About The Author

Ryan Banta

Some years ago I was invited to write for the first time on www.elitetrack.com. Through my writing, I began to realize what I actually felt was missing in the world of coaching speed. What was missing was an in-depth book on how to recruit, train, improve, and mentor those extraordinary athletes with speed. Anytime I would walk into a bookstore there would be shelves filled with books on weight training, stretching, diets, and distance running. Many of these books would be exhaustive covering all manner of ideas related to the main topic. I thought, “Where is the comprehensive book on sprinting?” After a few years of searching by contacting numerous coaches, chatting/arguing on message boards and searching the net soon it became abundantly clear there wasn’t a compendium on sprinting. Blessed to live in an age of the world wide web, I started to bounce around the idea of creating such a book. What solidified my wishful thinking was my time at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista California while I socialized with the other coaches who were there with me for a week long coach’s clinic. After a few discussions, coaches began referencing some of the blogs I had written for Elitetrack. At that moment, I thought to myself, “Whoa, people are reading what I write, and it’s influencing their training.” I came away from the experience humbled, scared, and excited all at the same time. Humbled because I was helping people, scared because my suggestions needed to steer them in the right direction, and excited because of the realization I can make a positive impact on a broad audience.

At this point, the picture was pretty clear what I wanted to do was create a training manual for like-minded coaches who want a one-stop resource for every aspect of training speed and more specifically sprinting. After numerous conversations with Coach Carl Valle, the Sprinter’s Compendium got its title. The purpose of this book is to be the most exhaustive resource ever attempted on training speed. The Compendium is designed to help the beginning, intermediate, and elite coaches improve their craft. It has been my distinct pleasure to have scores of successful, respected, coaches and athletes at multiple levels who have participated in this project by answering many questions or providing specific training. All coaches should find at least a couple of people within the Sprinter’s Compendium they can relate to from the youth, high school, university, elite, and masters level included in the book. I intentionally sought out these people from various backgrounds to provide different perspectives to make you, the reader, curious and explore different paths that best suit your current situation. The Sprinter’s Compendium will provide training plans for athletes of different backgrounds, event pursuits, and strengths. My hope is I can truncate the learning curve for you that I had to experience mostly on own in my twenty-three years in track & field as an athlete and coach.

If I had one piece of advice, I would ask you the reader not to be turned off by ideas that challenge the way you coach or structure workouts. Throughout the four-plus years, I have spent writing this book what I thought to be correct about training has been challenged many times. When I began coaching the training I employed looked a lot like the long to short or Baylor system made famous by Coach Clyde Hart. Through the process of researching for this book, I began to see the value of other system based on the abilities and talents of the athletes. As I went deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole, I began to develop respect for the work of Gerald Mach, Charlie Francis, and Dan Pfaff. Their methods tend to flip the traditional training plan on its head by using a short to long system. A term coined by Carl Valle describing what has been mastered in principle by Coach Francis along over decades. Eventually, if you coach long enough, you will reach a stage of development as a coach where you realize there are more questions than answers. The mystery of coaching is a grand search for knowledge. The search is what makes the profession of training people challenging but simultaneously fun! Keep an open mind and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you find something or someone’s opinions within the Sprinter’s Compendium you disagree with or find interesting ask yourself the question “why?” Why would a coach come to this conclusion? Why might it work best for them? Often the answers to these questions will reveal themselves as you complete the Sprinter’s Compendium.

The book is structured to take you step by step through a practice. Chapter 1 through Chapter 7 cover in detail the different individual units of a successful practice. Following the science, anecdotal, and logical reasons for our training I provide activities to be used at the coach’s disposal to improve the effectiveness of practice. When suitable I put exercises into convenient packages called Modules to help coaches organize their training. Chapter 8 through Chapter 12 explore fundamental aspects of managing sprinters away from the track. Beyond practice, starting with Chapter 8 the book moves on to help the coach use more than scripted workout plans to become a master coach. For the coach to be more than a writer of exercises, the goal was to provide the reader a deeper understanding of how to keep athletes physically healthy, psychologically stable, organize sprinter teams/camps, and how to plan long term. These chapters will specifically help coaches manage the twenty-one hours the athletes are not under their watchful eyes. In the contents of each chapter, I included numerous stories that I hope you can learn from to avoid the pitfalls while enjoying the success of coaching. The process of writing this book has not been easy but has been a wonderful exploration into my own training systems. I hope you find this book to be equally valuable.

Coaching History

Ryan is a successful high school coach. His athletes have achieved 109 school records, 3 top four finishes at the state championships, 5 district championships, 180 state semi-finalist (sectionals), 122 state qualifiers, 2 state records (3200 and 4×800), 14 national ranked events, 57 all state performances, 10 state champions, 11 runner up performances, and 2 Gatorade athletes of the year. Ryan is a USATF level II coach in the sprints, hurdles, relays, and endurance and recently earned a USTFCCCA track and field technical coaching certification.

  • LEVEL II Sprint, Hurdles, and Relays 2007
  • LEVEL II Endurance 2008
  • Olympic Training Center Emerging Elite Coach


  • Technical Certification


  • Apprentice Coach’s Program (ACP)


Girls Track and Field Spring 03 to present (15yrs)- Head Coach 109 records (Fr, Soph JV, V), 3 top 4 state championship team finishes 2008, 2009 and 2016. District champs 2007, 2008, 2009, 2015 and 2016. Conference Champion 2015 and 2016. Four district runner-up finishes 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017. 2 State Records 4×800 09 and 3200 09, 14 nationally ranked events, 57 all-state performances (Track and XC),11 runners up, 10 state champs, 122 state qualifying events/individuals qualifying events, 180 state semifinalists (sectionals), 195 top ten performances. Parkway Central Girls Head Coach 2013- Assistant Coach 2009-2012 Team State Qualifiers 2016, Conference Champions 2015, 42 Sectional Qualifiers, 16 state individual state qualifiers, developed and helped run off season state qualifiers 2007-2012.

MTCCCA President 2015, Vice President 11-14, MTCCCA Panel Member 08-09 and 12, and 12, MTCCCA Guest Speaker 2009 and Mizzou Track and Field Camp Coach 08-, MSHSAA advisory board Girl’s Track and Field 09-, and Greatsouthwest Classic Team Missouri selection head 09-11, blogger on www.elitetrack.com, speedendurance.com, just-fly-sports.com, presenter at the World Speed Summit, invited to Altis and the Olympic Training Center as an emerging elite coach.