Coach Mack has sent more than 50 high school athletes to college by dramatically increasing their speed.
By Jason Lewis
There’s a lot more to running extremely fast then having great genetics or just working really hard. Whether an athlete is running the 100-meter dash in track and field, the 40-yard dash in football, circling the bases in baseball, running the fast break in basketball, chasing down tennis balls, or sprinting down the field in soccer, learning the proper technique can separate the good from the great athletes.
That’s where a sprint coach like Christopher Mack comes into play. He created New Image Training Group in 2002, and over 50 of his high school athletes have gone on to receive Division I college scholarships. Many of those athletes run track or play football.
“I’ve sent kids (boys and girls) to USC, UCLA, Oregon, Florida, and Nebraska,” he said. “The majority of the athletes that I’ve coached to college play football. They’re dual sports athletes (football and track), but they focus more on football.”
New Image Training Group mostly trains out of Jackie Robinson Stadium at Rancho Cienega Sports Complex. He also holds training sessions at West Los Angeles College, and with certain clients, he will travel to them.
Mack’s methods aren’t simply to push his athletes harder, but he teaches them to run smarter.
“I’m a very scientific coach,” he said. “I teach them to be efficient, and use their speed and power in an intelligent fashion when they’re running. I work on the biomechanics of sprinting. Like, how their body is positioned when their foot hits the ground. When we’re working out, I incorporate days where we just work on their form and technique.”
Mack doesn’t have one set program that he gives to all of his athletes.
“Each athlete, their body type, composition, and their muscle fibers is different,” he said. “When you’re coaching, you have to apply the right energy system to the athlete. Whatever their muscle fibers dictate, that’s where you need to train them at. I customize the workouts and the training to that particular athlete. I don’t train athletes in a blanket type training. I work with them where they are, so I try to fit the program to their need assessment. I improve on their weaknesses and I make their strengths better.”
Mack had a successful track career, starting at six years old in Philadelphia. He went on to excel in the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter dash at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, which is the nation’s first Historically Black College and University, founded in 1837. He majored in kinesiology and exercise science. After college he joined the military, where he ran for the Navy’s track and field program.
Mack has numerous credentials. He is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine performance enhancement specialist, USATF certified level 3 track coach (sprints/hurdles), and an International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) elite sprint coach.
As the former head track coach at Chaminade College Preparatory and Cathedral College Preparatory, Mack coached his high school sprinters and relay teams to strong finishes at the California State Finals, California Relays, Penn Relays, Texas Relays, Mt Sac Relays, and the Arcadia Invitational.