Dan Pfaff was in Melbourne recently for the 776 Academy’s Movement series.
This series focused on speed, acceleration, strength and mobility across running, athletics and general sporting functions. 776BC hosted Dan through their education platform “Academy” with the help of South Yarra Spine & Sports Medicine, Athletics Australia, Athletics Victoria and Melbourne University Sport.
Dan is one of the worlds most decorated track and field coaches. He has coached five Olympic Games teams and six World Championship teams across the globe. In that time, he has coached 49 Olympians, 51 World Champions, and 5 World Record holders. The movement series saw Dan speak across 3 main events. Friday’s night session at South Yarra Spine & Sports Medicine was an expert panel with Dan, John Quinn and Karen Holtzer. Sunday saw Dan teaching speed and acceleration to an athletics focused audience of coaches and athletes at Athletics Victoria. Monday, Dan was joined by a smaller group to look at Speed, Strength, Power and Mobility at Melbourne University Sport.
The series was full of incredible insights with one attendee saying: “Dan Pfaff is a great teacher. His knowledge and experience is second to none and has the ability to challenge people at all levels of experience to think more about what they do.” Discussing movement mechanics, a key talking point throughout the series was that there is a strong need to find a balance between correct technique and general athlete compensations. Dan describes this as the technical model (correct technique) and that every athlete has a bandwidth that they can work between to be most efficient while staying within the correct technique frame. This helps to improve efficiency and reduce injuries.
Many therapists aim to build symmetry within their athletes yet fail to realise that athletes have been compensating “If you take and discus or tennis player in the world they’re going to functional scoliosis to so many degree and if you get the spine neutral they aren’t going to be able to do what they are supposed to do” – Dan Pfaff. Building efficient acceleration within athletes is important across many sports. To start developing a strong understanding, Dan outlined the five key rocks for understanding and improving acceleration. These are stride length, stride frequency, attack angle, contact time and flight time.
776BC would like to thank Dan and everyone else involved in the Movement series. 776 Academy will be returning later this year with more movement focused webinars and workshops. Sign up at www.academy.776bc.com and follow us at @776academy on Instagram to stay up to date with future events.