Coach's Corner

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Choosing the right athletic event for you

Post 24 May 2013 By Adam Nash & Toni Minichiello In Coach's Corner Blog
Choosing the right athletic event for you © Jane Vernon Photography

Track and field covers a wide variety of events, from triple jump to shot-put, and each one demands a different set of physical and mental attributes from an athlete. The 100m relies on speed and stamina, hurdles require agility and javelin combines strength with balance and technique.

This diversity means there is an event to suit almost everyone, but how can you find the right one for you?  

“Ultimately it is about enjoyment, so in a way your event chooses you,” says Toni. “If you enjoy sprint then compete in sprint, if you like long distance then run long distance. Don’t try to specialise in something too soon. Instead try different events to see what you are good at and what you enjoy. If you enjoy the event it can keep you motivated and help you apply yourself during the hard training sessions.”

When striving to compete at the highest levels it is often better to build on a solid foundation and play to the strengths of your natural make-up. However the human body is very adaptable and you can train to build up muscle or work on your speed and endurance to help you progress in any event. 

“There is always a possibility to improve in an event and for me that is excelling. I am not a 100m runner but I know I could improve on my current time; it is all about putting the hours in. However it helps if you can pick the right parents and get the right genes so you are born with a natural ability to be successful in certain events” 


Toni’s top tip – High Jump

The key to a successful jump is often in the approach.  Fine margins determine whether you can clear the bar or not and to generate enough height from an explosive jump you need to perfect your precision and timing.   

“High jump is all about the runway rhythm, runway shape and making sure you generate enough height from your take off,” says Toni. “I see too many people focusing on getting over the bar before they even reach the right height. You need to get high enough in the air first – that is why it is called high jump.”  

Follow Toni Minichiello on twitter @Coach_Toni


Last modified on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 12:41
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