Developing the mechanics of sports


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November 18, 2014 9:41 AM

During the indoor season, the Split City Sonics focus on technique and development in preparation for the spring and summer competitions. - Andrew Brethauer Photo

When it comes to fundamentals, you can’t get any more simple than breaking sports down to their elements. And in some way, every sport has similar characteristics of each other in three specific ways – running, throwing and jumping.

From the ice to the field to the court, these three elements make up the fundamentals of so many sports, and need to be properly trained in, sometimes at the most basic level. That is where track and field comes in, and more importantly, the Split City Sonics.

The track and field club teaches all their members the proper way to run, jump and throw in a number of events, and are a month into their winter season of training indoors. Karl Meissner, head coach of the Sonics, said it’s a time of year for the club to really focus on the fundamentals of the sport because rankings are not earned over the winter months, so more attention can be placed on personal gain and development.

“A lot of the indoor competitions don’t count towards any standards, but the training they do now will pay off in the spring,” said Meissner. “It’s really important to teach them the proper running mechanics, any of the technical stuff is really important when it comes May, June and July.”

The club has members from Lloydminster and area, with runners, throwers and jumpers coming from Vermilion, Provost, St. Walburg and Wainwright. It’s a chance for the athletes to stay in shape and keep healthy in their offseason, while still competing and developing their mechanics.

And not just track and field athletes should get involved with the Sonics, who also have football and hockey players in their group looking for conditioning.

“It’s a foundation of a lot of other sports,” said Meissner. “When a high jumper goes up, it is just like a basketball layup, any of the jumping events are like volleyball, running is a basis of all sports, so the proper running technique is really important.

“Anything you learn at the track, you can pretty much use in any other sport.”

Events the sonic’s compete in include long jump, high jump, medicine ball throwing, shot put and different lengths of running from 60 to 800 metres, depending on the competition.

At the end of this month the Sonics will take part in the Last Chance Meet at the University of Alberta, where athletes will have one last chance in their current division before moving up in the new year. And there is a division for everyone, running as low as tyke (born 2005 or later) to seniors, which is anyone born between 1979-1994.

The team is also producing provincially and nationally ranked athletes, including many who have gone on to college and university scholarships. But for Meissner, it is also about developing good people, as he believes, if you develop people, the athlete will shine.

“We’ve been blessed to have athletes that go on to university,” said Meissner. “It’s mostly developing athletes and the people. My philosophy as a coach is, you develop the people or the person and the athlete shines.”

The Sonics are a year-round track club that runs from the beginning of October to March for their indoor season, and start their spring/summer session in April, with some athletes competing into August. For more information on the Sonics, visit

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