Proper sprinting form for GAA Players.

Proper sprinting form for young Hurlers and Footballers is hard to coach but the juice is worth the squeeze in my opinion. I have experimented with acceleration ladders (old SAQ ladders that I repurposed actually) to aid in proper mechanics, I found it helped a bit.

Acceleration Ladders are useful, but, not as useful as wickets in my opinion.

When it comes to speed mechanics I focus on 3 things initially, posture, leg action, and then arm action. They all bleed into one another but the main point is just to make your players move better.

Sprint mechanics hierarchy
running mechanics
This was a drill attempting to work on the posture aspect of sprinting, locking the dowel overhead whilst practicing leg drives, results were mixed.

If they can’t lift their knees up unrestricted or move their upper torso properly all the sprint drills in the world are probably not going to do a whole lot.

I try to work on some form of sprint drills and sprints every session (not always logistically possible). It’s also worth noting I am not an athletics coach, I simply use these modalities in small doses to hopefully elicit a positive response for their chosen sport of Gaelic Games.

The last photo is a simple example of some plyos I did with a young squad I used to coach, this helps the contractile properties of the muscles (makes you more springy) which is also hugely important for young athletes. A simple google search into the benefits of plyometrics for athletes will soon show you the benefits.

This may all look a bit fancy but the main message for a GAA club may be as simple as add proper sprinting to your training regime and plyos (done safely and stepped up gradually).

If you are not comfortable with any of these drills just look at your player’s sprint and give them positive feedback on things to work on (“knees up”, “pump the arms”).

Plyometrics example – increase load (foot contacts) slowly.

Coach Hare