Track and Field Terminology

True or False: Track and Field is one of the oldest competitive activities

Think about how natural the urge to race, to jump farther or higher, or to throw something further is. These activities are in many ways primal to us as humans.


Associated with learning how to accelerate


Associated with faster athletes having an advantage

Jumping and hurdling events

Having confidence in your movements, in body's ability, and in your rhythm as a mover are all incredibly important in a wide range of sports

Striking skills

Learning how to use your lower body to produce power to propel something a far distance (the throwing events in track and field) is not only fundamental to any throwing

How is track and field can be an excellent tool to develop movement competency for younger students?

Focuses on:
Age-appropriate activities for grades
- K-8 in a small selection of events/activities.
-Has the additional benefit of being individual in nature -
-It is easy to track progress and development from an individual's starting point.
-Progress can

Why should track and field be a part of your k-8 curriculum?


Essential Elements (Critical Elements)

The bio mechanical aspects of the various skills that are necessary to proper performance. The ones included in this course are the most basic and fundamental for the various skills.

Examples of essential elements for the shot put during the power phase position

During the power position include: weight on the back leg; heel-toe alignment; weight on the balls of the feet; feet 90� to the throwing sector; and shoulders 180� to the throwing sector.

Cognitive cues

Short catchy phrases that call attention to key components of a skill'
They work in part to describe/identify essential elements and in part to remind students of what to do.

True or false: Cues may not make sense to an 'outsider,' but should make sense to individuals that have received instruction.


A cue used in track and field is

'Hips to Lips' to remind students of and describe the path of travel the hand takes during sprinting.



An example of a progression for the hurdles include:

Beginning with running over flat marks on the ground to work on running rhythms before attempting to add higher barriers

Sprints generally range from

55 meters to 400 meters

The 'typical' distance contested in New York State at the high school level are

55 meters and the 300 meters indoors
(although sometimes the 55 meters is replaced with shorter races due to facility constraints),
-the 100, 200, and 400 meters outdoors.

At the international level, the championship distances are the

60, 200 and 400 meters indoors, and the 100, 200, and 400 meters outdoors.

Should there be direct contact between competitors?

No direct contact should be made with the players. (although sometimes the 300 and usually the 400 meters indoors may only have some of the race in lanes)

1st Guideline to Sprint events:

Generally, a three-command start should be used (on your mark, set, and go - which could be verbal, a whistle, or another noisemaker). Visual signals are helpful as well to assist the timers!

2nd Guideline to Sprint events:

Rules for false starting vary by the level of competition. A good rule for the school setting is to allow one false start per student. Good officials vary the amount of time between the 'set' and 'go' commands to reduce anticipation and encourage reaction

3rd Guideline to Sprint events: Who should be there to monitor the race?

There should be at least 2 'officials:' one starter and one finish judge.

How many timers per sprinter/runner?

One timer per sprinter.

Timers should start watches on the _____________, and stop the watch when ______________________.


True or false: Timers should be assigned lanes and or athletes rather than places.

False: Should be assigned places rather than lanes or athletes.
The finish judge rules on all discrepancies. Where possible, multiple timers(individuals) should be used for each place. Average the times or, if three or five timers are used, use the median

True or false: Times are always rounded up to the next tenth of a second unless automatic (electronic) timing is used

True: (e.g. 12.73 seconds on the watch becomes 12.8 seconds for results). This is to help control for human inaccuracies with timing.

One way you can get disqualified from the sprint event is:

� Leaving a lane is grounds for disqualification - technically stepping on the lane line is considered leaving your lane.

Essential Elements for Sprinting #1


Cues or activity/explanation for Proper Arm Action

-Relax! Arms, hands, shoulders, face, etc. � -The elbow angle should stay constant at approximately 90�
� Movement should occur from the shoulder joint only - swinging in a straight plane, not crossing in front of the body
� The faster the arm swing, the

Activities to learn the arm action

� Practice the arm action while sitting on the ground
� Intentionally have students do things incorrectly and then correctly to feel the difference

Posture for Proper arm action

Back Flat
Run "Tall"
Stomach "Tight"
Hips "Tucked

Proper leg action

'A' Motion: � Knee Up, Heel Up, Toe Up � Diagram of the 'A' Motion:
� Following the 'A' Motion � Extension at the knee joint � Diagram of the 'B' Motion:

Proper leg action continued

'C' Motion: � Following the 'B' Motion � Returning the leg to the ground quickly, still with 'Toe Up' � Surprisingly difficult to perform correctly

Activities to learn the leg action

-Be sure to always maintain proper arm action � 'A,' 'B,' and 'C' Drills while walking, skipping, and jogging
� High Knees (aids with the 'A' motion) � 'Fast Claw' Drills � 'Butt Kick' Drills � Running Tall and Low: alternate running tall and running low

Phases of Sprint racing

Acceleration phase
Speed Maintenance phase
Deceleration Phase

Start can also be considered as

The next phase

Acceleration Phase:

The speed of running is increasing during this phase. The runner is leaning forward, and generally looking down.

Speed Maintenance Phase:

The speed of running is constant during this phase. The runner is generally upright and looking down the track.

Deceleration Phase:

The speed of running is decreasing during this phase (often against the runner's wishes). The runner is generally leaning back slightly

Sprinting Checklist consists of:

Thighs close to parallel with ground
___ Toes pointed up the entire time
___ Foot contact under the hips
___ 'Triple Extension' of Ankle/Knee/Hip @ Toe-off
___ Hips tucked forward
___ Elbow angle fixed
___ Full arm range of motion
___ Relaxed face and sho

Power Leg in Front: Cue for How is the Power Leg Determined?

'Push-ups:' have students get up and start running from the push-up position. Pay attention as to which leg is brought forward first for pushing off - this is probably the power leg
� Falling forward: have students stand with feet together along a line. H

2-Point Stance

Crucial Elements:
� Power leg in front, other leg 1-2 feet behind.
� Opposite arm, opposite leg (for beginners, touch the power leg knee with the opposite hand); the free arm should be behind the body so that it can be driven forward.
� Gradually work to

3-Point Stance

Getting into the 3-point Stance:
� From a 2-point stance, bring the arm opposite of the power leg down to the ground. This hand must be behind the starting line. Work until a lot of the weight is supported on the thumb, index, and middle finger only of th

4-Point Stance

Getting into the 4-point Stance:
� Bring the free hand down to the starting line, in the same manner as the 3- point stance.
� The hips should be slightly above the shoulders, and the shoulders at least over the hands (possibly in front of the hands)
� Al


Blocks are devices that provide another surface to push off from. Younger students will not receive any discernable benefit from using blocks over a traditional four-point start. Older, more powerful students may receive a benefit if they have a high enou


� Practice starting into a sandpit/landing mat - only working on the first step. This provides a safe environment to practice leaning forward while starting.
� Use a soft object (pre-wrap is great) held in front of the starting person for them to stay ben

Officiating Commands - Standing Sprint Start

Standing Start: � Runners, take your mark (or similar comment)
-At this point in time, the runners should move their front (power) foot to right behind the line and be still.
� Set (or similar comment)
-At this point in time, the runners should assume the

Officiating Commands - Sprint Down Start

Down Start: � Runners, take your mark (or similar comment)
-At this point in time, the runners should assume the down position (all four limbs are down on the ground, hips resting on the legs) and hold still.
� Set (or similar comment)
-At this point in t

True or false: During practice, the teacher should emphasize the concept of reacting to the starting signal rather than trying to anticipate the starting signal.


Track and Field: Block Start Checklist

___ Does not enter blocks until 'on your mark'
___ Hips down during 'on your mark'
___ Chin on chest in 'set'
___ Shoulders over hands in 'set'
___ Hips higher that shoulders in 'set'
___ Linear motion at shoulder
___ Linear motion by feet
___ Opposite ar