2019 Volume 64 Issue 1 Pages 265-284
This study was performed to devise an instructional program for children who were not good at sprinting and to verify the program’s effectiveness for improvement of sprinting ability and motion.
The participants were 19 upper grade elementary school children who were not good at sprinting. The program included 2 drills with some teaching devices and running on flat markers. The children attended the program for 8 days (2 days per week) and each lesson lasted an hour. In order to validate the program outcome, sprint time (50 m), interval speed (every 10 m), average speed, maximal speed, rate of speed decline, interval and average step frequency and step length were analyzed, and sprint motions were evaluated. The results were as follows:
1) Most of the children’s 50 m times were below the national average. This suggested that their negative feelings toward sprinting resulted from the realization that they were unable to run as fast as other children.
2) The children’s sprint times were improved after the program, and a significant correlation between pre-time and post-pre time was revealed. It was also found that the greater the increase in the children’s step frequency, the faster their sprint times became. These results suggest that sprinting instruction allows low-performing children to increase their step frequency and improve their sprint times.
3) The main aim of the program was to improve children’s sprint motions in the mid sprint phase, and the participants practiced start motions only twice during the program. As a result, speeds from the start to 10 m, 20-50 m, and maximum speed were increased significantly by this practice, suggesting that significant changes of speed led to improvement of the sprint times.
4) Participants became able to swing back their leg under their body and to make contact with the ground with the middle or front of the foot. Therefore it was considered that the drills and running on flat markers with teaching devices were valuable for improving the children’s sprint motions.
5) Although the scissors-like leg motion was not improved by practice with a color board and bells, the kneefolding motion of the swing leg did appear to be improved. Therefore, the children seemed to acquire basic skill in more rapid scissors-like leg motion.
These results suggest that our instructional program was effective in enabling children to improve their sprinting ability and motion. However, additional research focusing on aspects such as the relationship between sprinting ability and sprint motion, or individual feelings and motor competency in the context of sprinting, will be needed.