What age to specialize in Sprinting

Hi everybody,hope someone can help me out.My daughter is twelve yrs old and loves sprinting.Up until now she has been doing multi events but this year she moves up an age group and she will be coming up against girls who specialize in sprinting only.Is 12/13 yrs old too young to specialize?.Also which dvd would be the more relevant for her coaching development,The Jane Project or GPP Essentials.

As she is still developing, multi events are still a good idea as long as the principle aim is speed and coordination development. Remember, at her age, she might develop better speed for the long haul, even if she is loosing to other girls, who might be focusing on endurance, as the 100m is still a long way at that age.
Probably for development, I’d suggest the GPP DVD, though if she has had any overtraining issues, you could get the Jane Project.

if i may, let her still have fun! at least this will keep her in the long run…

haven’t seen the Jane Project DVD, but in the GPP one there are lots of funny exes even for this age group completely avoiding the “paralysis by analysis” issue helping develop speed and coordination for any event, i suppose!

hope it helps!

Thanks a lot Charlie and you too Nikolouski,those were the lines I was thinking along.My order is placed for the GPP Dvd.
Bye for now.

The GPP Dvd arrived today.Excellent!

first let me say I do not really know jack about sprinting CF and Niko and probably everyone on this board could give you better advice but I thought I would post up some stuff from Soviet Training and Recovery Methods book by rick brunner…In terms of Long Range Prep of sprinters he says “The Long Range preparation of sprinters is divided into phases by age of the athlete and each group is judged using testing norms as shown in table 8. ( the table shows all sorts of testing norms from age 11 through 20+ I can post all of these if you guys want let me it will take some time) one example is for the 60m 11-12 yrs old (9.0-8.6) 15-16 yrs (7.5-7.3) …goes up to 20 + yrs ( 6.65-6.55)…The stages are;
Preliminary Training: “Usually begins around the age 8 and continues for 3-4 years. The aim of this phase is to assure all-around physical development, teaching of various exercises, and creating an interest in the chosen sport. Several studies have shown that the development of movement skills, speed, power, agility and flexibility are best acheived during the early years of schooling. This applies greatly to the development of speed, as the stride frequency improvement in speed comes to a stop by age 12-13. For this reason , at ages 8-12 it is important to use the training methods which stimulate movement frequency and increase speed.”
Next Phase is Basic Selecion Phase…this is an older book an focuses on the Soviet system so it says this stage takes place in schools but it basicall builds up the athletes general training…these are not quotes but basic interpretation. Goes from age 12-16, they give Model for Micro Cycles if you want me to post them all let me know, here is an example MICRO-CYCLE 1 GPP DAY1 Warm up exercise with Med. Balls 80 throws Running exercises 4x40m. Run with accelerations3x 60-80m. Push offs of each4,5,6th strides, 6x 50-60m. Run with intensity at 80%, 250m+200m+150m (Rest Pause, 5-7min)…Next Phase is Specialization Phase " a deeper more specialized development of athletes begins at ages 15-16 until 18-19.” Basically volume and intensity is increased…Next is the Phase of Perfection…“narrow specialization with the training volume increased further, often reaching an individuals maximum.” Finally is the High Perfromance Stage…“begins at age 20-21 following eight or nine years of preparatory training. The best performances are reached between the ages of 22-29 depending on the process of specialization. These athletes are the elite class athletes and they employ close to maximal intensity running all year round.” THis is just an overview I can give you more quotes from the book if you are interest…just let me know…I am not sure if this helps at all but this is how the old commie’s used to do it according to Brunner and Tabachnik!!! Peace

A reasonable summary of their thinking BUT I’m wary of time/performance guidelines which may only serve to eliminate much of the talent (tests can fail to account for growth rate performance drops, often affecting the [potentially] taller athletes most)
Also the early age runs over 150m would (and should) be well below the classification for Special Endurance.

"I’m wary of time/performance guidelines which may only serve to eliminate much of the talent"Charlie that is a really good point, the book does not seem to make mention of this!

Trying not to get off topic, the book talks about a formula for predicting future performance…" when coaches look for talented athletes hey compare the results of special tests from an initial stage to test results one and a half years later. From the improvement during this period they can accurately predict future ability. Coaches use the following formula as a basis for determining sport improvement:
W=V2-V1/ 1/2(V1 + V2) x 100% where W is the level of improvement in percent , V1 is the initial result in testing, and V2 is the final result. From the years 11-12 after 1 and 1 1/2 years of training the improvement in speed exercise should be 7-10%, and speed strength exercise such as jumping should be 9.5-12%."

An example 11-12 year old child
initial result in standing triple jump was 6m and then in 1 1/2 years was 6.60m…plug it all in
100 ((660cm-600cm)/.5(1260cm)=100x60/630= 9.5% THIS IS ACCEPTABLE!!! …What happens if they fall under the accepted % :eek: I think they would hear a loud NIET and then get a kettlebell upside the head :confused: …Anyways maybe s-merril could try to use this formula to predict the future…or maybe he would have a better more accurate reading calling CLEO from psychic friends…“De Cards Don’t LIE MON!!!” :slight_smile:

“Culling the herd” too early may throw the baby out with the bathwater.

This reminds me of how Charlie describes in Speed Trap how late Ben (relative to some around him) took to develop and mature. Lucky Charlie didnt “cull the herd too early”!

gf200…“This reminds me of how Charlie describes in Speed Trap how late Ben (relative to some around him) took to develop and mature. Lucky Charlie didnt “cull the herd too early”!”

Excellent point!! :smiley:

I’d say never.

Why not just train like a sprinter and dominate people in any other sport? Alot of people will disagree with me here but I think you are setting yourself up for alot of disappointment if you specialize in sprinting. Only one person gets to win… Why not join a team sport, have fun playing with your friends… and just destroy your opponents in every foot race?? Sounds like alot more fun to me…

Bottom line: kids want to play the sports their friends are playing. I think the reason Ben joined Charlie’s group at a young age was because he had a friend/relative already there.