Sprinting Mechanics – Basic Advice
Fixing how your players move should be at the foremost of every coach's mind. It is tricky however to do so when it comes to sprint "fixing". I will cover a few more articles on this later but suffice to say that your local athletics club has been doing this stuff well for years and years, so a trip out to one of them might not be a bad idea one day. However, I will give you a few things to work with with your average GAA group (or any group really).
Eliciting real change in how a player sprints or runs is never just one thing, of course, it's hugely multifactorial
so be advised that a lot of movement fixing will happen in a gym environment also.
One drill I do like is a simple wall drill used to fix movement deficiencies with players, it’s simple but not easy to get right in a group session with GAA players who generally never think about sprint mechanics.
The technique in the video attached is what you would typically see, it is "getting" there, but more to do. I have found the sprint drills great for my athletes, however, at the start, it’s a tough sell as a lot of the drills look silly to them. Fight through this because if we can fix issues early, there might be no issues later, and who doesn’t want to move better? With younger athletes the "giggle factor" as I call it is a huge coaching difficulty. If you think of the wall drill as a way to slow down running and actually see what the issues are (it's hard to coach someone as they fly past you running).
The Pop - Float - Skip
I probably use Marching on the spot, Skipping and Pop Floats in every session I take with an underage team. This simple drill warms you up for most movement demands (and you can do these laterally) and it really is a great way to get your players thinking about how to move better. Knee alignments, postural alignments, Foot placements can all be refined and coached. It is also simple to implement.
Check out the handy resource I have made to help you implement these into your training sessions.