Old thread, but new to me. 😀
I was thinking about the “elbows @ 90 degree” debate.
I’m not for sure how many high school coaches are on here, especially high school coaches that have had to work with a smaller pool of athletes (i.e. less talented, less “elite”, less natural or gifted)
I’ve literally seen kids run with their arms hanging at their sides and I’ve seen kids run with their elbows flared out like chicken wings and crossing almost completely to other side of their torso.
So to say kids can “just naturally run” or that good sprinting form is “just there” has not been my experience.
I try to coach the arms/elbow by “driving the elbow back” istead of keeping it strictly at 90 degrees. Obviously when you do this your elbow joint looks to be 90 degrees, though its probably not a concentrated effort to do so. I think the “elbows at 90, pocket to mouth” type cues are to help get athletes in a position to clean up form. But for me, I naturally moved away from this and to the “drive the elbow back and up” one, because I got better results (keeping the arms from crossing the body or hanging) and two because it helped with relays.