Struggling to beat your opponent to the ball? Can’t keep up with your teammates at training? Or just want to be the quickest on the team? These drills are for you.
The old days of just doing sprint after print to get faster are gone. These days running fast comes down to your technique as well. You may be stronger than your opponent, but if your running technique doesn’t use that strength well, then they will still beat you to the ball.
We have come up with a simple list of 4 running form drills that we use with both AFL and AFLW players that have trained with us. We will also include some key tips to think about when practicing these drills, which can be done almost anywhere.
1. High Knee March
Whether you have done zero sprint sessions before or hundreds, this drill is downright easy to get the hang of. It is our most fundamental running technique drill, demonstrated well below by Collingwood player Brody Mihocek. The main aim of this drill is to teach the basic position that we want to get our legs into when we are sprinting.
Some key tips for this drill include
- Knee up to hip height, toes pointed straight ahead
- Push into the ground underneath our hips
- Maintain a tall posture
- Opposite limbs work together (right leg in front, left arm in front)
Nailing this drill is going to help build the groundwork for that elite sprint technique that is going to help you blow by your opponents
2. High Knee Skip
Very similar to the high knee march, now just adding a tap/bounce on the ground with each step. The idea of this is to help us be both light on our feet but still push hard into the ground beneath us. The same key tips apply.
3. High Knee Quick Swap
Now to get that extra pop with each step!
A progression from the first two drills. This drill aims to teach us to still maintain that high knee position but also be able to quickly swap our leg in the air like they have to when we are sprinting. The video below, showing AFLW All-Australian Britt Bonnici performing this drill, shows that we need a quick 1-2 punch into the ground from our leg.
4. Wall March
Another variation of our fundamental high knee march drill. Using the wall puts us in a supported position where we can spend more time focusing on getting our knee and foot position right as well as covering some other key areas such as tall posture and pushing underneath our hips.
This one may seem basic but if you do the basics better than everyone else, then you’re gonna come out on top
All of these drills combined are just the starting points to start building a high quality & efficient running technique that you will be able to transfer into whatever sport you play.
If you want more information or progressions to challenge yourself even more reach out to the performance coaches at ACE Performance