There is an old saying that "you can't coach speed." Cox's athletic training coordinator Greg Gilmore doesn't buy into that statement.
Four years ago, Gilmore noticed that area athletes weren't running at their optimal capabilities. Gilmore responded by helping create the Cox Monett Speed and Conditioning Camp.
"There are a number of things an individual can do to make themselves faster," said Gilmore. "Our goal is to help participants become quicker. Are we going to take an average runner and turn them into a world class athlete? No, but we will give the athlete the tools to make them more efficient when running,"
The speed and conditioning camp has shown steady growth over the last four years. The program initially started with 12 participants. The second year saw 48 individuals attend. In the third year, the number grew to 68 youth who took advantage of the program. This year, Gilmore is anticipating over 100 area youth at the camp.
"My number one goal is to make this camp fun," explained Gilmore. "When you discuss speed camp with people, they are kind of skeptical at first. Everything we do at camp is designed for enjoyment and to develop proper running technique."
The camp concentrates on three areas to develop speed.
First, stride length.
"When you watch professional athletes and runners, it seems like they are bounding down the field," said Gilmore. "We show our campers the necessity of covering as much ground in the least amounts of steps."
Secondly, the camp teaches stride frequency.
"We work on using our arms and body core to develop more speed," said Gilmore. "Much of a person's drive while running is geared around their core and arms working together."
Thirdly, the camp works on the broad and high jumps.
"The heighth of a jump is a measurement of a person's power generator," said Gilmore. "The broad jump helps coordinate all the body's movement."
For Gilmore, helping a youth achieve his or her goals makes the effort worth all the work.
|"I have always enjoyed running," said Gilmore. "I saw an opportunity where I could use my passion and teaching ability to help the area youth.||"Most of the kids at the camp say they feel faster after attending," continued Gilmore. "We want each kid to take away a positive experience, develop a can-do attitude and have fun."|
There will be two camps in Monett this year. The first will be offered from June 13-30 and the second will be held July 11-28.
The cost is $45 per student. To register or for more information, call 236-2480.