Tactics for Combined Event Competition

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					Tactics for Combined Event Competition
            Matt Lydum, Head Coach
                            Tactics - Defined
     tac·tics n.
      – (used with a sing. verb) The military science that deals with
        securing objectives set by strategy, especially the technique of
        deploying and directing troops, ships, and aircraft in effective
        maneuvers against an enemy: Tactics is a required course at all
        military academies.
      – (used with a pl. verb) Maneuvers used against an enemy:
        Guerrilla tactics were employed during most of the war.
     (used with a sing. or pl. verb) A procedure or set of
     maneuvers engaged in to achieve an end, an aim, or a

 Divisional Competition Standards
Intermediate and Young men and women
  (17 & 18 year olds) compete in Decathlon
  and Heptathlon

Midget (11 & 12) and Youth (13 & 14) boys
 and girls compete in Pentathlon

Bantam (10 & under) boys and girls
 compete in Triathlon
Intermediate and Young men & women

• Decathlon              • Heptathlon
  – Day one                 – Day one
     •   100m                  •   100m
     •   Long Jump             •   High Jump
     •   Shot Put              •   Shot Put
     •   High Jump             •   200m
     •   400m               – Day two
  – Day two                    • Long Jump
     •   110m hurdles          • Javelin Throw
     •   Discus Throw          • 800m
     •   Pole Vault
     •   Javelin Throw
     •   1500m

   Midget and Youth boys & girls
(all in one day)
• 80m (midget), 100m (youth)
• Shot Put
• High Jump
• Long Jump
• 800m (girls), 1500m (boys)

         Bantam boys & girls
(all in one day)
• Shot Put
• High Jump
• 200m (girls), 400m (boys)

        Combined Event Competition
   “Many athletic disciplines, from
gymnastics to rodeo to Nordic skiing to
equestrian, have all-around contests.
However, track and field represents the most
fundamental sport in which athletes run,
jump and throw. The decathlon measures
these fundamental athletic talents in terms of
speed, strength, agility, spring and
endurance. While one athlete may be faster,
another stronger and yet a third a better
jumper, the decathlon attempts to determine
who, among the three, is the best all-around
or general athlete.”
   From: A Basic Guide to Decathlon, Griffin Publishing, 1996, p. 24   7
   Become familiar with the rules
• Generally, the rules are the same as the open events.

• It is a good idea to acquire a rulebook appropriate to the
  competition. USATF rulebooks are available free (for
  members) online at:

• Remember, only three attempts in the throws and long

• Study the vertical jumps rules carefully. There is a strategic
  advantage to knowing about passing attempts.

• At least 30 minutes between events.

• An athlete will be disqualified from a
  running event after 2 false starts.

• Athletes must make an attempt at each
  event. Failure to start an event will
  remove the athlete from the competition
  and no final score will be given.
• Vertical jump progressions:
  – High jump is raised in increments of 3 centimeters
  – Pole vault is raised in increments of 10 centimeters

• Long throws (discus and javelin) are measured
  to the least even centimeter.

• Other field events are measured to the least
  whole centimeter (no fractions of centimeters).
     Embrace the Metric system
• All measurements in combined event competition are
  done with the metric system.
  – This is done for consistency

• Athletes and coaches should start to learn personal
  bests and goal distances in metric, without the need
  for translation.

• The media and fans, however, still like to know the
  feet and inches.
  – When converting, you must always round down.

                   BIG GOLD BOOK:
   Metric Conversions for Track &
   Field, Combined
   Decathlon/Heptathlon Scoring
   and Metric Conversion Tables,
   and Other Essential Data for the
   Track Fan, Athlete, Coach and
   Official. The latest version (2005)
   of our “Track Fan’s Companion,”
   now with women’s decathlon
   tables, updated rules,pacing
   charts, implement specs, etc.
   Wirebound to open flat. 189pp.

• Training gear
  – Comfortable & well fitting (avoid extremely
    baggy basketball shorts).
  – Weather appropriate (be prepared).

• Shoes
  – Good running shoes
  – Specialty shoes Vs. Multi-purpose spikes

      Specialty shoes Vs. Multi-purpose spikes

• Specialty shoes              • Multi-purpose spikes
  –   Throwing (shot & disc)     – Throw in court shoes
  –   Javelin                      or running shoes
  –   High Jump                  – Inexpensive multi-
  –   Long Jump                    purpose spikes
  –   Sprints                    – J-Heel
  –   Distance

• Throwing

• Pole Vault

• Other training and competition equipement

(start with the most inexpensive, as you
improve, you will have a good idea of what
kind of more advanced equipment will be
good for you)
– Shot
– Discus (high rim weights are for advanced,
  and strong, throwers)
– Javelin (javelins are expensive, take good
  care of them)
                              Pole Vault
• Work carefully with your coach to find poles that are appropriate for you.

• Store poles properly.
    – Drainage tile works well.
    – Avoid the freeze/thaw cycle in the winter.

• Never lay poles on the ground during practice or competition. They
  could get spiked, stepped on, etc.
    – Lean them on a hurdle or put them back in their tube.

• Always have properly fitting pole end plugs that are in good condition.

• Cracked or spike poles must be destroyed (they become crossbar putter-

           Other Equipment
• Tape measure
• Towels (for wiping off implements)
• Tape and chalk (for marking approaches)
  – Chalk is good for training, but is not allowed in
• Medicine balls
• Spike kit
• Portable chair with shade
     What to bring to the meet
• Uniforms
  – At least two singlets
  – Bodysuit
  – Underwear, compression tights, etc.
  – T-shirts and baggy shorts
  – Sweat suit
  – Rain gear
  – 4 or more pairs of socks (at least two each day)

       Other stuff for meet day
• Music (be award of rules regarding headsets)
• Hat
• Sunglasses
• Sunscreen
• Extra shoelaces
• A few roles of athletic tape
• Spike kit
• Towels
• Tape measures
• Scoring tables, calculator, notepad
• Video camera (be aware of rules regarding the review of
  video during competition)
• Chair & umbrella
  Drinks and Food at the meet
• Practice eating during track practice
  – Take a little snack every 30-45 minutes
• Get protein (and carbs) though out the day
  – Sources
     • Peanut butter
     • Sports bars and drinks
     • Trail mix
• Stay hydrated

              Sports Psychology
• Arousal, anxiety, & getting “psyched up”

• Centering

• Visualization

• Positive self-talk

• Goal setting

• The C’s of success
Arousal, anxiety, & getting “psyched up”
           inverted U theory

• Focus on your center of mass
  – Solar plexus

• Breath (expand belly during inhalation)

• Mentally rehearse the event
  – Use your senses: what do you hear, see,
    smell, feel?
• Point of view
  – Insider
  – Outsider

           Positive self-talk
• Avoid “stinking thinking”

• Others respond to your attitude and body
  language. Control it. Think and act like a

• Stop thinking negative thoughts as soon
  as they come into your head. Train
  yourself to think positively.
              Goal Setting
•   Realistic
•   Short and long term
•   Action steps
•   Timeline
•   Write them down and tell someone
•   Use your goals to help you make

           The C’s of Success
•   Confidence      • CONTROL
•   Concentration
•   Composure       • CHOICE
•   Character
•   Capabilities
•   Courage

                    Propers to Rick McQuire

          Get enough sleep
• 8 hours is minimum for a training and
  competing athlete
• Reasons why you don’t get 8 hours
  – I-M ing people late at night
  – Free nights and weekends
  – Caffeine and sugar
  – Poorly organized (pulling all-nighters)
  – Over stimulated late at night (video games)

    Consequences of not getting
          enough sleep
• Failure to adapt to training (not recovering
  from workouts)
  – If this happens regularly, injury and sickness
    will be the result
• Poor attitude
• Poor nutrition (using caffeine and sugar
  stay awake)
• Always feeling tired
         Nutrition for training
• Avoid too many processed, fatty foods:
  – Cheese its, Oreos, etc.
• Avoid too much soda
• Drink plenty of water
• Get (a least a little)protein though out the
  – Breakfast, lunch, after training snack, dinner
  – Protein bars are more than enough (perhaps
    split them in 3)
• Fast food strategies
  – Diet pop or tea or water or milk or juice
  – Salads
  – Avoid supersizing
  – Choose healthier options
  – moderation

• Recovery snack
  – 200-300 calories right within 30 minutes of
  – Carbs and protein (10-25 grams as soon after
    as possible)
    • Examples
       –   Endurox
       –   Juice and ½ protein bar
       –   Fruit and yogurt
       –   Bagel and peanut butter

Enjoy Training and Competition
• Teach yourself to love going to the track or
  weight room to train.

• Remember that you are blessed with the
  ability to compete. Be thankful and enjoy
  expressing your abilities.

 Become Students of the Sport
• Always keep learning
  – Books, magazines, websites (be careful of
    unedited sites)
  – Clinics and camps
  – Keep a journal
  – Pay attention to your body
  – Learn about all aspects of success


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