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Fundamentals of Athletics: Track and Field

El atletismo es considerado como un deporte básico, ya que sus acciones tienen un carácter natural, asociado a los orígenes del hombre, como son correr, saltar y lanzar. Además, a través de su práctica se mejora la condición física, sirviendo como base para el resto de los deportes. El objetivo de la asignatura es dar a conocer los fundamentos básicos del atletismo en su etapa de iniciación. Se utilizará una metodología de enseñanza participativa, con intervención de los alumnos de forma práctica y se utilizarán medios audiovisuales que permitan al estudiante adquirir las competencias y los objetivos que se plantean.

Imagen de la asignatura

Manuel Sillero Quintana
María del Mar Arroyaga Crespo
Diego Martín Martín
Carlos Alberto Cordente

Physical Activity and Sports Faculty.
Sports Department.
Technical University of Madrid.


Last review (Abril 2013).

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4 ECTS: 100 hours workload.



There are no prerequisites.



The course contents are distributed in topics, mainly theoretical (Topics 1 and 2) or theoretical-practical (Topics 3 to 7), in which theoretical aspects of the different Athletics events  will be presented. After the theorical review, we will pass quickly to more active methodologies that lead the student to experience athletics practice through a selection of some of the different events that compose it (running, jumping, and throwing).

 As practice activities, the students will have to attend competitions and and training session in a selected athletics school.



To incorporate athletics as an educational mean for the different school stages. 

To select and use the neccesary material and sports equipment for each case. 

To design, develop and evaluate teaching-learning strategies, in real or simulated situations.



Lecture notes. 

Outline of the practical classes. 

Audiovisual resources for the practical classes. 

Assessment resources for the works to be performed during the course.



The final course evaluation can be made through two different options, but using the following criteria:

1st OPTION: CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT (Several partial exams). The student will have the opportunity to make partial assessments of the theoretical and practical parts of the program.

 A) Theoretical part. There will be two partial exams.

 B) Practical part. At the end of the last session of each event reviewed on the program, a practical exam will take place. It will be       recorded for a later evaluation. In those exams there will be two attempts. The correction of the technical implementation will be evaluated, taking into account quantitative performance minimums, which are:

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a. Starting blocks. Execution on a maximum intensity starting blocks action, It should be valid and technically correct.

b. Relays. Execution of a hand off and a reception of 4 x 100 metres at maximum speed. It should be valid, technically correct, and with a “blind hand off” (without looking back on the hand off). The test will be done in pairs that will alternate delivery tasks and reception.

c. Hurdles race. Hurdle two hurdles within three steps, at full speed, with a wind up before. The minimum performance height and length between the men’s hurdles are 0,76 metres height and 7,00 metres length. Among girls the hurdles will be set at 0,60 metres, with a separation of 6,50 metres. Any student who does not perform the test on these minimums will be automatically failed. There will be progressive increases on the difficulty to establish the starting mark that the student can reach on the assessment test  (see picture below).

d. Long jump. Valid and correct execution at full speed, of a long jump with a clear “Hang” or “Hitch kick” technique. The take off line for girls will be 3,00 metres away, and the boys’ one will be at 4,00 metres. The execution of any of the two jumps over the line, or without using the proposed techniques will be considered as a fail. The length and intensity of the jump will be considered for mark of the exam.

e. Shot putting. Execution of a shot put with a proper glide technique and with a maximum performance (distance). the minimum weight of the ball will be 3 kilos for girls and 5 kilos for boys. The minimum length to pass will be 5 metres for both girls and boys. There will be different starting marks, giving a “10” when using the senior weights for boys and girls. The length of the throw will also be considered in the final mark of the student.

C) Observation and competition. Three activities will be conducted in order to enhance the student practical experience in athletics:

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a. School athletics observation (10 hours of supervised workload). The student must provide proof of attendance as an observer of 10 hours training activities at any School Athletics (school of athletics or athletics club) with children U-15 (below 15 years old). The choice of the School of Athletics ( and location of it)  will be made by the student. A letter will be distributed through the official webpage of the course, with information about the activity for the person in charge of the School. It will be accompanied by a form accepting responsibility for the evaluation, and an evaluation form of the observations, to be signed by the monitor-coach of the School.

b. Participation in a Competition (10 hours of autonomous workload). The student must participate compulsorily in an official competition with judges of a Regional or National Federation. Participation will be demonstrated by presenting proof of the time or mark achieved (official results list of the competition or any valid certificate). Exceptionally, it will also be possible to accomplish this work as a volunteer in the organization of a competition chosen by the professor of the course (10 hours of volunteer work).

D) Works. The student has to do three works over the course:

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a. Memory of the Athletics School (10 hours of autonomous workload). After the observation of the school, the student must to fulfil ans excel data sheet with technical specifications about the School of athletics and the activities performed. It will include an evaluation of educational and methodological aspects, as well as a personal comment of the observation practice.

b. “On line” exams (5 hours). Questionnaires will appear on the webpage, to ensure the right understanding of all the content’s topics by the student.

c. Assessment work (15 hours of autonomous work). In order to improve the ability to find mistakes, students should evaluate the practical tests of his classmates. The corresponding videos of the practical tests and an Excel sheet for the registration of the assessments will be included in the online platform of the subject.

Percentages established for the value of each part, are as follows:

Theory (30% *) + Practical (30%*) + Observation and Competition (15%**) + Works (15%*) + Attendance (10%)

* It is mandatory to have at least 5/10 to do arithmetic mean.

** It is mandatory to have participated in the competition and done the observation to do the mean. 

Any student with any theoretical or practical part failed, must go to the exam of that part in the official announcement. If the student fails, he must go to the final exam in the extraordinary announcement, covering all the theoretical and practical contents.

2nd OPTION: SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (Final exam). The student will go directly to the final exam on  the official announcement. date. In this option attitude or attendance will not be taken into account, but the students who do not assist 80% of the practical classes must pass, in the official announcement, all parts of the practical exam on the same conditions expressed in the continuous assessment option..


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Copyright 2009, Autores y colaboradores. Reconocer autoría/Citar obra. Quintana, M. S., Arroyaga, M. d. M., Martín, D., Cordente, C. A. (2010, March 08). Fundamentals of Athletics: Track and Field. Retrieved May 21, 2019, from OCW UPM - OpenCourseWare de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid Web site: http://ocw.upm.es/educacion-fisica-y-deportiva/fundamentals-of-athletics-track-and-field. Esta obra se publica bajo una licencia Licencia Creative Commons Licencia Creative Commons