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Athletics 365: Section 13 - Challenges

13. Sprint Start & Drive Phase (Acceleration)

The ability to start and accelerate as quickly as possible is essential for many sports and athletics events. Developing your starts and acceleration technique will help you cover short distances faster and improve your maximum running speed.

Athletes should gradually raise the body in the acceleration phase while maintaining a good posture and core position. Athletes should ensure they drive their arms backwards and forwards (not across the body) for each challenge.

Red

Stage 1 Red Challenges

13a) Take up a 'Ready Active Position': staggered feet, lowered centre of gravity, forward body lean.

13b) Ready Active Front (Strongest) foot on the line, rear foot about shoulder width behind, ensuring front arm opposite to front foot (left & right).

13c) Respond rapidly to a stimulus. 

Yellow

Stage 2 Yellow Challenges

13a) From a Ready Active Position 'Pushes off' down and back with feet.

13b) Accelerate quickly from a variety of static positions (standing, laying down, kneeling, etc).

13c) Demonstrate basic (shallow angle) 'Falling Start' with balance and control.

Green

Stage 3 Green Challenges

13a) Use body lean and centre of gravity to assist start and accelerate quickly. (Footage coming soon)

13b) Bring foot through low (stepping over ankle) in 'Drive Phase'. (Footage coming soon)

13c) Demonstrate effective (deep angle) 'Falling Start' technique with no bending at the waist.

13d) Falling Start: demonstrate active use of arms with exaggerated arm split in initial steps.

Purple

Stage 4 Purple Challenges

13a) Demonstrate quick reactions and rapid acceleration from a variety of starting signals.

13b) Demonstrate effective three point start technique.

13c) Demonstrate a basic 'On your Mark' position (crouch start), with correct hands and feet spacing.

13d) Measure out crouch start settings unsupported.

Blue

Stage 5 Blue Challenges

13a) Demonstrate a crouch start with correct front (90°) and rear (120°-140°) leg angles, heels pressed back.

13b) Head is level with the back, eyes look straight down.

13c) Hold good posture and balance in the 'Set' position with good arm spacing.

13d) Demonstrate active use of arms with a big split of the arms in initial steps.

Black

Stage 6 Black Challenges

13a) Demonstrate hips raised slightly higher than shoulders, with head in a neutral position.

13b) Demonstrate balance and control during a sprint start, taking powerful progressive strides.

13c) Rear leg moves forward rapidly in the drive phase while the body leans forwards.

13d) Drive arms in opposition to legs.

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