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Cover: speed of the stick: building high performing relays
Speed of the Stick: Building High Performing Relays

with Chris Parno,
Minnesota State University Associate Head Men's & Women's Track & Field Coach / Recruiting Coordinator - Sprints & Hurdles;
7x USTFCCCA Indoor/Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year - Central Region;
2x NSIC Indoor/Outdoor Men's Assistant Coach of the Year;
has coached 90 individual/relay NSIC Sprint/Hurdle Conference Champions, 198 national provisional qualifying marks, 6 individual NCAA National Champions, 57 1st-Team NCAA All-Americans, 17 2nd-Team NCAA All-Americans, and 10 Drake Relays titles

Minnesota State University associate head coach Chris Parno provides a phenomenal balance of relay theory, logic, and drills to progress through during the season to ensure your team is successful in all relay events. Coach Parno's golden rule of "get the stick around the track as fast as possible" allows for you and your athletes to focus on three critical components:

  • Timing the stick
  • Athletes being "stick transporters"
  • Creating a plan around maintaining the "speed of the stick"

The faster the stick moves, the lower the time, and the greater your success!


Coach Parno provides detailed descriptions for every type of hand-off that can be incorporated into each specific relay, then gives you a structured way to practice these concepts in low impact, highly repetitious format. His system will provide your athletes with confidence to execute when it matters most - the meet!

In addition to hand-off descriptions, each segment in the video specifically addresses the incoming and outgoing runners' responsibilities to ensure the "speed of the stick" never slows down.

Increasing Stick Speed

Next, Parno incorporates over 20 drill varieties that will give you and your athletes the essentials to maintain stick velocity around the track. Starting with low impact, highly repetitious drills and advancing to full speed, all-out practice, these drills instill the backbone for relay success.

Coach Parno's 4x100 Zone Running Drill without the stick allows for easy evaluation and establishment of "go" marks for the outgoing runner, while also identifying the outgoing runner's preferred technique to get to max velocity. This single drill will allow you and your athletes to evaluate the timing of the baton exchange to maintain "stick speed" throughout the race; the critical component for success.

Coach Parno's theory and drills will undoubtedly improve your team's relays by providing context to set-up, practical drill application, and simple cues that all of your athletes can use to maximize the speed of the stick throughout their relay event. This video is a must-have for all relays coaches!

88 minutes. 2020.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: sprints & relays strategies and training
Sprints & Relays Strategies and Training
with Joey Woody,
Director of Track & Field/Cross Country at the University of Iowa;
4x All-American; Silver Medalist in the 2003 World Championships

Joey Woody explains why the key to having fast relays is developing fast sprinters. You'll learn his philosophy behind team strategy and training for successful relays, as well as how you can build a winning team, or program, from the relay out. At the University of Iowa, their whole philosophy is to build from the relays out. This mindset has led them to back-to-back Big 10 Championship 400-meter relay titles (2013-14). Proof that his system works.

Finding The Right Fit

All relays should be practiced at 100% effort to improve the passing of the baton. Moving your athletes around in all legs will help you determine which athlete is best suited for each position. Coach Woody stresses the importance of the speed of the baton and placing athletes in positions where they can move the baton most effectively.

Included is an in-depth look at the incoming and outgoing runner responsibilities in the 4x100. Coach Woody does a great job showing you the exchange of the baton, as well as hand-off drills and 4x100 strategy. Instruction on what to look for when placing athletes in each leg of the relay is covered in the classroom and on the track.

Longer Distances

The difference in 4x200 and 4x400 relay coaching strategies are also covered, with emphasis put on proper body mechanics. Coach Woody also goes through drills designed specifically for 4x200 and 4x400 relays.

Finally, you will learn Coach Woody's acceleration drills, including the resistance run with a partner, resistance run with a sled and the line drill. Coach Woody uses the line drill to teach greater acceleration mechanics for sprints. This drill is designed to set the sprinter up from start to finish with proper body and shin angles to create maximum ground contact force.

Proper block set-up is also discussed, giving you insight to prepare your runners for a great start.

Coach Joey Woody is one of the best `classroom' coaches with his detailed explanation of running the relays. Not only will you get tons of great drills and techniques for sprints and relays, you'll also learn the "how" and "why" behind each teaching point.

80 minutes. 2016.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: becoming a champion: sprints & relays for girls' track & field
Becoming a Champion: Sprints & Relays for Girls' Track & Field
with Dana Boone, Texas State University Head Track & Field Coach;
former Oklahoma University Associate Head Women's Track Coach; 2x USTFCCCA Midwest Region Assistant Coach of the Year (2011 and 2007); coach of 53 All Americans; 6x All American at Virginia; 6x ACC Champion

With your focus on the little things, you can improve your overall sprint times with this proven formula for sprint success.

Dana Boone takes you through the sprints and relays in this video from the Becoming a Champion DVD Series. With emphasis on the beginning sprinter or coach, you will get an overview of what to look for and how to develop champion sprint and relay runners.

Staring with a series of warm-up exercises, static stretches, and dynamic flexibility drills, you will see more than 18 exercises to get yourself ready to sprint. Coach Boone gives detailed descriptions of what to look for while one of Texas State University's athletes performs the exercise.

Coach Boone delivers an in-depth, step-by-step breakdown of sprint drills focusing on:

  • Acceleration technique in the first 7-10 steps
  • The transition phase
  • Reaching maximum velocity
  • Maintaining speed and strength to the finish line
She breaks down each phase into its own component with an easy to follow approach. Boone also takes you through the basics of effective block set-up and cues to help you both relax and react to the sound of the starters' pistol.

You will also be introduced to a segment on race strategies for the 100M, 200M, and the 400M. Each race is broken down into parts with a specific focus for each stage of the race. Every race has its own unique nuances and learning what to do and when, is a big advantage.

You will see instruction on the 4x100 and 4x400 relay exchanges. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of hand-off is described in detail. Boone shows you several drills to work on mastering the baton pass to keep it moving around the track.

Finally you will pick up several plyometric and strength drills that will make you stronger and more explosive.

Coach Boone examines the essential drills and techniques required to become a better sprinter. With a focus on developing proper sprint mechanics, this DVD delivers over 30 drills and exercises necessary to become a champion sprinter!

41 minutes. 2013.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: coaching championship sprint relays
Coaching Championship Sprint Relays
with Clyde Hart,
Baylor University Director of Track and Field and 400M Coach;
Hart has coached eight Olympians to 12 Olympic medals -- 9 Gold, including winning the 400 meter in three straight Olympic games.While at Baylor, Hart has coached 34 national champions (14 individual and 20 relay) and 533 All-Americans. Hart-coached athletes include Michael Johnson, Jeremy Wariner, Darold Williamson and Sanya Richards!

Create successful relay teams with average sprinters! Legendary Coach Clyde Hart shares his secrets to flawless relay technique.

Coach Hart describes why his techniques and strategies have been so successful and how you can implement his methods with your team. These methods can be applied at any level; youth, high school, college, or elite.

Hart shares his ideas in a simple lecture series, sharing why his techniques and strategies have been so successful. Hart takes these philosophies to the track and shows you how to take average sprinters and develop championship relay teams with proper technique. Hart highlights several of his techniques using demonstrators to teach his major points of emphasis.

  • Moving the baton around the track
  • Placement of the relay runners
  • Team workouts
  • Block and block placement
  • Starts
  • The exchangev
  • Baton drills
Coach Hart teaches--in detail--his methods of getting the baton around the track the fastest and safest way possible. He explains and demonstrates his snatch system of exchange and the peek-a-boo exchange. He offers drills to teach athletes how to react and handle the baton while at top speed. Proper runner placement plays a significant role in relay success. Hart provides the criteria for each leg of the relay to help build a successful team by putting the right people in the right positions.

In breaking down the 4x100 relay, Coach Hart emphasizes that whatever method is used-sell it to your athletes. He explains a step-by-step method for passing the baton through the zone, and includes a discussion on the acceleration zone, the marks needed for the outgoing runner so that he is at top speed when receiving the baton and the placement of the hands.

Coach Hart then touches on the 4x200 and 4x400 relay by adding the minor differences needed for these relays. You'll also get Coach Hart's thoughts on the use of the blocks, proper block placement on the track, the start, the exchange, and drills using the baton.

Get the drills and techniques that have made Baylor one of the top relays schools in the nation.

145 minutes (2 DVDs). 2012.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: texas a&m track & field series - drills and progressions for championship sprints, starts and relays
Texas A&M Track & Field Series - Drills and Progressions for Championship Sprints, Starts and Relays
with Pat Henry,
Texas A&M Head Track and Field Coach;
6x NCAA Champs

Teach your athletes specific drills that will improve their sprint mechanics, acceleration and maximum velocity -- and lower their sprint times!

Though practice footage with athletes at Texas A&M, Head Coach Pat Henry takes a coach step by step through many of the drills that produced his successful sprinters and relay teams.

With sprinting, Henry goes through three distinct areas of successful sprinting: the proper block start, the keys to acceleration, and maintaining top end speed throughout the race. Henry takes the viewer through each step in the process he uses to teach the correct way for an athlete to best use the blocks. Henry uses various drills to teach proper foot placement, the correct shin angles at the set position, and foot contacts out of the blocks.

In teaching acceleration, Henry shows the viewer the various drills and cues used to achieve the best drive phase for a sprinter. With top end speed work, Henry goes through his wicket drill that he uses with all his male and female athletes at Texas A&M. The wicket drill provides a process for a sprinter to learn the proper stride rate and frequency through the top end speed phase of the race.

In the relays, Henry explains the process he uses to set up a successful 4x100m relay. Henry provides the viewer the proper place to start for each exchange, how to best accelerate through the exchange zone, and how to handle the baton between each runner.

This video will help you get the very best times out of your sprinters and relays. 2012.

Buy at Championship Productions

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