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UK Coaching Team
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Improving Physical Ability

Evolving Coach: Coaching Running Mechanics and Direction Changes

What running mechanics are, how to teach them and how to encourage and look out for good movement skills, key to building physical fitness and ability

At its very heart, physical activity and sport is about movement, and in all situations, the purpose of training is to positively affect sporting movement. To be a great coach, it’s important to understand what good movement looks like, and how you can develop and improve it.

This guide focuses on running and change of direction movements. While each coaching context, physical activity and sport is unique, the principles of coaching good running and change of direction movements can be applied consistently in all environments.

Understanding movement skills

When it comes to understanding and affecting movement (in this instance running mechanics and change of direction), it’s essential to understand the key contributors to movement and the shapes that you will see. With that knowledge, you can create effective training programmes, sessions and coaching environments that promote positive change.

This guide explores:

  • the constants in the chaos
  • creating programmes: the decision-making process
  • speed and change of direction shapes
  • the coaching eye.

All on-feet activity is made up of three elements:

  • acceleration
  • top speed
  • change of direction.

What makes it look different are the sport-specific actions within the movement, such as holding a rugby ball, dribbling in football and hockey and sport-specific rules, such as not travelling with the ball in netball.

These three elements can be defined as:

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UK Coaching Team