The X-FACTOR is Sprint Technique

THE ‘X FACTOR’ IS SPRINT TECHNIQUE by Michael Misson

Most competitive sports involve forward, backward and lateral running movements.

If you could improve your performance by learning how to run correctly, wouldn’t you want to be more effective and efficient in the sport of your choice?

The answer is Y-E-S and to this end I have designed a 6-8-week programme that will enable you to become a faster, more explosive and powerful athlete.

This programme has evolved from my wide and varied experience in training elite athletes for 23 years.

Arguably the biggest myth going around is that you can’t coach speed as it just comes naturally. This is certainly not the case and beneath are three points that, if you follow correctly, can help make incredible improvements to multi-directional speed, agility, explosive strength and power.

Turn your weaknesses into a strength and learn the basics of sprinting technique; you will be guaranteed a much higher chance of reaching your full potential as an athlete.

The 3 keys to success for a sprinter are:

1. simple running biomechanics (this can be done by drills)

2. adapting drills that relate to your individual sport.

3. core strength/flexibility and a weight programme that includes exercises designed to improve power and strength.

When you are teaching children and adults how to sprint you need to break down the mechanics and show them how to become relaxed athletes as this is one of the most important keys to running fast.

Adopt these simple techniques when you are learning how to sprint:

 1. A relaxed action: this means moving effortlessly and efficiently, as opposed to being tense and straining to move freely. Let the running movements be free-flowing and smooth.  Keep the head, neck, shoulders, hands relaxed and the arm swing rhythmically by your sides.  
 2. A smooth action: this means to float or glide across the top of the ground with a light strike from your leg stride. All your movements should be forward, not up and down. Leg action should be powerful and efficient.  
 3. A tall action: this means running erect. Run on the balls of your feet/toes – not your heels. And so with a full extension of the back, hips and legs, as opposed to sitting down when you run.  
 4. A driving action: this means to push from an elongated rear leg. Back elbow and shoulder (???? – what does he mean?) should be a forceful movement at 90 degrees, with a high forward knee drive, followed by a strike and claw foot action just behind the body’s centre of gravity.  

Research suggests sprinting has other benefits such as:

*great for fat loss and lean muscle gain
* improves your aerobic capacity and endurance in half the time of traditional endurance exercises
* burns far more calories than low- to moderate-level cardio exercise

That old sporting adage is still true today: THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR SPEED ON THE SPORTING FIELD.

Bio

Michael Misson has a successful personal training business Misso Fitness (www.missofitness.com). He represented Australia in rugby at schoolboy, under-19 and under-21 levels; in athletics at a junior level; and played professional rugby in the UK for 6 years. His father played cricket for Australia, his mother ran for Great Britain, and his brother has been a high performance manager for the Australian cricket team, Australian AFL team, the Wallabies, Tennis Australia, Athletics Australia, St Kilda and the Swans.

He believes that good sprinting technique starts at a young age. You can have children with natural ability but after a while this isn’t enough. To make it further and have an edge over your opponents you need to be taught proper technique and good habits.

Misson has had experience working with the Sydney Swifts netball team, various professional rugby teams in the UK, Tennis Australia, the NSW women’s cricket team, North Sydney Bears, Sturm Graz (Austrian soccer team), numerous corporate clients and various schools in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.