Sprint Mechanics Drills
Things to Consider Before we Start
The Big Three.
To help sprinting mechanics think posture, leg action and arm action.
This will in some way try to help these three things.
Some of the key things you will notice GAA players need to work on are:
- They tend to have poor knee lift that limits their speed.
- They tend to be slouched over when sprinting which again limits speed.
- They don't have good arm action and can't "scissor" their arms properly.
The following basic drills will aid all these coaching issues. You can implement them at any training session and they work best during your warm up phase of training.
Seated Arm Pumps
Seated Arm Pumps - Do 2-3 Rounds for 10-15 seconds
- It is a simple way to teach your players how to move their arms properly for sprinting purposes.
Get all your players to sit on the floor in a circle with legs out stretched in front of them and as straight as possible back.
On the call of "GO" instruct them to pump their arms like a sprinter in that sitting position.
Cue them not to let their hands go higher than their ears.
Cue them to pump their elbows back like "their throwing spaghetti of a wall".
Cue them go as fast as possible but maintain posture.
Make it part of a warm up circuit and ask the players to do the drill at random intervals.
The Frisbee March
Frisbee March - Do 2-3 Rounds for 10-15 seconds
- This is a great drill to teach better posture, leg action and arm action that will help players improve their running mechanics.
- Get the players to imagine they are standing on a frisbee, this cure helps them instantly get into good stance for this drill, not too wide and not too narrow.
- Next.. Tell the players to pull up an imaginary zipper on an imaginary wetsuit that zips at the front, this gets your players to stand upright and get proper alignment needed for the drill. ie. posture.
- Now tell your players to march on the spot, maintaining posture and pumping their arms.
- Cue them to lift their knees up as if they are smashing a pane of glass with their knees in front of them.
- Cue them to pump their arms as they do this like they are throwing spaghetti off a wall behind them, ie. Arm Action.
- We want to see fast piston like actions here, they are hitting the same spot on the floor each time with their feet, knees are up but not so high that posture is affected.
- Add a skip to each march and then a sprint at the end.
The Wall Drill
The Wall Drill - Do 2-3 Rounds for 10-15 Repetitions
- Lean into a wall or sled from the balls of your feet, not their toes. Look like the picture of Eoin, not too upright but not too far back. Cue them to have a door wedge under their heel, this will stop them having a flat foot.
- Tell the players to lift up one knee as shown. Cue them to brace their abs and keep their back flat. Cue “Head to heel strong as steel”. Cue the players to pull one foot up towards their shin.
- March in place, punching your knees forward and driving your foot back behind your hips. Imagine hitting the same spot with your foot each time.
- As you clap or blow a whistle get the players to switch to the other leg up and continue doing this for the prescribed time period.
- This is a way to teach players how to perform good sprinting mechanics in a stable environment. Because the players are in one spot and not moving away it’s easier for the coach to spot and fix technique flaws too.
- Add a double switch on each whistle.
You can download these exercises in PDF format HERE.