In this drill, we are focusing on the efficiency of “leaning forward from the ankles” as we jump and hop forward, allowing the clean angle of the body from ankle to shoulders to stay in line as we move–propelling us forward, naturally. Then we discussed staying tight through the core, glutes and thighs. We did this drill in 2-foot hops, forward/side/backwards. As we got better with this movement we tied in the importance of the elbow drive to add to this forward lean and movement efficiency, keeping elbows and shoulders relaxed acting as drivers as we hop.
I’ve been doing a lot of research lately about the concept of speed in running and movement. The old idea amongst coaches and strength coaches is to run more to get faster or to get in better shape, but kids that do not run fast most often do not run fast because their body movement is inefficient. Therefore running more doesn’t make an already inefficient runner, faster! It makes them more tired and even more inefficient, leaving them prone to fatigue and injury.
These gaps in speed slow up a team and the sport.
I’ve been focusing more on helping the young people I’m working with understand how the body moves and therefore what running requires in the body. I feel if I spend time teaching these kids basic fundamentals of movement and add in ways to be efficient at them, the body will develop a better pattern of running and jumping. And my hope is that the athlete will become more efficient as a whole. Which equates to less fatigue and more speed. Again the old adage of “more is better” is being disproved again.