Running the Curve

The start, drive phase, transition phase and the top speed phase are critical components to a sprint race. In addition, some events require the athlete to run the curve. Success or failure in sprinting is a matter of hundredths of seconds. While pure speed is important, races are won by sprinters that execute the fundamentals of each phase of the race.

In the short video clip below Monte Stratton, winner of 24 conference titles at TCU and Texas-Arlington. In the clip Coach Stratton uses Olympian Doc Patton to demonstrate how he teaches his sprinters to run their best on the curve.

This Running the Curve clip is from a complete DVD from Coach Stratton on coaching sprinters. The full DVD contains valuable tools teach running technique, starts an relay exchanges. He also includes instruction on strength training for sprinters. For more information abouot the DVD that this clip came from click the link World Class Sprints & Relays

The YouTube video below has sound, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site. (Some schools block access to YouTube)

When running the curve it is important to note that of the Drive Phase, Transition Phase and Top Speed remain the the same as if you were on the straight away. The only thing that varies is the arm action.

The key coaching points for running the curve are as follows:

1. Do Not Touch the Line – stay 3-4 inches from the line.
2. The shoulders should stay square. The head, ears, neck and eyes should stay in line just like on the straight away
3. The left elbow is taken back slightly inside and with a shorter arc than the right arm
4. The right arm comes forward with force and slightly across the midline and under the chin. THe elbow is driven straight back and the arc is longer than the left arm.
5. Do not lean. Keep shoulders square
6. Transition smoothly into straight away.

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