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  16-Apr-2021      By Travis Geopfert

Track and Field: Building Blocks to Achieve Success

ALL Track and Field Athletes and Coaches MUST focus on these three physical attributes to be successful on the track, on the runway, or in the ring! 

1. Rhythm

2. Posture

3. Foot Contact

From a technical perspective, the success or failure of every event in track and field comes down to the effectiveness or inefficiencies in these three areas. 

1. Rhythm.

There is a rhythmical component to every event from distance running to sprinting to long jumping to throwing the shot put.  Distance runners need to understand their own rhythm in their race and be able to effectively manage rhythm changes from "surges" to being "blocked in" during any distance running event.

Throwers must feel their individual rhythm from the back of the ring to the front of the ring.  Typically, this is a slow to fast progression with the main factor of distance being the velocity of the implement at the point of release. 

Jumpers, sprinters, and hurdlers all must understand the cadence of rhythm that is needed from the acceleration at the beginning of a race to the top end sprinting during a race. The rhythm between the hurdles while hurdling, the "tapping" of the feet in top end sprinting, and even the consistency jumpers need in rhythm out of the back of the runway or apron to create fair and far jumps or clear high bars. Why do some jumpers "count" during their approach?  The answer... to establish rhythm!

2. Posture, Posture, Posture.

Simple physics and the concept of "lining up your forces" is critical in every event of track and field.  Whether it is an athlete training in the throws, jumps, sprints, or distance events, it does not matter.  The philosophy is simple, if you don't have your head and chest up in proper position at the point of release, jump take-off, or sprinting/running toe-off, you WILL NOT be applying as much force as you possibly could into the ground.  The fact is that you cannot get around this, it is just the way it is, and it is something that all athletes and coaches should understand. 

3. Foot Contact.

Where is the athlete’s foot striking the ground in relation to the center of mass at the point of impulse or contact? Granted, some events are slightly different in terms of optimal foot placement, but as coaches and athletes, you must pay attention to this detail!  

Creating proper angles in take-off for all the jumping events… avoiding "braking" in the sprinting, distance, and hurdling events.... or applying force from the ground through the release in all throwing events are all critical elements in determining foot contact in relation to the center of mass.

To maximize this potential, coaches and athletes must know the proper positions and angles of the body when the foot touches the ground.  Paying attention to this critical detail will help athletes efficiently and effectively apply force in every track and field event. 

Most athletes are visual learners and will need to "see" all points of emphasis done correctly to learn most effectively.  Our Trackwired track and field training plans contain over 1300 short (30 seconds to 2 minute) videos for every event in track and field, cross country, road running, and weight lifting.  These videos will provide an in-depth explanation and teach the progression of drills needed to be effective and efficient in rhythm, posture, and foot contact for every race, jump or throw in track and field. 

For more information or to access training plans and the Trackwired video library, visit

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