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Overstriding

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

I have a question for you. One of the boys in our track team looks to me like he is over striding. What drills will help him achieve a more natural stride? (He is tall and lanky.) Thanks, Jana

Answer

Dear Jana, The drills you want to stress will perfect a footstrike directly below the hips. An athlete overstriding frequently has his footstrike in front of this point. Overstriding causes braking, which you definitely don't want. Cues to keep in mind are: 1. Toe up - This may be the most important in correcting overstriding. When you push off, the toe needs to automatically spring back to this position. Toe down nearly guarantees overstriding. 2. Knee up 3. Heel up Drills to practice toe up are; high knees (running heels over knees-toe up), low knees (heels over ankles-toe up), toe up walking I would suggest purchasing videos on drills. Only stress these things during drills, let them run naturally and look for gradual improvements over time. I don't like the kids to think about technical things while they are running--just let them run You should stress running smoothly, not bounding along, One coach told me that kids should run like the Road Runner, legs turning over like crazy, the upper body perfectly smooth. Best Wishes, Coach Mick and Joh

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