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Just Fly Performance Podcast Episode #9: Ryan Banta

This week’s guest is sprint coach Ryan Banta.  Ryan is the author of the upcoming “Sprinter’s Compendium”, which at its completion will be the most exhaustive resource to date on speed training.  Ryan is also a highly successful high school sprint and performance coach out of Ballwin Missouri, and a frequent contributor to Just Fly Sports.

Ryan has some great training insights for sprinters, as well as sport performance in general.   Training track and field athletes always drives questions that any coach can and should consider when working with their own athletes for maximal performance.

The idea of “short to long” alone is a great conversation that isn’t just for track coaches, but references the way that any athletes trains and adapts over a full season of training.

Just Fly Performance Podcast 9


Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.

Key Points:

  • Ryan’s experience and lessons from learning at ALTIS
  • Insight to the ALTIS performance therapy model
  • Insight to the ALTIS plan A,B,C,D model
  • Ryan’s protocol in dealing with athletes with hamstring tweaks, and speeding the recovery process
  • Ideas on coaching and working with large groups of athletes
  • Approaches to keeping athletes focused in the warmup
  • Ryan’s approach to building a strong and powerful team culture on the high school level
  • Ryan’s acceleration checklist and approach to building short-speed and agility for team sports
  • Ryan’s background with football, and his movement-based training methods to improving gridiron performance
  • The role of lactate based workouts, and Ryan’s approach to speed endurance training. The differences, values and strengths of long-to-short vs. short-to-long workout models
  • Ryan’s experience with the appropriate use of speed, speed-endurance, and aerobic work, based on the needs of the athlete
  • The training needs of the “fast-twitch oxidative” athlete
  • Ryan’s ideas on speed ratios for track sprinters
  • An update and overview on the upcoming “Sprinters Compendium”


“(Regarding the performance therapy model) Just because there is a slight issue or a problem (during a workout), we don’t shut everything down.  We attack it, and address it”

“Having that workout plan (plan A, plan B, plan C) ahead of time is paramount to success”

“A lot of the things that the army has done to get people ready for physical activity in the past, there are things they have done that work out really nicely (when working with large groups of athletes) in regards to posture, standing at attention, people in rows, etc.”

“We start to smash drills together, such as dribble run, to a high knee, to an a-sprint, so that an athlete has some sort of progression, and is constantly thinking in the warmup”

“The warmup isn’t just a time to sit around and chat with your coaching buddies, it’s a time to diagnose problems

“Whenever athletes are accelerating, I like to create the image of drilling a broomstick through the top of an athlete’s head, and be able to go all the way through their spine, their hips, knees and ankles.  When they are accelerating, we want to sweep the track, the field, with the broom” (note, this is a nice external cue)

“Some athlete’s are so poorly fit that you don’t know what they are capable of when they first come to you in your program; we use a lot of testing early on”

“People are afraid to do speed endurance, afraid to do lactate work in their workouts.  If you have an energy system sprinter who has a lot of quick-twitch oxidative, you are doing that sprinter a dis-service by not working on their strength, which is that they are going to have to go a little bit larger volume”

“The reality is that your sprinters should get a little bit of (long and short based sprint training) depending on the time of the year, and their strengths and weaknesses”

“There’s a lot of people who run really fast indoors, and suck outdoors”

About Ryan Banta:

Ryan BantaRyan Banta is Parkway Central High School Girls Head track and field coach 2003 to the present, and Parkway Central High School Head XC coach 2013 to present. Ryan’s coaching tenure has yielded 84 school records. 2 top 4 finishes in 2008 and 2009, District Champs 2007, 2008, and 2009, four runner up finishes at districts 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, two state records 4×800 and 3200 meter run, 14 nationally ranked events, 34 all state performances, 7 runner up finishes, 8 state championship events and 70 state qualifiers(track and xc). Ryan is the MTCCCA Vice President and MSHSAA advisory board member. He is a writer for elitetrack.com and speedendurance.com and has his USATF Level II in Sprints, Hurdles, Relays, and Endurance, as well as a USTFCCCA technical certification.

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