When showing a family our facility it is rare that they don't see our treadmill and gasp at its enormity and appearance. However every now and again I get a few comments from Dad's such as, "sports aren't played on a treadmill, my kid needs to move faster", (which I obviously am a firm believer in, read my post about reaction agility below on the page). But I counter that statement with explaining the different angles as a trainer that the treadmill provides me with. Not only do I get to view the athlete from the side as they move, but with our treadmill we can literally have them operating at full speed to break down their mechanics appropriately. Without the treadmill trying to break down an athletes arm pump, torso angle, foot strike, hip alignment, head posture...etc. can be a very difficult thing. So, needless to say after having our treadmill up and running for the last 2 weeks, I have already noticed significant differences in form and technique in our athletes! As a coach the primary advantage is to actually be able to communicate with the athlete as they run! There is a tremendous difference when I can correct an athlete amidst a training movement as opposed to once one is over. So when I have athletes doing 50 or 60 yard bursts on a field, I can only really correct their form after they've run. As opposed to on the treadmill in the middle of a 10-15 second sprint I can correct them as they run, they can truly feel the differences made with small corrections of their form and they are not just guessing at what it is I am talking about and hoping they are doing it right, the treadmill gives us direct feedback!
Other advantages of our treadmill is the fact that we can actually get an athlete operating in over speed. They would be sprinting at speeds greater than they are capable of, increasing their rate of turnover (how often their foot strikes the ground) without forcing them to run down hill! Many coaches and athletes simulate this by having athletes run on a down grade which actually absolutely has no correlation to sprinting because it is necessary for their mechanics to change so much. We also do quite a bit of incline training, where we set the treadmill at a series of different hieghts throughout a workout which require the athletes to work on hip flexion, driving the knee upwards, which in turn helps elongate their stride.
How do you make an athlete faster??= Increase their stride frequency and their stride length.
Summer is fast approaching. Get signed up so when fall rolls around you are prepared and better then you've ever been.