3 Sprinting Mistakes that DRAIN Your Speed
Every athlete’s guilty of a handful of sprinting mistakes. This is why it’s absolutely necessary to hone your mechanics. If you’re NOT honing your mechanics, you’re limiting your speed potential.
That said, I have a group of around 10 athletic measurements that I put a lot of weight into. A couple of which measure the amount of sprinting mistakes an athlete makes. The main measurement I use for this is the 10 yard dash time.
There are a couple of other reasons I put a lot of weight into the 10 time too, such as:
- It reflects your first step explosiveness
- It’s the most important piece of the 40 yard dash
- Reflects horizontal force production
And a bunch more.
Overall, your 10 yard dash time is a reflection of your explosiveness AND your body positioning.
In other words, the 10 time is a combination of force production and mechanics.
And I see a lot of guys making mistakes on the mechanics side of their 10.
I want to share three of them below, so you can take note and do the work to fix your sprinting mistakes.
Sprinting Mistake #1: Taking Small Steps
Recently, I had a baseball player step into the gym.
He’s a little undersized, and a little lacking in force production… But, he’s got that dog in him that wants to work.
Anyway, he told me he’d been going to see a sprinting coach, and I was surprised to see that he was accelerating improperly. At least, for his level of force production.
His main error? Taking a lot of small steps in the first five yards of his sprint.
It almost looked like he was tap dancing.
To be clear, this could work for guys who have more spring in their legs… But for a guy who is lacking in elasticity, this is a big sprinting mistake.
Instead, most guys should look to come out of the gate with 2-3 powerful steps.
This will allow you to cover the same amount of distance, with less effort.
Sprinting Mistake #2: Picking The Chest Up Too Early
The forward lean with a positive shin angle is the most efficient position to build speed quickly.
Because it puts you in the most efficient position to produce horizontal force.
And unless you’ve been living in the woods these past few years, you know horizontal force production is absolutely critical in your acceleration and speed in general.
But way too many athletes pop up out of their acceleration position too early.
And this drains from their horizontal force production because they have to focus on producing both vertical AND horizontal force.
One of the main reasons for this sprinting mistake is that some athletes look straight ahead when sprinting. Instead, keep the chin tucked and bring the head up gradually as the torso comes upright.
Sprinting Mistake #3: Swooping
This another common sprinting mistake I see athletes making that drains their speed.
After they make contact with the ground, their leg does this long swooping motion behind their hips.
This is inefficient and results in slower sprints.
There are a couple of cues you can use to fix this.
The first one is to look at your toe going over the knee.
The second cue is to imagine you’re stepping over your opposite ankle. This creates a mental shift from * striding to popping the thigh up high.
Third cue is to pretend your legs are on angled pistons, and you’re simply popping the thigh, applying force back into the ground, then popping the thigh again.
The Problem With Cues
If I’m honest, cues will only get you so far. That’s why I rely on DRILLS to instill the motor patterns that lead to more speed.
Because only a small percentage of athletes can make mechanical adjustments on the fly.
And even less have the body awareness to perform advanced drills off the bat.
That’s why I created Athletic Speed System.
It starts you from the bottom, takes your hand and rapidly pulls you to the top, allowing you to perform more advanced speed drills in less than 3 months. And you’ll see your speed increase even faster than that.
I’ve seen guys cut their 10 time down from 1.56 to 1.49 in just a few weeks.
Others go from high 1.7s to 1.5s in no time.
And again, this makes them more explosive… Gives them a quicker first step… And will allow them to blow by opponents.
You can read more about it below: