Running Form and Technique
|Warm-Up||Light jog, dynamic activity, form activities|
|Skill Development||Form 101, body awareness and coordination, balance, posture|
|Wrap-Up Game||Toe tag|
|Cool Down||Light jog, static stretching|
|Printable PDF of this session|
Lead the group on a light jog.
Have the students form a circle around you, about six feet apart from one another. On your signal, students should start to run in a clockwise direction. After 30 seconds the students change direction, speed up, and do drills such as high knees, butt kicks, and high skips.
See the Supplementary Session on Stretching for additional dynamic stretches drills
Students can do high knees in place 15 to 20 seconds. Tell them to maintain an upright body position while bringing the knee level with the hip and pulling the toe up towards the shin. Alternate legs quickly, while taking very small steps forward. Move arms in a coordinated fashion with legs as if running.
Students can do butt kicks in place for 15 to 20 seconds. Tell them to keep the back straight while moving forward slowly with quick, light leg movements that bring the heels toward the buttocks. Emphasize speed in completing the motion, not moving forward.
Runners can practice power skipping at 10-, 20-, 40-meter intervals. Drive arms and legs upward in an exaggerated skipping motion. Bring the leg toward the chest while the opposite arm reaches up. Emphasize getting as far off the ground as possible.
Analyzing and correcting students' form and technique is a key concept in teaching them to become more accomplished runners. Please review the "Form 101" coaching videos designed to assist you in identifying good and bad running form and delivering easy to follow corrective instruction. You will find 5 videos within each age grouping:
Have students form a circle around you. Have them jog in place and lead them in the following movements to demonstrate correct form:
This is also a good opportunity to ask the students to demonstrate the incorrect technique. Encourage them to pay attention to the difference they feel correct and incorrect form. Use the following activities to demonstrate good and bad form.
You will need cones for this activity. In groups of three or four, students will start at one cone and run to another cone 30 to 50 feet away and back. On their way to the cone, ask students to do a "funky run" by using incorrect technique (flailing arms, hunched shoulders, twisting the body, etc.). On the way back, have them use proper running form.
While standing in a large circle, students will follow your lead and practice being "bricks" (heavy and low to the ground) and "feathers" (light, bounding, and tall).
Students form a circle around the coach. Students should practice holding their balance with:
You will need chalk for this activity. Students can practice walking along a chalk line on the ground. The goal for the students is to stay on the chalk line, maintaining their balance. For added difficulty, you can ask the students to close their eyes.
Explain to your students that in order to have good running posture, they must "run tall," keep their torsos stable, and their bodies relaxed and facing forward. Ask students to run at a slow pace and focus on "running tall" while keeping the following points in mind:
Have students jog and practice incorrect technique for 5 to 10 minutes to develop greater awareness of their bodies and the correct techniques. They can hunch over, lean too far forward or backward, bob or shake their heads, twist their bodies as demonstrated in the Bad Form/Good Form coaching video.
You will need cones and/or boundary markers for this activity. Keep the playing space small to encourage quick, agile movements. Ideally you need at least five players. Everyone is "it" at the same time. To play the game, runners tag each other by stepping lightly on one another's toes. Stomping is not allowed. Once a player gets tagged or they go out of bounds have them perform 10 jumping jacks or pushups and then return to the game. The best way to avoid being tagged is for a student to keep their feet moving quickly.
Lead the group on a light jog.
Have students form a circle around you and lead them in static stretches.
Please see the Supplementary Session on Stretching for additional stretches.
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