Track and Field Videos - How Can They Help?

Why should you watch track and field videos? Well, if it’s true that “a picture is worth a thousand words” then watching videos must be worth millions!

The learning of a skill in sport is a visual as well as a kinaesthetic experience. Both are needed for the production of elite level performances. However, all physical skill must first be picked up as a visual experience. Only after this, can you benefit from the kinaesthetic aspect of the learning process.

There are two good reasons why track and field videos are useful to the skill learning process:

  • Physically, we learn best by seeing and then doing
  • By watching the right videos (by right I mean technically good), we are able to learn from some of the best sports people on the planet.

Why watching Track and Field Videos Works

It is both in the initial learning and higher skill development phases of technical training watching videos of your event can be an indispensable aid to learning. When my coach first taught me to triple jump, if he had tried to tell me how to do that word for word, he would still be trying to explain the event to me today, some thirty years on!

However, he was clever; he didn’t try to tell me. After only a very simple demonstration (by him) I was able to at least mimic the sequences of the hop, step and jump. Now, that’s a good start, but my coach was no expert at the event. He could only show me what he wanted me to do up to a point. If I was going to improve beyond where I was technically, I was going to have to see a more advanced version of the technique.  So how did we do that?

Learn From the Best

I have heard it said that success leaves clues. The best athletes in the world are the best for a very specific reason - they are experts in the techniques of their sport. These are the clues they leave behind, namely, they all do similar actions, in a similar rhythmical and co-ordinated way and for some strange reason, they also get similar results!

Once I had learned the basics of my event I needed to progress to a more advanced model. So, I watched videos of the event leaders of my era. And with my coach there to point out the important elements of their techniques (the sameness), I was able to begin to perform just like them.

Two Other Benefits of Watching Track and Field Videos:

  1. Being able to watch a perfectly executed action over and over is a great way to re-enforce the correct technical model in your mind.
  2. You are able to slow the images down to see precisely what elite athletes do and how they do it.

Watching track and field videos is an excellent way to pick up new techniques or to improve your current technical model. They are incredibly useful because you learn sports skills best by being shown how to do the skill. When that skill is demonstrated by an expert, this makes it more likely that once you devote the time to practice, you too will be able to demonstrate a flawless technique.

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