Another great week is concluded with this blog article from learning different coaching techniques by Steve and Faye to experiencing another lot of sessions with the FAST squad. This week’s FAST sessions with Steve took place at the AIS, Charnwood and Governor General’s Hill (GGs) with a range of different training modalities being experienced. The AIS session included 10 x 90m sprints at 80% with only a walk back as the recovery. This training session was designed to further teach the importance of speed maintenance and accelerating to this speed in a short amount of distance. I learnt that athletes throughout this type of session start to feel fatigue from the 6th/7th sprint so as a coach we need to cater for this and monitor the athletes closely throughout these remaining sets. As well as this in was an important lesson in how to individualise the training session for other athletes and that the simplest change to the training such as decreasing the intensity from 80% to 70% can prove to be beneficial.
Not only was there the AIS speed session but there was also a different session that I have not completed with Steve before. This session was focused on reaction timing and being able to react to a signal without looking at the coach. This was an awesome session as it was something different focusing on the athlete’s ability to react to a stimulus. What I took away from this session was that it is important to diversify the training modalities in order to further improve and peak the interest for the athlete. Not just this but that all sessions don’t have to be hard and fast, but they can be easy and fun. With this in mind, this session even though it was not as difficult as the previous sessions, it still aimed to improve an aspect of a sprinters run and that was reacting to a pre-set stimulus such as sound, similar to how runners would react to a starting pistol.
The last FAST session for this week took place at GGs and to tell you the truth, the more times you run it the less daunting it becomes. This session included 4x300m runs up the hill but compared to last time it was a fair bit easier in the sense that I was able to recover quicker. All the athletes smashed through the sets and were true champions for completing another session at GGs. What I learnt from this session was a revision of what I had learnt from previous sessions under Steve which was how to individualise the training to meet all athlete’s needs (newbies to the hill a pyramid set, short distance runners were 4x230m and the 400m runners was 4x300m), how to identify an athletes fatigue level, speed maintenance and the use of a hill terrain to further increase strength in athletes. If anyone hasn’t been to one of Steve’s sessions at GGs, then it is highly recommended as you do see improvements and the hill does become less daunting every session you do complete.
This week I also had the pleasure of observing Faye’s squad again, this time watching them run 10x100m. Not only was I observing how Faye led this session but also helped out with timing some of the kids runs. It was awesome to see how connected Faye is with each of the athletes in her squad and how engaging she is with each and everyone of them. What I learnt from this session was engagement with the athletes are an important part of coaching cause this is where a coach can individualise the training ad create personal programs for them to complete. As well as this it creates a friendly and trusting environment for the athletes to be training in. Not only this but that each training session isn’t always competitive and hard and that they can be fun and engaging as well.