IMG_4939.jpgIMG_4940.jpgAthletics Zone finalists from some Central and Western Southland primary schools spent some time at Surrey Park in Invercargill with coach Lance Smith. He gave us some great tips in preparation for Southland Athletics and for moving ahead with athletics. We were inspired as he told us about how many Southland athletes are performing well both in New Zealand and internationally! One day that might be us!

• Do moving exercises to warm up, not static exercises.
• Drink water at the end- rehydrate your body.

We used hula hoops to refine our technique for throwing discus. Lance filmed us and we were able to see what we did well and what to work on with our next throw.
• Speed and accuracy are important.
• Eyes at the back of the circle as long as you can.
• Be a spring. Use your body, not just your arm. Push from the hips.
• The faster your arm goes, the further the discus goes.
• Consider elbow angle so you throw high.
• Finish with your arm pointing where you want the discus to land.

On the Spot Thoughts about Throwing
J “I learnt to get a better angle so the discus goes further,” said Sanae.
J “It’s been helpful to learn to keep my arm up,” said Briarne.
J Alex said “Getting to see what I was doing on the computer was great because I could make changes to improve my technique.”
J “I learned to keep up straight. The best thing about coming was having the expert people to watch me and help,” said Sam.
J Harry said, “I liked how we refined our techniques to better our records.”

Lance told us the 2 keys for good running are to be relaxed and to run tall. We did drills walking through the ladder and running over the hurdles, using fast flat feet and an arm action that drives down.
We tried pacing ourselves by changing our running speed past cones… drive…float…drive…float…drive.
We loved the falling start!
Lance said, “You run with your feet. You race with your brain.”

• Relax your hands and your jaw.
• Head up, looking straight ahead. You gain 1cm every step with your head up. That could make the difference between being placed or loosing over as as you add up those centimetres for every step of the race!
• Hips high, not sticking back. Tuck your backside in.
• “Pick your nose, pick your pocket,” with your arms as you run.

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On the Spot Thoughts about Running
J “The fall start is fun,” said Lily. Cassidy thought it was the best thing to learn.
J “The best thing was learning ‘Pick your nose, pick your pocket’ ”, said Geoffrey.
J Isaac said “Getting the chance for training before Southland Athletics has been the best thing about coming today.”
J “The falling start and sprint, slow, sprint, slow, sprint have been useful to learn so I can run faster” said Renee.
J McKenzie said, “I learned the fall start and the crouch start to get a good start to the race.”
J “Learning how high your hands need to go up and to point your toes up have been highlights,” said Guy.

Long Jump

Lance helped us sort out our starting places based on our age. We might need to adjust a wee bit on the day depending on the wind, but 80% of your jump comes from your run up, so we want to get this right!
• Accuracy from the run up… Listen for the feet pattern.
• Keep hips tall.
• Look up.
• Get height… Bring your legs up high.

On the Spot Thoughts about Long Jump
J “I wish I was coaching you,” said Lance, “because some of you have the potential to represent New Zealand in the future.”
J “I’ve learnt to keep my head up in running and long jump and really focus on my stride.” said Sarah.
J “Jumping off the box really helped me get height and that is something I’ve been trying to do,” said Sanae.
J I learnt you need to take the same number of steps as your age in your run up at long jump, so now I know my starting place,” said Kelsey.

High Jump
Our focus was on getting our run ups sorted and not too much jumping since it is so close to Competition Day. 85% of high jumping comes from getting your run up right.
We got our starting places sorted, 5 running paces and a 300 angle back from the high jump. Lance listened to the sound of our feet as we ran up to the high jump… 1-2 1-2-3. For older people it’s 1-2-3-1-2-3.
We did a running drill to help us at high jump…Relaxed tall running, hips up, straight leg, landing on the balls of our feet, no scraping. We thought that was tricky but then Lance made it REALLY TRICKY! Every 3rd step we had to put in a jump.
Lance filmed us and we were able to see what we did well and what to work on for our next jump.
• Leading shoulder high.
• Aim for the far corner of the mat.
We watched movie clips of the world record holders for high jump. One of them jumped 2.45m!! One day there might be some REAP GATE athletes watching us breaking world records!

On the Spot Thoughts about High Jump
J “I learnt to do the 5 step run up at high jump,” said Jom.

J Check out this great site.

Have you joined an Athletics Club?
It’s a great way to build up your skills and refine techniques.
ANZ Children's Link

ANZ - Children's Web Page

Athletics Southland

Athletics New Zealand

Invercargill Club
Training; Wednesday 5.45pm at Surrey Park Track, Invercargill

Otautau Athletic Club (OTAUTAU)
President: Dianne Davidson (03) 2258213
Vice Pres: Sue Carran (03) 2258375
Training: Tuesday 5.30pm at Otautau School (If wet in Sports Complex)

Riverton Athletic Club (RIVERTON)
President: Zara Heath 021708526
Secretary: Kelly Baker 0273514726
Training; Wednesday 6.00pm at Riverton Rugby Grounds, Riverton

St Pauls Club
Training; Tuesday 5.45pm at Surrey Park Track, Invercargill

Winton Club
Training; Juniors - Tuesday 5.30pm to 6.30pm at Central Southland College, Winton