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Thread: straight inta coaching...

  1. #1

    straight inta coaching...

    In March a friend of mine asked if I could coach his 8 year old daughter (M). She had done quite well that season, making the regional finals. she finished 5th in the 70m with 12.5, 4th in the 100m with 17.5, and first in the 60h with 12.4 (all on rubber tracks with electronic timing).

    Her dad was keen for her to make it to the state championships the following season, but in order to do that she needed to finish top two at regionals. I looked around at the current competition and estimated that she would need to improve her 70m by about 1sec and her 100 by about 2sec. In the space of a year, past athletes going from u8 to u9 tended to improve by about half of this, so M would need to make rapid improvements if she was going to achieve this.

    He sent me some videos of her racing and a few areas for improvement stood out straight away. one was that she had a dramatic arch in her lower back that was limiting her knee lift and shortening her stride. two was that she would throw her head back and run with her face pointed to the sky. the third thing was that she appeared to be pushing for speed through the whole race. as a result she was getting tense through the shoulders and slowing dramatically towards the ends of her races.

    I agreed to take her on and set about writing out a series of targets and plans.

    I enjoy a good challenge…

  2. #2

    Re: straight inta coaching...

    7-4-15

    heavy rain meant that we had to start off with an indoor session in my garage.

    I got her to do a variety of simple movements and stretches in order to assess where her body was at. As I suspected, her hip flexors and hamstrings were really tight. everything we did was brand new for her, so we progressed slower than I thought we would. She had little patience for stretching, but by the end of the session she reported that her legs were feeling really good.


    14-4-15

    we met at the track for the fisrt time, however before she even started the warm up it was clear that there was something wrong. Her left hamstring was really tight. range of motion was way less than the week before and it was tender to touch. It turns out that she had attended a training clinic the day before and she had done 3 hours worth of sprints and jumps.

    this was not exactly the ideal way to start, but I did my best to loosen her up and had her doing short 10m runs, followed by slow 40m runs, then 100m runs; all done with an emphasis on being as relaxed as possible. her stride gradually eased open, but she was clearly impeded by her hamstring strain. We did a variety of stretching and core exercises and called it a day.


    16-4-15

    left hamstring was still tight.

    4x20 slow, stretch and test, 4x40 slow
    marching
    hurdle step overs (had great trouble coordinating this)
    massage/shaking, stretching and core exercises
    2x100m alternating between running and walking, also with skipping.

    21-4-15

    raining again, so another session in the garage.
    hamstring condition improving.

    marching on spot, hip flexor stretch
    lunges, quad stretch
    star jumps, lat stretch
    glute bridge (1 and 2 legs)
    butt kicks, hamstring stretch
    lying leg raises (mostly using hf, no abs)
    side plank
    step ups
    reverse hypers

    23-4-15

    garage once again.

    arm drills
    cupping on hamstrings
    belt sprints (sprinting on spot held back by a belt around the waist) - 6s, 20 steps (feet too low, no knee lift)
    reverse hypers, single leg
    planking

    hamstring is improving. muscles are feeling firm, but not so tight.

    28-4-15

    6x20 warm up
    hamstring sliding with cups
    stretch routine
    marching

    2x10m accelerations (feet scuffing the ground, coming through very low)
    3x20m accel (around 4.5sec each - mucked up the timing)

    wizard skips for 100m - skipping like in the wizard of oz ("we're off to see the wizard!") 10m run, 10m skip, 10m sprint (starting to look much better)

    core exercises



    by the end of the last session I was feeling much more optimistic...

  3. #3

    Re: straight inta coaching...

    1-5-15

    3 lap warm up

    lunges and quad stretches
    butt kicks and hamstring/lat stretches

    marching and getting the heel up.
    10/10/10 skip/sprint/walk for 100m

    5x100m - slow but with 30-50 run faster with sprint technique.

    core strength work


    5-5-15

    40m run throughs with skipping
    stretching - hamstrings both tight after doing school cross country.
    several slow 20m runs, getting looser each time.


    15m accelerations working on her starting position. she was standing with her front leg straight and her back leg way back and locked out.
    4x15m belt sprints - holding her back for 10m then letting her go for the last 5.
    one more unresisted 15m sprint.

    core exercises and stretching...

  4. #4

    Re: straight inta coaching...

    8-5-15

    1 lap warm up jog - run/walk

    50m slow runs
    skips
    marching
    stretching
    cupping

    3x100m slow

    fetch and throw with a rubber ball

    3x100m slow

    resistance band exercises for hip flexors

    core and stretching


    12-5-15

    warm up runs
    stretching
    marching
    skip/sprint

    2x20m accels

    weight toss + reaction (stand with weight between knees, react to my clap and throw - this is to get her out of her false start habit)

    4x20m belt sprints
    1x20m accel - excellent!
    2x100m slow

    core and stretch


    15-5-15

    tempo circuit
    drizzling rain

    run 60m between each exercise (lunges, toe springs, push ups, stretch, leg swings, etc) - 4x400
    stretch and massage between each lap

    sliding and cupping

    starting to look much better.


    19-5-15
    drizzle again
    undercover near the clubhouse
    mobility work similar to the garage sessions

    reactive throws as per 12-5

    start technique - stance

    3x100m slow



    27-5-15

    today she came with a very negative attitude. complaining, arguing, not putting in an effort.
    had to give her a big talking to after the warm up. started to improve.

    2x3x100
    2x70 (20/50) - freelap timing

    4.47, 8.89 = 13.45
    4.43, 8.90 = 13.33

    feet were coming through too low again, possibly due to trying harder with the timing on...

  5. #5

    Re: straight inta coaching...

    2-6-15

    in light of her recent spat I decided to rethink and restructure the sessions. I made up a routine based more on the activities she enjoyed rather than the ones I wanted her to do.


    15/15 skip/run x6
    15/15 scissor skip/run x6
    lunges
    walking flags + knee hugs
    hops
    react and throw
    2x15m accel
    3x15m belt sprint

    40m 7.66h
    70m 13.63h, 13.60h

    ab wheel

    this session went very well. her attitude and effort were as good as they have been up until now. this was partly due to the more enjoyable activities, but also because myself and her father gave her a good talking to.


    4-6-15

    - 15/15 skip/run x6
    - 15/15 scissor skip/run x6
    walking flags + knee hugs

    run fwd/back/fwd on whistle, 1 minute

    1x40m
    5x20m

    6x reactive throws

    1x20 freelap
    2x70 20/50 freelap

    4.37
    4.77, 8.72 = 13.49
    4.32, 8.94 = 13.26

    left hip still doesn't have great movement.

    9-6-15
    3x15/15 skip run
    3x15/15 scissor skip/run
    2x15/15 butt kick/run
    stretch
    walking flags/hugs
    fwd/back
    general stretch

    5x reactive throws
    3x15m

    3x40 (20/20)
    - (missed the timing - this was her best, though)
    -4.34, 3.58 = 7.92
    - (missed timing)

    belt - 45deg marching (some difficulty with coordination)

    ab wheel

    told her father afterwards that she really enjoyed this session.


    13-6-15
    hamstrings and lower back really tight after playing football at school. could barely reach her ankles. lying hamstring stretch was less than 45deg!

    warm up as previous
    stretching
    hamstring and back massage

    sand pit jumps
    marching

    4x50m slow

    step ups.

    after this session I recommended she should see a chiro about her lower back...

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: straight inta coaching...

    Quote Originally Posted by hornblower View Post
    In March a friend of mine asked if I could coach his 8 year old daughter (M). She had done quite well that season, making the regional finals. she finished 5th in the 70m with 12.5, 4th in the 100m with 17.5, and first in the 60h with 12.4 (all on rubber tracks with electronic timing).

    Her dad was keen for her to make it to the state championships the following season, but in order to do that she needed to finish top two at regionals. I looked around at the current competition and estimated that she would need to improve her 70m by about 1sec and her 100 by about 2sec. In the space of a year, past athletes going from u8 to u9 tended to improve by about half of this, so M would need to make rapid improvements if she was going to achieve this.

    He sent me some videos of her racing and a few areas for improvement stood out straight away. one was that she had a dramatic arch in her lower back that was limiting her knee lift and shortening her stride. two was that she would throw her head back and run with her face pointed to the sky. the third thing was that she appeared to be pushing for speed through the whole race. as a result she was getting tense through the shoulders and slowing dramatically towards the ends of her races.

    I agreed to take her on and set about writing out a series of targets and plans.

    I enjoy a good challenge…
    What other activities she's doing?
    From my observations there are a lot of things outside track which kids that young can do/ should do, to fully develop such as gymnastics, different ball sports, swimming etc...
    All the kids I have worked with in primary schools who have done regular activities above (2x/ week) have outperformed their peers by quite a lot.
    There is few things which needs to be taken to consideration except chronological age eg: developmental age, biological age, training age.
    There are windows of opportunity, bellow for girls.
    Keys to Youth Development Dr. Rtzdorf.jpg
    Keys to Youth Development Dr. Ritzdorf girls development.jpg
    Last edited by wermouth; 10-18-2015 at 01:21 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator X-Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    1,707

    Re: straight inta coaching...

    great posts guys. I too have seen many many kids running with head tilted back in the latter stages which leads to overall tightness. however ive rarely seen kids at this age with tightness like the above. has she any underlying issues? flexibility and rom should be excellent and also in the majority of cases overall running biomechanics shpuld be excellent
    X-Man
    CF.com Moderator

  8. #8

    Re: straight inta coaching...

    Quote Originally Posted by wermouth View Post
    What other activities she's doing?
    From my observations there are a lot of things outside track which kids that young can do/ should do, to fully develop such as gymnastics, different ball sports, swimming etc...
    All the kids I have worked with in primary schools who have done regular activities above (2x/ week) have outperformed their peers by quite a lot.
    There is few things which needs to be taken to consideration except chronological age eg: developmental age, biological age, training age.
    There are windows of opportunity, bellow for girls.
    Keys to Youth Development Dr. Rtzdorf.jpg
    Keys to Youth Development Dr. Ritzdorf girls development.jpg
    she is generally extremely active and she does a lot of sport at school, but nothing else particularly organised. her father keeps her busy with bike rides and various physical pursuits.
    I recently discovered that they have a rowing machine at home and I'm wondering if that has contributed to her lower back/hamstring tightness.

    I think she is fairly physically mature for her age. she looks quite muscular although not especially tall. her father is about 6ft but her mother is very short. I'm hoping she ends up closer to her father in height!

    I'll have a read of those links shortly...

  9. #9

    Re: straight inta coaching...

    Quote Originally Posted by X-Man View Post
    great posts guys. I too have seen many many kids running with head tilted back in the latter stages which leads to overall tightness. however ive rarely seen kids at this age with tightness like the above. has she any underlying issues? flexibility and rom should be excellent and also in the majority of cases overall running biomechanics shpuld be excellent
    sometimes she does it late in the race, but other times (when she's over trying) she does it from about 20m onwards.

    the pelvic tilt and tight lower back are the main issues causing hs tightness and mechanics issues. the lower back seems to be the main source of trouble, along with her doing heaps of sporty stuff with no physical maintenance, such as stretching, etc...

  10. #10

    Re: straight inta coaching...

    some things that I learned about M by this point:

    Physical
    strong and muscular but tight af.
    lower back and left hip locked up.
    pelvis rotated anterior.

    technical
    action too much out the back. pelvic tilt, pushing too long and weak hip flexors contributing to this.
    feet coming through low (below opposite knee), knee extension too soon. impatient to get her feet on the ground and push, which is good for the first 20 but no good after that.
    increasing braking forces due to planting foot ahead of cog and no negative foot speed. also, hips riding low because take off is limited.
    finally, she tends to get jumpy and anticipate the start.

    attitude
    she is impatient, so activities need to change frequently.
    she is energetic and almost needs to be tied down during her rest periods ("the better the rest, the better the best").
    she hates tempo style training with longer runs at a slower pace. I planned for L-S but switched to S-L to best fit her personality and enjoyment.
    she enjoys using gadgets, so I have brought a number of things into play, such as an ab wheel, belt, free lap ("the machine that goes beep!"), etc.
    she loves the therapy (begs for it), although her mum hates the cupping marks.
    complains most when she feels physically not ready. has a good game face - borderline white line fever.
    needs things to be fun and game-like, so funny names and various in jokes are included.
    she is obsessed with winning and posing...

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