A step-by-step guide to acceleration and maximum velocity training!
- Teach athletes how to set the blocks and come out of the blocks for maximum body extension and ground force
- Learn how to evaluate the stride length to max out the speed of a sprinter
- Develop a training plan and pattern to optimize each phase of the race to your athlete's best potential
with Ken Harnden,
University of Tennessee Track & Field/XC Assistant Coach (Sprints/Hurdles/Relays);
former University of Georgia Associate Head Coach;
2x Olympian and 1996 NCAA Champion at UNC (400 Hurdles);
3x USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year;
former Assistant Coach at Florida State University;
Harnden-coached athletes include: 14 Olympians, 25 NCAA individual champions, 150+ All-American honors, 2 collegiate records + has been a part of coaching 5 NCAA team titles (including the 2018 Men's Outdoor team title @GA)
Coach Ken Harnden has created a great video outlining the essential aspects of a successful sprint training program. In this video, Harnden will teach you how to:
- Create a functional dynamic warm up
- Teach an explosive block start
- Optimize maximal velocity mechanics to improve speed development
Coach Harnden covers a wide array of drills, many of which will provide solutions to building muscle memory, correcting core issues, block settings, leg angles, arm action, and warm-up procedures.
Creating a Functional Warm-Up
Efficient hip mobility is critical to developing the power needed for sprinting success. A strong functional movement-based warm-up can help develop these mobility patterns. Coach Harnden takes you through a 24 exercise functional warm-up that is designed to progressively challenge athletes' range of motion.
After some light skipping and jogging, the warm-up introduces a series of ground drills that progressively prepare the hip girdle, before progressing back into movement-based exercises with hurdle mobility exercises and speed development drills, including power skips and A-runs.
Teaching an Explosive Block Start
In order to develop an effective block start, Harnden breaks down critical components of powerful starts and ways to teach them in practice both with and without blocks. Drills in this segment progress from upright running drills to 3- and 4-point starts. The culminating drill in this segment, the Triple Extension Med Ball Toss, provides a great low-risk way to teach young athletes how to push up through the front leg, creating triple extension needed for acceleration.
Coach Harnden also covers how to set the pedals of your start blocks and what to do when your blocks aren't long enough to accommodate all your settings.
Optimizing Maximal Velocity Mechanics
Teaching maximal velocity mechanics can be difficult because athletes only spend a brief amount of time within this phase of their event. It's even more difficult to teach through drills, as proper mechanics are the result of force development in the acceleration phase.
This segment is slightly different than most coaching videos on speed development. Coach Harnden doesn't overload viewers with a myriad of drills "guaranteed to produce results." Instead, he shows viewers some critical body positioning cues they must look for. Cues such as knees together can let coaches know if athletes are over-striding, or turning over too quickly and not producing force appropriately.
Harnden keeps the concept of sprint development simple. All of his drills are well-explained and easy to implement in training even with beginner athletes or large groups.
43 minutes. 2017.Track & Field Videos