6 Simple Drills For Teaching Sprint Technique

Aaron King

coaching technique acceleration speed Published over 1 year Ago

Technical drills we call "lead up drills" -- an extension of the warmup

There are a lot of factors that go into sprinting. We like to focus on speed and it's a relationship to complete athletic development. It is important to understand that each of these drills is focused on a very specific element in sprinting mechanics. They are best used as an extension of the warmup to engage a higher rate of speed, or as a conditioning tool at the end of a workout.

Below we highlight these 6 drills:

  1. Running Butt Kicks
  2. Big Arms
  3. Pedal the Bicycle
  4. No Arms
  5. No Arms to Sprint
  6. Pushup Start

Running Butt Kicks

Hamstrings are important, I think that goes without saying. Just like butt kicks are used to warm up the hamstrings, we use running butt kicks to accelerate the relationship between the stride and the hamstring.

Big Arms

An over-exaggerated arm swing is what we call "Big Arms". Emphasize the elbow back and the hand up near your face. You'll notice that as your arms swing big, your legs will want to do the same. This is good for 0-30 top end speed days.


Pedal the Bicycle

Simulate the pedaling a bicycle motion during these drills. Arms are still at 90 degrees (we aren't pretending to ride a bike). We are working on a quick turnover, it is similar to the motion in running butt kicks. This is good for 0-10 quickness days.

No Arms

Taking away the arms creates a challenge for your balance and ability to get the most out of your torso and legs. The goal is to drive your knees up and maintain a solid sprint line. This is an often pair with the next drill, No Arms to Sprint. This drill is good for just about any day, especially 0-30 and position specific days.

No Arms To Sprint

As I mentioned, this drill works great with no arms. We'll often do 2 30 yard sprints with no arms, followed by a 30 yard no arm into a sprint (15 yards with no arms, drop the arms and sprint the second 15 yards).
You will feel a burst of speed once you drop your arms and regain their power.

Push Up Start

It's hard enough to accelerate from a standing still position, how about the push-up position? Well, you are actually put into a forward lean position immediately, after all, you are starting parallel to the ground. The challenge is getting your feet cycled around quick enough to maintain balance and continue that acceleration. This is great for 0-10 and position specific days.

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