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The MOST Important Training Focus?
Many athletes and coaches don't seem to spend much time on this focus. There seems to be an inherent belief that things will simply "figure themselves out" if enough approaches are completed. In reality, a proper start is essential to consistency at the board and thus must be a focus that takes the front seat in any training plan. If athletes are unable to get on the board, all other focuses are pointless.
A number of years ago my athletes had a season full of scratches and disappointing conclusions. I took it upon myself to do an extensive amount of research in hopes of finding an answer as to how I could better train/support them moving forward.
In my honest opinion, there is nothing more frustrating than an athlete jumping a meet-winning jump, or a new PR, and it not counting due to being a scratch. It's deflating, and it's a complete waste of energy.
While researching, I stumbled upon an article that changed my thinking completely. The article stated that "90 percent of scratches are due to poor starts." How could this be? I was completely confused...
How could the first handful of steps at the beginning affect an athlete's overall consistency in the lane? I read the article 2-3 times and each time got a little more understanding of what it was saying and decided to attempt a new starting technique during the upcoming season. To say it completely revitalized my team and led to a successful season would be an understatement! Our new start was the beginning of something special for our team and I couldn't be happier that we switched!!!
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