Track and Field Study Guide
Our Track and Field Unit is composed of roughly seven or eight physical events that test a variety of athletic skills. Students will be asked to sprint, run, throw, jump, and a combination of those, to complete various tasks.
Proper running form
- You want to run upright, with your head, chest, and hips all in line with each other.
- Your stride should be as long as possible, reaching your foot out in front of you.
- You should be leaning forward slightly, however not so much that you begin to lose your straight line in your midsection.
- Your arms should be pumping forward and back, not side to side.
50 Meter Sprint
- This event is the fastest and quickest event we have.
- It is crucial to understand how to use the Starting Block for this event.
- VIDEO: Setting up the starting blocks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y9Pw3bu-JI
- VIDEO: Using the starting blocks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPaGoiaEv9c
- Run through the finish line! Do not stop early or slow down before the finish.
- This event can be as quick as 6 seconds, and as long at 11 seconds.
200 Meter Run
- This event is a sprint, however over a longer distance.
- This event typically starts on a curve and finishes on a straightaway.
- There are no starting blocks needed.
- You want to maintain form and run as close to the inside lane as possible.
- For a race on a track, you must stay in your lane, if you do not then you can be disqualified.
- Video: Tips for running the 200: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aApeipdMfBc
- Faster athletes will run around 28-30 seconds, with slower athletes finishing around 50 seconds.
400 Meter Run
- This event is a longer run, and typically the most difficult.
- On our track it is one complete lap around, plus one extra straight part.
- No starting blocks are needed.
- Pump your arms as hard and strong as possible, keeping them moving forward, not side to side.
- Video: How to pace the 400: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AitzijAoWqs
- Faster athletes can finish this event in one minute, with other students finishing around 1:30 to 2:00.
- On our field, it is about four and a half laps. On our basketball court it is exactly ten laps.
- Pacing is crucial in order to do your best.
- Controlling your breathing is the second most important, but is dependent on your pacing.
- Do not sprint at the beginning, forcing yourself to walk on your 2nd or 3rd
- Find a pace at the beginning that you can hold, and that doesn’t make your breathing out of control.
- If you have to walk, give yourself a distance or time that you will start to run again.
- Pick a spot in the distance, a marker, that you will start to run again once you reach it.
- Count a certain number of steps.
- Keeping your body upright, swinging your arms from front to back, as well as controlling your breathing is crucial to maintaining good pace.
- Faster times will range from 5:45-6:30, but most times finishing around 7:00-9:00.
70 meter hurdles
- It is legal to knock the hurdles down and continue running.
- It is not legal to run around the hurdles.
- VIDEO: Learn to hurdle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYjuaIwS07c
- The video goes over lead leg and trail leg, as well as body position techniques.
- VIDEO: Hurdles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5wpiw1bC0U
- This video talks about strides between the hurdles and pacing yourself so that you do not get tired towards the end of the race.
- You want to kick your lead leg over the hurdle and try to come into contact with the ground as quickly as possible. This means you want to try to RUN over the hurdle, not JUMP over the hurdle.
- You want your trail leg going out to the side, while not keeping your knee up.
- Strong athletes should aim to finish around 12 seconds while not knocking down any hurdles, with most athletes finishing around 16 seconds and maybe knocking down one or two hurdles.
- The boys throw an 8lb. shot, and the girls throw a 6-lb. shot.
- The object is to use the best form possible to push the shot as far as possible.
- You do not throw the shot like you would a softball, but rather you push it forward like you would push something away from your body.
- VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBRokcOIA60
- This video describes the “Glide” method, weight transfer, body position, and head position.
- SAFETY: You may not step forward over the toe box to retrieve your shot until everyone has thrown. Only then may you go get your shot, clean it off, and hand it to the next athlete.
- Very strong athletes can push the shot around 30-35 feet, with most athletes ranging in the high teens to low 20’s.
- The high jump takes place in the gym.
- We have four bars set up, each at different heights.
- There are four landing pads as well as surrounding support pads.
- Everyone will start at the lowest height, and use one of the techniques below to get over the bar.
- Scissors method: Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEG63Db6kfs
- This video shows a progression from the basic method to landing on your back.
- The purpose is to jump off of your dominant leg, bringing your non-dominant leg up first and over the bar.
- Fosbury Flop: Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaGUW1d0w8g
- This video, although technical, displays the method of using your dominant leg to get over the bar, and arching your back so that you land on your back, facing towards the ceiling of the gym. You should rotate 90*.
- No athletes should dive face forward, rolling onto the mat. This is how you roll off the mat and get yourself hurt.
- A very good athlete can get around 4’9”, while most athletes can get between 3’ and 4’.
Standing Long Jump
- Using green long jump mats, we can measure your standing long jump.
- This is an explosive movement by jumping off of both feet at the same time and landing as far down the mat as possible.
- You must jump with both feet and land with both feet.
- The measurement will be taken from the closet point to the takeoff. What that means is that if you jump forward but place your hand behind you to balance yourself when you land, the distance is where your hand touches.
- Use your arms! Swing them from behind you to in front of you in order to gain more distance.
- VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AO57oC3Cw14
- A good athlete can get around 8 feet, while most athletes will get between 5’ and 6’.