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Mega Drills for the Sprints and Hurdles

25 Tips and Drills for Coaching Horizontal Jumps

Training for Track and Field: Sprints, Hurdles and Relays

Sterling Silver Track Cross

Custom Track and Field Car Window Decals


Youth Track and Field Coaching the Relay Exchange

Overhand Relay Exchange
Since the overhand style is used in the sprint relays (400 and 800 meter relays), it is necessary for the runner to come out of the blocks holding the baton.

The baton should be held at one end with the majority of its length protruding in front of the right hand. The baton itself is gripped in the V formed by the thumb and index finger. The index finger is wrapped around the baton to hold it firm. In the "set" positionm, the body is supported by the thumb and the other three remaining fingers of the right hand.

Outgoing Runner
When the pistol fires, the runner begins sprinting. The runner to whom he will hand the baton is standing in the outside half of the lane. Both feet are pointed forward with the outside foot back and the inside foot forward. The sprinter is in a semi-crouched position with the right arm forward and the left arm back, looking under the armpit toward the incoming runner.

As the incoming runner reaches a checkmark, the outgoing runner drives off the forward foot, drives forward the left arm and back with the right arm, turns the head forward and begins to sprint..

Checkmarks are used so that the baton exchange will be smooth and legal. Poor exchanges and disqualifications occur because the outgoing runner starts too early or too late. The outgoing runner needs a signal to tell him when to start. This is done with the use of a checkmark placed on the track outside the exchange zone. The faster the incoming runner, the farther away the checkmark should be. The faster the outgoing runner, the closer the checkmark.

Find your checkmarks through trial and error. Work the incoming runner with outgoing runner. Outgoing runner stands in the exchange zone and looks back at a checkmark ten meters before the exchange area. The incoming runner starts 40-60 meters back and sprints towards the exchange zone. When the incoming runner reaches the checkmark, the outgoing runner takes off sprinting. When the outgoing runner reaches the center of the exchange zone, he will extend his hand back to receive the baton. If the outgoing runner runs away from the incoming runner, then the checkmark should be set closer to the exchange area. If the incoming runner overruns the the outgoing runner, then the checkmark should be set further away.

Handing Off the Baton
As the outgoing runner reaches the middle of the exchange zone he or she places their arm back almost parallel to the ground with the palm of the hand facing up. The incoming runner makes a downward pass across the palm of the outstretched hand. The outgoing runner then takes the baton away from the incoming runner.

In sprint relays, the baton is handed off alternately from hand to hand. The number one runner sprints with the baton in the right hand and hands off to the left hand of the number two runner. The number two runner hands off to the right hand of the number three runner and the number three runner hands off to the left hand of the number four runner.

Setting Running Positions
Position your runners as follows:

  • First Leg: Second fastest runner and quickest out of the blocks.
  • Second Leg: Best straight away runner.
  • Third Leg: Best curve runner.
  • Fourth Leg: Fastest runner and best competitor.

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