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Charlie Francis, Indoor and Outdoor Track Impairments | Boddicker Performance

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Charlie Francis, Indoor and Outdoor Track Impairments

by on May 13th, 2010

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In honor of the passing of legendary track coach, Charlie Francis I spent some time yesterday and this morning re-reading The Charlie Francis Training System and picked up a gem from the regeneration chapter.

Before I get into that point, I have to credit Charlie with his excellent utilization of a multidisciplinary performance paradigm for his athletes.  The longer I spend in this game, the more I realize the value in it.  The true greats do an excellent job surrounding themselves with professionals the elevate the performance of their athletes.  Athletes’ Performance does it, Dan Pfaff does it, Charlie Francis,  and the AZ Diamondbacks (and many others, I’m sure) have an intelligent integration with all professionals serving as a check and balance for the others.

Back to my point, the gem from the regeneration chapter came from Charlie’s chiropractic consultant, Morris Zubkewych, who said that during the indoor season you need to assess an athlete from the foot and work up, whereas during the outdoor season the athlete should be evaluated from a shoulder toward the toe manner.  Zubkewych asserts that the different environmental strains beget different alterations in function that should be assessed differently.  Indoors, the athletes spend time running tighter curves, that are often banked and, as we explored last week, leads to altered strength of eversion and inversion and Zubkewych points out that there are also alterations in demands in dorsiflexion on each respective ankle.  Naturally, this change will result in malalginments higher up the chain.  Left untreated, he believes that this can create a significant problem.

At this point, many will aruge that they are favorable adaptations to sport.  While it may be somewhat true, these are only favorable to the athlete on banked tracks, and lead to problems as the outdoor season comes around and the environment changes.  Short sprinters are only going to run a few curves that are far less tight in the outdoor season and spend far more time working on linear running.  In this case, malalignments are not favorable.


Carson Boddicker

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  • Marija Strauts June 17, 2010

    Hi Carson! I just had to write. Today I “googled” Morris Zubkewych’s name and recieved several pages regarding his many accomplishments in the health care fielfd and saw your piece regarding Charlie Francis. They were great collaborators in the field of athletics and it was wonderful to see your comments. You should know that on April 4th 2010 (just a month or so prior to Charlie’s passing) Morris succumbed to a devastating form of cancer as well. We lost 2 “great ones” in a relatively short period of time. All I can say is there must be on helluva track meet taking place in heaven…with the likes of Bowerman, Prefontaine, Francis, Zubkewych…and list goes on an on. Thank you for making me smile!

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