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Review your races carefully, time your splits and list the positive and negative things you observe. Remember, very few runners, if any have perfect form, not even world record holders. As a young athlete the key is to make the quick easy fixes and work hard on the few things that will improve your performance most dramatically.
Here are a few positive and negative things to look for. Hopefully, you know which is which.
1. Is the opposite arm and leg forward at the starting line?
2. Did you step back, press your watch or only have forward movement when the gun went off?
3. Are you looking at the starter or looking straight ahead focusing on your start and listening for the gun?
4. Are you over striding or are your feet landing below your center of mass?
5. Do you land on your heel, ball of your feet, toes or flat footed?
6. Did you run the tangent or cut straight over at the break-line?
7. Are you using your arms and are they mostly swinging back and forth like a pendulum or are they swinging across your body or in a circular motion?
8. Are you dropping your hands and driving your arms at the start and finish of the race?
9. Are your thumbs on top and elbows in or are you doggy-paddling?
10. Are your shoulders stable or rotating back and forth?
11. Are you running tall, sitting, slouching, or bending at the waist?
12. Do you lean in any direction while running and are you leaning from the hips/waist or from your ankles?
13. What is the angle of your lean?
14. Are you looking 30 meters in front of you or at the sky or your feet?
15. Are you frequently looking behind during the race?
16. Is your stride smooth and efficient or bouncy?
17. Are you looking at your watch during the race?
18. Did you turn into a sprinter at the end of the race?
19. Did you run through the finish line?
20. Are you taking deep and controlled breaths?
21. Are you abdominal breathing rather that chest breathing?
22. Are you breathing out through your mouth?
23. Are you running relaxed even splits during the middle of the race?
24. Did you have a guardian or friend time your race splits?
25. Are you getting out fast and then relaxing into your race pace?
26. Are you running as fast as you can and only lift the baton right before the exchange?
27. Was your hand and arm positioned correctly to best receive the baton and are you using the correct arm?
28. Did you receive and/or deliver the baton in the most strategic areas of the exchange zone?
29. Are you moving at the right speed when you received the baton?
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