Everyone wants their athlete to run fast! In order to help young athletes we have to talk to them in a way that they understand. Playing games is a great way to teach kids without them knowing!
One game that I really like is a simple balancing drill. Better yet, a “balancing game”…call it a game and it’ll go over better!
If you were to ask a kid to “dorsiflex” their foot, they might look at you like you’re crazy! If you play this sock balancing game and then ask the kid to hold their foot the same way they did when they were balancing the sock, it might go better!
The set up is really easy. All you need is something light, like a pair of socks, to balance. In order to balance the sock on the thigh or on the foot they have to be parallel with the ground. This will help when you start talking about how to hold the body in order to produce the most power when sprinting.
Have a look at this video to understand how to do the drill.
The Sock Balancing Sprinter Drill:
Once your athletes master this balance drill you can add on another “game”. This game helps to coordinate the sprinter form with the movement in order to create a fluid and powerful athlete!
The Single Leg Balance Sprint Drill (Game):
- Begin in the “Balance Single Leg Sprinter Stance”.
- The coach will call out a number between 1 and 3.
- The athlete will respond by switching their raised leg the amount of times the coach calls out.
- If a coach calls out “1”, the athlete will switch to the opposite leg and hold the leg high up in the air working on their balance.
- If a coach calls out “2” the athlete will switch the raised leg 2 times, which will return them to the same leg raised as when they began.
- Continue to call out random numbers until you detect fatigue and poor form from the athlete.
- Cue the athlete to keep their ankle, knee and hip at 90 degree angles.
- Cue the athlete to brace their core.
- Allow you athletes to rest and repeat for a few rounds.
These 2 games can be added into any warm-up! If you want my simplified warm-up that can help develop speed and strength you can get it free here: