Tell Young Sprinters to “Start Your Engines”

Use This Car Racing Analogy When Coaching Young Athletes

Some of your best coaching ideas come from the kids that you are coaching.

While coaching sprints at a school recently, I asked the class if anyone knew what was the first thing a starter says at the start of a race before firing the gun.

“Start your engines?” a boy of about nine years replied.

Wow! What a great idea – relating the start of a sprint race to the start of a car race. I now tell young athletes that:

“On your marks” = Start your engines


“Start Your Engines”

“Set” = Rev your engines


“Rev Your Engines”

“Go” = Race away!

Acceleration from a standing start

“Race Away!”

Keep alert to these gems that will come from the kids and keep a list of them. They are priceless coaching tools.

Has a Young Athlete Ever Given You a Great Idea?

I would love to hear about any ideas that you have picked up from the kids that you have coached. Tell me your stories by leaving a reply/comment or by using the contact details below.

Further reading

15 Simple Tips You Need to Know for a Standing Sprint Start

10 of the Biggest Mistakes Young Athletes Make When Using a Sprint Standing Start

If this post helped you please take a moment to help others by sharing it on social media. If you want to learn more I encourage you to leave questions and comments or contact me directly.

20150614_154020-1Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes and founder of the blog Learn more about him here and connect with him on TwitterFacebookLinkedin, Anchor or via email.

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