Sprint Drills: Four Point Start


In the video clip below Ken Harnden,University of Georgia Associate Head Coach;2x Olympian and 1996 NCAA Champion at UNC (400 Hurdles);3x USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year,  demonstrates the key teaching points of the 4-point start and also demonstrates a Triple Extension Med Ball Toss Drill that provides a great low-risk way to teach young athletes how to push up through the front leg, creating triple extension needed for acceleration.

Key Teaching Points (Four Point Start)

  1. Shoulders should be inline with the hands. The shoulders should not be in front of the hands.
  2. There should be a straight line between the hips and shoulders
  3. Front leg should be bent at 90-degrees
  4. Back leg should be bent at 120-degrees
  5. Back leg should be pulled low and tight to the ground
  6. The hands should be tight. No long motion with the hands

Med Ball Triple Extension Out of the Block Drill

To help mimic the triple extension out of the blocks have the athlete  stand in front of a pole vault mat. The athlete will hold a med ball in their hands at about chest height. Next the athlete will  bend down with one leg in front of the other with the front leg at 90-degrees. From this position the athlete will explode up and out onto the the mat, while extending his/her arms and thrusting the med ball forward.  This action requires the triple extension of the ankles, knees and hips necessary for an explosive start.

This clip is from Coach Harnden’s DVD entilted 35 Essential Drills for SprintersThe DVD includes funtional warm-ups, explosive starts and maximal velocity sprint mechanics. For more information about that DVD click the link above.

The YouTube video below has audio, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site. Click the arrow to play. Note some schools block access to YouTube.

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