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The 45 Degree Principle

All through the sport of athletics there is one connecting angle that keeps coming up. This angle dictates everything from training, competing, throwing, jumping and running.


It can be a surprise to some that 45 degrees is such an important angle in the throwing community. The Holy Grail of throwing is to launch the implement as close to a 45 degree angle as possible in order to achieve the perfrct flight trajectory.


In Long Jump the ideal angle of the jump is again 45 degrees and also in the 100m sprint the 1st few strides should find your body in a 45 degree angle and your head looking down at a 45 degree angle. In High Jump the ideal body position when attacking the bar is again 45 degrees.


It is no surprise that when it comes to coaching and performance again we look for a 45 degree angle of progression and training. The basic principle however you achieve it is to progress the athlete along a 45 degree trajectory if plotted on to a graph. A steady improvement over a period of years is the ideal trajectory for any budding Elite Athlete. If you take this principle into coaching and increase the load and intensity at a 45 degree angle the athlete has more chance of fulfilling their potential in the future whatever that may be.


Both Training and and Performance should be in sync just like an athletes strength and technique which should move together. Any imbalance in strength and technique that occurs can cause problems and should be corrected over time.


Maths and Science combine together to produce greatness in any sporting theatre and the basic principles should be followed. The Method in which the principles are achieved can be very different however.


All athletes are different and a one training program fits all approach should be avoided. By keeping records of progression and training a tailor made approach can be put into action thus bringing through those athletes that struggle with the usual training program. The aim is to put an athlete into a position where they reach peak age with no injury problems. I have seen in practice an athlete give up the sport because they are not progressing as quickly as others but if given the support needed will turn out at a senior level a better athlete thanthose early developers

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