The decisions coaches make need to be driven by testing and monitoring. Ideally these decisions are individual and and address specific athlete needs. As a coach, we need to have both long and short term plans for athletes. These plans should be flexible enough to account for the day to day variations and challenges and also structured to maintain growth and development. There is an art to this type of coaching.
Its easy to let our egos and biases get in the way and hinder athlete development and program design. In the past, when I wanted to get an athlete strong, I planned strength sessions around complex movements pushing heavy weight. This worked, but it didn't work for everybody, and sometimes it came with a cost. My bias to this type of training was holding my athletes back. Something had to evolve.
I'm a firm believer in getting stronger during the season. I just don't understand how coaches allow their athletes to get weaker as the season continues. An in season strength program is just one part of this equation.
Incorporating strength training during your season needs to be a priority. You have time. No excuses.
Treat strength training as a unit that is as important as acceleration development, speed development, or event specific technical work. The idea is that all of these elements work together for the athlete. You are only as strong as your weakest link.
What follows is the second block that I've used with success.
I've experimented with drop step starts, cross over starts, etc., but these didn't seem track specific enough, but they were fun to do during the GPP in the fall. I switched to the progressions below and have felt more satisfied with the results.
The starting process is much more complex than it appears. Developmental syn- thesis in order to incorporate proper postural positions is a must. Two point starts are followed by rolling starts. Rolling starts are followed by crouch starts. Crouch starts are followed by three point. Three point starts lead to four point and then eventually to the blocks. Synthesis means that until one stage is mastered, it will be difficult to move to the next level of complexity. -Tommy Badon