think “downforce”. Some respond to initiating with the arms, while others respond to emphasis on lower limb mechanics.

The key is to understand the correct technical model and then employ a method to have the athlete arrive at that model. This may take one of many different routes. It may involve specific drills, or it may involve a specific emphasis during sprint repetitions.

Discussing the appropriate technical model is a tall order. I have been going through much of the material I learned from Charlie and will run it by Ange and others who worked closely with Charlie over the years. This includes the many hours of video footage I have of Charlie working with athletes and presenting material in workshops. The goal is to capture as much of Charlie’s wisdom in a training manual that he never had the time to complete. Although CFTS and Speed Trap have wonderful information, I truly believe that Charlie continued to grow his knowledge to a point where no one could touch him (kind of like Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda when they passed on).

I believe Charlie had an exceptional, unprecedented grasp of sprint mechanics and how to get an athlete to their optimal mechanics. You could see his brilliance working with both the elite sprinters and the novice sprinters. This information should be made public to set the record straight on sprint mechanics.

I can’t wait til it is made public…when it comes to sprinting i’m like a science geek…I know everyone has different qualities but we do need an optimal technical model…Coaches and scientists should come together to make more sense of it instead of arguing points and saying who is right or wrong because at the end of the day it’s how the individual interprets it…

Check this out…


Now is that poetry or is that poetry?.

I couldnt agree more. More and more people should look into charlies work. Im still learning stuff and I’ve been a member of the site since 2003

not to be a debbie downer, but arent individuals so different that even an “optimal technical model” could not apply to certain people? some peoples bodies are made to function one way while others are made to function another way, one style of sprinting is not necessarily the best thing for EVERYONE to do