Teaching the Long and Triple Jumps
INTRODUCING THE JUMPS TO BEGINNERS
Teaching the Long and Triple jumps to beginners is really the
teaching of rhythmic acceleration
and explosion. The Long Jump
contains only one explosive moment. The Triple Jump has three explosive moments
that are guided by the rhythmic technique of the jump. While horizontal velocity
is by far the most important determinant of performance, sprinting and jumping
rhythm are the framework through which this velocity is converted into distance.
Embedding a fluid sense of rhythm into the speed and explosiveness of young
will give them a foundation for their continued progress.
Developing horizontal jumping rhythm focuses on both
the approach sprint and the act of jumping itself
. Young jumpers should
concentrate on learning sound, relaxed sprinting mechanics and the fluid jumping
movements of rhythm plyometrics. Sprint drills and rhythm drills are the
fundamentals of early jump training.
In teaching the Long Jump, a coach should emphasize a
consistent approach that builds to the greatest speed
that an athlete can
generate and still manage to jump correctly without decelerating, collapsing at
the take-off, or succumbing to forward rotation. The sprint position into the
jump transition should be tall upright, and relaxed. The approach run should be
a controlled sprint with almost bounding strides.
One of the most difficult tasks in Track & Field is
performing the penultimate stride
of the Long Jump correctly. Here, the
athlete attempts to change body position without losing sprint speed. Executing
this maneuver well requires considerable strength and power. The goal of the
from approach to take-off is to lower the center of mass
during the penultimate stride
in order to create both upward and outward
impulse at take-off. Teaching the jump transition to novices is crone best by
stressing the rhythm of the jump. Short approach jumps, or pop-ups, which focus
on the flat-flat
rhythm of the last two foot-strikes are helpful.
The jumper must accelerate through the short approach. The flat-flat rhythm
should not be the result of gathering or decelerating into the jump.
In the Triple Jump, rhythm
is also emphasized in
teaching beginners. Here, the jump transition is deemphasized, while the
rhythmic flow from one jump to another is stressed. Young triple jumpers should
spend a lot of time doing multiple jumps in the form of rhythm plyometrics. Such
drills develop both rhythm and specific jumping strength. Begin by having
novices learn to do standing and 3-5 stride triple jumps emphasizing technique
and even rhythm. As sound triple jumping fundamentals are learned, you can
gradually increase the length and speed of the approach. Forcing the athlete to
learn Triple Jump technique with a full speed approach is an invitation to both
frustration and injury.
THE APPROACH RUN
The aim of the approach runs for the Long Jump and Triple
Jump is to generate the maximum amount of speed which can be converted
effectively into a jump. The acceleration of the approach must be gradual,
rhythmic, and controlled. An all-out uncontrolled sprint into the take-off
results in a poor Jump.
The length of the approach should be 12-18 strides for high
school athletes. The exact number depends on the strength and speed of the
athlete. Faster and more developed runners will be able to utilize a longer
run-up. Your athlete should use a stationary start to achieve consistent foot
placement at take-off. Jogging or skipping into the approach is not recommended
for high school athletes. Fouling at take-off is a waste of training and
preparation time. Most run-up problems originate in the first 3 strides of the
acceleration. Continual practice of the approach will ensure consistency and
accuracy at the take-off board. A coach's check mark placed four strides
from the board
can be useful in evaluating the run-up during practice,
but should not be used in actual competition.
Developing the approach and its rhythm is often done
better on the track
than the jump runway. Practicing the approach on the
track removes the distraction of the take-off board and landing pit and allows
the young jumper to focus on learning rhythmic acceleration and achieving good
body position at the take-off. When the athlete has learned these skills
sufficiently, transfer the approach onto the jump runway.
The approach itself is a gradual acceleration to the greatest
speed the athlete can convert into the jump. Since horizontal velocity is the
greatest contributor to distance in the Long and Triple Jumps, much training
should focus on increasing the athlete's sprint speed and ability to convert
that speed into a well-executed jump. Over the last 4-6 strides, the jumper
should be running at nearly full speed with an upright body position and
high-knee lift. The athlete should be running tall
and relaxed. The
stride at this point may even have a bounding quality to it. This approach speed
and running posture puts the athlete in position to jump with a minimum loss of
speed. When a coach notices a decrease in speed in the final strides of the
approach, the run-up is either too long or the athlete has accelerated too
quickly and cannot maintain that speed throughout the approach. In the final
strides, the athlete should attempt to increase his or her stride turnover and
accelerate into the jump while maintaining this tall sprint position.
THE LONG JUMP
The most difficult aspect of the Long Jump is performing the
transition into the take-off of the jump. In the penultimate stride, the body's
center of mass must be lowered in order to attain optimum position for the
take-off. This must be done with an absolute minimum loss of speed. The hips are
lowered slightly through a longer stride that is the result of a powerful drive
and a full-footed, or flat
landing on the foot. Care must be taken to
ensure that the longer penultimate stride is not the result of reaching with the
foot or gathering in preparation for the jump. It should be the result of drive
and accelerated turnover.
The take-off stride is shorter and quicker than the previous
stride. Upper body position remains upright and relaxed even though the center
of mass has been lowered slightly. Upon contact of the foot ending the
penultimate stride, the free leg pulls through quickly, creating a pulling
sensation. The leg should be pulled through fast and lower than
previous strides of the approach. This action puts the body in good position for
achieving extension and vertical impulse off the board.
As the take-off foot contacts the board, the shoulders should
be slightly behind the hips with the leg extended almost fully, about 170
degrees. The contact of the foot is full-footed
horizontal velocity into vertical lift more efficiently. The athlete must not
reach for the board with the takeoff foot. This overextends, or blocks, the
foot, which may increase vertical impulse, but also reduces horizontal velocity.
When coaching young jumpers, it is often helpful to have them envision
running off the board
and accelerating into the take-off. Doing so helps
to eliminate overextension of the take-off leg on the final stride.
Upon contact of the take-off foot, the jump is initiated with
the free leg and opposite arm driving forward and upward, fast and forcefully.
The foot of the free leg should be pulled through above the knee of the support
leg in order to preserve horizontal velocity throughout the jump. The jump, or
extension, of the take-off leg should be as fast and explosive as possible.
(Actually, a great deal of the jump impulse
will result from the
powerful eccentric contraction that follows the absorption of the last stride.)
The drive leg and opposite arm block (stop abruptly) as the thigh comes parallel
to the ground and the hand comes to eye level. When executed properly, most of
the vertical lift in the Long Jump results from the drive of the free leg, not a
concerted effort to jump up. The feel of the take-off should be both forward and
up. The stride off the take-off board should be a continuation of the approach.
As stated earlier, the path of the jumper's center of mass is
determined once the athlete leaves the ground. Nonetheless, the athlete can
substantially influence the distance of the jump through his or her technique
while in the air. The purpose of in-flight arm and leg action is to counteract
forward rotation, maintain balance, and put the jumper into the optimum position
at landing with the feet extended well beyond the athlete's center of mass. Long
jumpers should adopt the in-flight technique which best preserves the speed
established during run-up, while enabling them to land efficiently.
Recommended Resources UK
Winning Jumps and Pole Vault
Recommended Resources USA