Tips for Teaching Young Athletes to Perform a Standing Sprint Start
A standing start for sprints is used by many young athletes who are too young to attempt, or have not yet been taught, a crouch or block start.
When doing a standing start:
“On Your Marks”
- Stand with one foot forward and one foot back; it doesn’t matter which one. (Whichever is comfortable for the athlete).
- Make sure that the front foot is pointed forward. It should be behind and not touching the starting line.
- Ensure that the back foot is also pointed forward, with the heel raised off the ground.
- The toes of the back foot should be about one foot-length behind the heel of the front foot.
- The feet should be shoulder-width apart, rather than one directly behind the other.
- Look forward to the finish line.
- The arms can be relaxed in this stance.
- Flex at the hips and knees, weight evenly distributed over both feet.
- Look downwards towards the front foot.
- Place the opposite arm and leg forward.
- Push off with both feet, springing away from the starting line.
- Drive with a big, strong arm action.
- Keep the eyes down so that all of the power is being directed through the top of the ahead.
- Push, push, push!
- Gradually rise up to the full sprinting position.
Do you have any other standing sprint start tips?
Can you add to this list? Let me know by leaving a comment/reply.
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Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes, and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.