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Dr. VanSuch Meets with Ohio State Track Coach to Help Athletes Increase Speed


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Dr. VanSuch Invited to Meet with OSU Assistant Track Coach, Joel Brown

On Thursday, June 01, 2017 Dr. Larry VanSuch was invited to the campus of The Ohio State University to meet with the assistant track coach, Joel Brown.   Joel was a three time All American at Ohio State and holds the school’s 60m hurdles record in a time of 7.77 seconds and the outdoor 110m hurdles record in a time of 13.39 seconds. Joel was  named the 2017 Great Lakes Region Assistant Coach of the Year.

He has competed all around the world in his career including the 2008 Olympic trials in Eugene Oregon; the 2005 USATF championships in Carson California; and IAAF World Championships in Helsinki, Finland.  Certainly Joel knows what it takes to compete at the highest levels of competition as an athlete and is now mastering his craft as a track coach.

Nothing Is Given at OSU – Always Earned and Seeking Improvement

At Ohio State, everything is earned and nothing is ever given.  From academic and sports scholarships to teaching and coaching jobs, there’s competition every day to either produce results or possibly get replaced.  Even the school’s band has a ‘second team’ in waiting just in case one of the first teamer’s misses a note or happens to step out of line during a halftime performance.

So, being the competitor he is, Joel wants what’s best for his athletes as well as himself.  He knows their success is his success so he monitors them very carefully looking for any weaknesses in their performance he feels could use some improvement.  The athletes appreciate this about him and it was some of their recent shortcomings that brought the two of us together the first day of June.

How to Overcome Speed Problems

Through a mutual friend, Joel reached out to Dr. VanSuch and asked if he might be able to offer some insight to help some of his student track stars with their sprint speed.

He said he was finding two distinct issues with them…either they are really strong but lack stability in the hip and ankle joints, or, they are really stabile in those joints but lack strength.

Both present problems for themselves and for the team.  To make matters worse, they don’t have a lot of time to invest in correcting these issues since their schedules are already full.

They need something that can be implemented without distraction from their regular training routines and something that delivers results within just a few weeks.

Why Five Torques Improves Running Speed

Dr. VanSuch sat down with Joel and first went over the five basic rotational forces that occur in the body when you run which you can learn about here.  He explained to Joel that the biggest problem he has seen at all of the NFL camps and power lifting gyms he has visited is an overwhelming focus on the muscles involved in triple extension, which are the glutes/hams, quads and calves, and very little else…Joel agreed.

Dr. VanSuch explained to him that the arms are just as much a part of running as are the legs.  He also told him the spine holds a key to strength and speed, and, most importantly, the leg involved in the forward stride motion is the true pacesetter when it comes to how fast you can run and not the leg in triple extension. This was certainly a bit of news to Joel and he grew more interested upon hearing what Dr. VanSuch was saying.

How to Balance Front and Back Side Running Muscles

Dr. VanSuch went through many different exercises with Joel right there on the track at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and Joel was surprised at how weak even he was in many of them.

Joel gained a much better appreciation for what was called the Anterior Kinetic Chain, those being the muscles in the front of the body such as the seven hip flexor muscles and abdomen that need to be balanced against the powerful backside glutes/hams.

Dr. VanSuch outlined a plan whereby he could take his athletes through a speed, strength and stability program in less than 15 minutes a day…something he was happy to know wouldn’t be too difficult to implement.  The program focused primarily on everything his athletes weren’t doing very much of so he’s optimistic there will be plenty of room for improvement.

Sights From Around the Track

Dr. VanSuch was invited to return as often as he liked to help out any way he could.  Being from the Columbus, Ohio area the stadium is just a quick 20 minute drive from his home and so he plans to take him up on it.

As they both had to leave and take care of other responsibilities their days demanded, Dr. VanSuch couldn’t help but take in the great setting that was named after an Olympic hero – Jesse Owens.


Jesse Owens:  (September 12, 1913 – March 31, 1980) was an American track and field athlete.  He participated in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany where he achieved international fame by winning four gold medals.  One each in the 100m, 200m, long jump and part of the 4x100m relay team.

“We all have dreams.  But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.”

Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at The Ohio State University

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