Complete Track and Field

Posts by Marc Mangiacotti

Beware of the Blog

For coaches, the inclusion of the Internet has offered unlimited access to training materials of all sorts. Though I typically encourage the use of online blogs, books and video series to gain better knowledge of the sport, I caution coaches to filter the “good” from the “bad.” In order to become an expert you must…… More

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Speed Training Starts Early

A coach once accused me of being one of those “speed coaches” who does speed work all year round. Initially, I didn’t know if he was insulting my coaching style or if he was just curious to know more about speed work. “I resent that remark,” was my response, before I began to school him…… More

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Competition in Practice

It was the fall, the perfect time of the year to begin incorporating speed work into our training regimen. After my sprinters completed the acceleration warm up and were preparing for a few sets of block 10’s, 15’s and 20’s, a freshman eagerly approached me and asked, “How fast should I be going in these…… More

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8 Tips on Preparing Your Athletes for a College Visit

  Is preparing athletes for college visits part of your coaching philosophy? If not, it should be. It’s been said that it takes merely 6 seconds during a first encounter, for the average person to judge another person. First impressions last and are crucial during the recruiting process. For this reason, when visiting a college…… More

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First Day of Practice: Drills and Workouts

When do you start speed work?  This is the question that I am asked most often. The answer is quite simple… We start speed work on the very first day of practice.  There are two ways that I look at the word speed.  The word speed as a noun– makes me think of top end…… More

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Long Slow Running Builds Long Slow Sprinters

Many college coaches are perplexed with the short amount of time they are able to spend with their athletes during the fall months. Typically, coaches get to work with their sprinters and hurdlers for 6 to 8 hours per week, depending on their conference or other institutional factors. Though this time is limited, it is…… More

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Summer Training Ideas for Sprints, Hurdles & Jumps

DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince certainly covered a lot of topics in their song Summertime, but who would have thought they could of actually been talking about track & field and summer training? Below are my favorite lyrics to this song: “School is out and it’s a sort of a buzz but back…… More

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Share the Knowledge – 400m Training

During the second half of the season I shy away from racing long sprinters in the 400m every week. I’ve found this strategy effective because it allows me to evaluate where each athlete is in his or her training. As part of the evaluation process I use several staple workouts to help gauge improvement levels…… More

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Get Your 800m Runners onto the 4x400m Relay

I always enjoy picking the brains of my colleagues and other aspiring coaches.  Luckily I work with some fantastic coaches in the sport, like our middle distance coach Tim Bayley.  He was an All American in the 800m at Iona College with a personal best of 1:46. Tim’s middle distance crew had an amazing indoor…… More

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“Take A Week Off”

Despite access to trainers who specialize in athletic healthcare, when athletes sustain injuries, they almost always turn to their primary care physician for diagnosis.  And the instruction is invariably the same no matter the injury… “Take a week off.” But some injuries require rehabilitation that includes a range of exercises to help push the recovery…… More

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“Your Focus Needs More Focus”

Each year I notice that midway through the indoor season the focus of the sprints group starts to dwindle. After the initial excitement of getting acclimated to the team setting and traveling to meets fades, athletes have adapted to a routine that might not seem as appealing as before. But this time of the season…… More

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Science vs Art

What is the difference between the science vs art of coaching? The science of coaching consists of understanding workouts, progressions, biomechanics, energy systems and other essential factors that influence ones ability to teach. The art of coaching encompasses more depth and understanding of an athlete’s emotions, external stress levels and a host of other social…… More

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Winter Break Workouts

It’s almost time for winter break and time to start creating required workouts that would be remiss of our athletes not complete.  As coaches, I’m sure we have a shared experience of writing winter break workouts only to find that when our athletes return, they are out of shape… It is clear that they didn’t…… More

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As I often reflect on my days at the University of Houston, I can recall a number of valuable coaching lessons I learned while under the tutelage of Mike Takaha and Tom Tellez. The cue “fast relax” or floating, is a term I became all too familiar with as Takaha and Tellez shouted the phrase…… More

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Accelerate Daily

Student-athletes have returned from summer break, are settled into classes and are anxious about getting back on the track. Freshmen athletes are especially eager to begin their first collegiate season. The other day, one of the freshman athletes asked me, “When we will start doing speed work?”  I responded, “Speed workouts start the very first…… More

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