Bad form good results


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Bad form good results

Postby fasttrack85 » Tue May 14, 2013 6:56 pm

Ive noticed there are a few sprinters that have bad form(possibly muscle imbalance as well) but manage to be competitive at a world class level. DeeDee Trotter runs like her right arm is broken or heavy and it is always out to the side and very low when she needs to have it high. English Gardner has excessive lateral movement of her whole body and often doesnt bring her hands high as well. Francena Mcrory hand movement resembles someone swatting flies. I couldnt think of any men with obviously bad form but if you can think of others provide some examples.
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Re: Bad form good results

Postby gh » Tue May 14, 2013 7:07 pm

I often think "form" is greatly overrated. I remember talking discus with former WR holder John Powell once and I made disparaging comments about the form of Cuban Luis Delís, who despite whirling at 127 different angles in the ring and looking as if body parts might fly off, was No. 1-ranked in the world.

John, one of the consummate technicians ever said, basically, "It doesn't matter how you get there, it's what you're doing in the final stages. If you watch Delís, despite all his herky-jerky, he gets into a power position with lots of speed and follows through."

Obviously, a field-event analysis isn't the same as running, but unless somebody is doing something really-really counterproductive that is throwing energy in something other than a straight line, looking "bad" probably isn't all that bad.

At least, that's my layman's take.
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Re: Bad form good results

Postby fasttrack85 » Tue May 14, 2013 7:24 pm

I do believe some people do overemphasise form. However i would think sprinters who are not driving with their arms from ear to pocket are likely not getting all the momentum they could get. Dee Dee Trotter form is very noticeable if you ask me.
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Re: Bad form good results

Postby Speedster » Tue May 14, 2013 10:32 pm

I hope Gardner goes to John Smith she graduates as she could be a 10.7 athlete, she has the physical gifts but not the form at the moment. Whether it's too late in your early 20s is another thing.
Last edited by Speedster on Wed May 15, 2013 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bad form good results

Postby fasttrack85 » Tue May 14, 2013 10:54 pm

Speedster wrote:I hope Gardner goes to John Smith she graduates as she could be a 10.7 athlete, she has the physical gifts but not the form at the moment. Weather it's too late in your early 20s is another thing.



Wasnt too late for Carmelita Jeter who was almost 30 why would it be late for English who was running 11 flat at 18?
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Re: Bad form good results

Postby Speedster » Wed May 15, 2013 3:33 am

fasttrack85 wrote:
Speedster wrote:I hope Gardner goes to John Smith she graduates as she could be a 10.7 athlete, she has the physical gifts but not the form at the moment. Weather it's too late in your early 20s is another thing.



Wasnt too late for Carmelita Jeter who was almost 30 why would it be late for English who was running 11 flat at 18?


Jeter's form before John Smith was much better than Gardner's now, no where near as much lateral movement. English has probably run like that her entire life and its hard to change those patterns once you're an established athlete, though not impossible.
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Re: Bad form good results

Postby Marlow » Wed May 15, 2013 4:15 am

Some athletes pick up bad form in HS because they're so talented, they dominate, and then the coach is afraid to tinker with it. Then the college coach tries to fix it and the athlete balks and may regress (sometimes just for psychological reasons), so the flaw(s) remain. I'm in the enviable position of getting them first (I just realized that I've never gotten an age-group athlete with some training) and extinguish the bad tendencies (sorry for sounding sexist, but yes, it's overwhelmingly girls who want to do weird things, especially with their arms - either hold them like a T-Rex, swing them way wide, or fully cross their body with them) right from the get-go. I agree with gh that sometimes 'odd form' is actually MORE efficient for some athletes, so if I see an idiosyncrasy develop that seems to help them, I let it go.
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Re: Bad form good results

Postby fasttrack85 » Wed May 15, 2013 10:20 pm

Speedster wrote:
fasttrack85 wrote:
Speedster wrote:I hope Gardner goes to John Smith she graduates as she could be a 10.7 athlete, she has the physical gifts but not the form at the moment. Weather it's too late in your early 20s is another thing.



Wasnt too late for Carmelita Jeter who was almost 30 why would it be late for English who was running 11 flat at 18?


Jeter's form before John Smith was much better than Gardner's now, no where near as much lateral movement. English has probably run like that her entire life and its hard to change those patterns once you're an established athlete, though not impossible.


Jeter may have had better form than Gardner her whole life but her times damn sure werent near Gardner's. I think natural talent will take you very far but perfect form can squeeze out that extra tenth or two tenths of a second that is the breaking point for most people. I can't see her running 10.7 with that excessive side to side motion.

On another note in certain races an athlete just happens to get it right(manages not to succumb to their bad habits) has a huge pr and often cant duplicate it again. Remember VCB in Bejing? One of the most noteworthy things I remember is that she didnt have her arms going in every which direction and didnt have her classic knock kneed stride. Its very rare that I have seen her race like that before or after with that preciseness. So maybe if Gardner does get a 10.7 it will be one of those days when she is not dancing the twist.
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Re: Bad form good results

Postby Speedster » Thu May 16, 2013 4:58 am

I completely agree. Gardner's arm action can be improved, I think much of Jeter's form improved as a result of getting stronger in the weight room when she moved to Smith. She carries a lot of muscle mass in her upper body and uses it effectively, with all the stars aligning in late 2009 to get those 10.6s out.

Agree to on VCB too and everything clicking in Beijing, she actually pumped her arms in the final closing her hands and driving her hands to her face. She held form the whole 200m, getting a 21.74 as a result. Looking at the front on of her 11.01 in Kingston, she is throwing everything at the line, whereas if she just kept everything coming straight up in front of her, she would have dipped under 11 seconds.
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Re: Bad form good results

Postby lonewolf » Thu May 16, 2013 7:25 am

Maybe. Maybe not.....unlke ski jumping, there are no style points in T&F..
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Re: Bad form good results

Postby gibson » Fri May 17, 2013 10:41 am

good form is absolutely essential in any sport what so ever at the elite level.

the problem is that we don't necessarily understand what good form is.
a crazy approach that does not matter can mask a sound delivery however.
back in the day marathon runners some of them had terrible form and won. but now you can't do that. zero chance to be competitive. a guy like salazar actually was quite exceptional in that he developed an incredibly efficient but limiting style. he's about the last top guy to have a lousy style. al-sal admits he screwed it up.

bad form in the hurdles?, forget about it.
what 100m guy that runs 9.8 has terrible form? maybe bolt on a bad day at the office.

when i first saw michael johnson i could not believe my eyes. i was taught that that lean was bad form.
when i saw bolt first, i saw a long sprint guy with no 100m potential due to form problems related to his height.
and how about bekele, he as more in common with a sprinters form than distance runners of a generation before. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSSBtxvd5BI great angles once he starts to motor.

all of which tells me, i don't know nothing about form.
but you do need great form, whatever that is.
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