Long Jump Drills
On the track mark out with tape or cones, the normal run up distance used in competition. The athlete should perform the run up as normal and the take-off foot should be monitored for accuracy to the take-off tape/cone. The objective of the drill is to ingrain the athlete's mind with the speed, feel and rhythm of the run up.
During the time between foot strike and take-off, the jumper must apply forces to the ground in such a way to conserve the horizontal velocities, generated in the approach run, while optimising vertical velocity. Therefore, to maximise flight distance the take-off actions must be precisely timed and coordinated.
The following four drills will help the athlete exert some control over the variables that will determine the magnitude and direction of the angular momentum generated at take-off. The objective of the drills is to ingrain the athlete's mind with the correct motor patterns necessary to execute a successful take-off.
The power position simulates the position of the body immediately after foot strike
The slight knee flexion is achieved as a result of lowering the body's centre of mass in the final 3 steps before take-off which allows the jumper to generate maximum vertical momentum.
Positioning the body for take-off
Often an athlete will bend at the waist on take-off - this will be eliminated if the athlete tilts their pelvic girdle upward placing it in line with the spine in the final 5 strides from take-off
Developing Vertical Lift
Timing and coordination
The instructions for this drill assume the right leg is forward in the power position
Five stride jumps into the pit
Using a Five stride-controlled run in perform the "take-off drill", detailed above, landing in the pit in the blocking position.
Focus on the final three strides
Nine or eleven stride jumps into the pit
Using a nine or eleven stride-controlled run in focus on the:
A take-off board can be used to provide the extra height to allow additional time for the athlete to focus on the flight phase technique
The number of times each drill is performed, and which drills are conducted in a session will depend on the athlete's ability. The focus has to be on quality not quantity so allow plenty of recovery time between each jump.
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