East Tennessee State University men's and women's sprints and hurdles coach Brandon Morton blogs about the progress of his athletes as they gear up for the 2012-2013 season. Morton enters his third season with the Buccaneers. Some of the athletes he currently coaches are:
Ifrish Alberg (6.74, 10.36), Emani Harrison (11.63), Deigo Lararence (21.20, 7.72m- long jump), Rashad Campbell (10.48). Coach Morton is our first guest blogger on the U. If you are a coach or athlete and would be interested in blogging or contributing to MileSplit U, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Technical Installation over any and everything
The more I coach the more patient I become. I think I've said that plenty of times to mentors and mentees. It's amazing how fast your coaching philosophy can be changed based on your experiences. I began my coaching career thinking sprint fast and lift heavy. This is part of what it takes to run fast but what about doing things right. My old philosophy helped with my younger undeveloped kids. However as the kids became more developed this stopped working. They hit a glass ceiling. The problem was that I knew what I wanted out of my kids from a technical standpoint but I didn't know how to go about getting them to actually execute some of these things. I guess I needed more tools in my tool box because the method of just getting them strong and sprinting them had exhausted it's time in my program. IT WASN'T WORKING ANYMORE.
Thanks to Coach David Johnson joining the East Tennessee State University staff, he has educated me on training stride length patterns. It was the extra tool I needed to help my kids learn how to push the ground both during acceleration and during max velocity. I had to put DOWN the stop watch and ask them to slow down, push the ground and hit the marks on the ladders with good technique.
DO IT RIGHT THEN DO IT FAST.
Putting down the stopwatch was very hard for me, because I couldn't see how fast they were running and that was scary because I didn't know if they were making improvements. As we stretched the ladders they showed great technique while actually pushing thru the ground and hitting the marks on the ladder. When we removed the ladders and pulled out the stop watches at week 8, it was amazing what they were able to do technically and the times were faster then previous years. It was like a lightbulb going off in my head. We spent 8 weeks instilling the technique at lowered speeds and it was there when they went fast.
This change in training philosophy allowed me to see things on another level. I just dropped alot of what I thought it took to get faster. All I wanted to see was correct technique, so during technical installation I left my stop watch in my office. In the weight room I took the same mentality, we went very light to focus on general conditioning but also to instill technique. We wanted to utilize the correct muscle groups in a holistic approach. I continued to train movement and added some bodybuilding. Both of these changes in the weight room and on the track took alot of discipline and patience on my part. I usually want to see how fast they are running and how much they could lift for however many of reps they were lifting. That philosophy changed to one that stressed doing things right before we sprint fast or lift heavy in the weight room.
The improvements are amazing when this philosophy is used. We have been in training for 8 weeks and I took the stop watch out for the first time for short sprints on week 8. I was really happy with the times I saw but I was happier about how they were achieving the times. They were using correct technique. I'm not saying all my kids are perfect sprint models, we are very far from that but that's why I'm in coaching. One thing is for sure, I will be doing alot more technical instilling, it may seem boring but it works.