|THE APPROACH RUN |
CONTINUING FROM LAST WEEK
How does the jumper accomplish an accurate approach? This is a problem that all coaches and their jumpers have. It appears to never go away and I get many emails asking how can coaches ensure that their jumpers do not continually foul out or jump from well behind the board.
So here are some tips from Randy Huntington:
Practice! Practice! Practice!Practice!Practice!Practice!
Consistency of Stride Pattern – loads of statistics out there that show that it is nigh on impossible to guarantee that all the strides in the approach run remain the same for every approach run over a jumpers career. So this is a component that must be consatntly practiced and rehearsed. All the phases of the approach run must be worked on. The start over the first 5/6 strides should be looked at with great detail. If a jumper is ‘lazy’ over these first few strides then the mid phase and attack to the board will be comprimised. I work hard with my jumpers on the start. The big question is do you have a walk/jog on or adopt a static start? I have favoured a static start for the younger jumpers until they have more experience.
THIS TOPIC WILL BE LOOKED AT NEXT WEEK
Accumulation of Errors – for every error the jumper makes over the first 6 strides will have that knock on effect and the jumper will have to make several adjustments as he/she nears the board. Youngsters are unable to do this on a consistent basis and is possibly one of the major reasons that they fail to find the board and foul out. I have often stated the fact that the approach run is a complex serial skill amd must be treated as such.
I liked this analogy from Randy: The long jump approach run is a dance – You are on a stage so you MUST choreograph your approach
Adjusting the position of their measured start mark. We need to spend a great deal of time practicing this under a variety of conditions. I have my jumpers ‘move’ their check mark backwards and forwards during a session. They still MUST attempt to hit the board. They must develop spatial awareness and be able to make minor adjustments to body positioning and running action earlier in the approach run rather than 3 to 4 strides from the board.
Accuracy (Visual Control/Steering)
As they approach the board they modify their stride pattern to hit the board accurately.
Use of oversize board (different colors) for a time to help the athlete adapt to visual control and overcome the fear of fouling.
This is a subconscious event!
In the absence of an oversize board I enscribe a 1 metre chalk circle from which they take off from [actually I’ve never seen an oversize board!]
The moment they begin their approach run they are attempting to run in a STRAIGHT LINE to the boad. You’ve only got to have a few of the strides containing unwanted lateral movements and the chances of missing the board are hightened. I sometimes place a white chalked line right up the centre of the approach run. Jumpers have to be able to ‘steer’ up the runway.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
|TRIPLE JUMP ‘JUMP’ DEVELOPMENT|
Spent a few hours on Thursday morning working with a 19 year old triple jumper who I expect to jump beyond 15mts this summer. He told me that he had never been shown how to land from the jump phase. Up until that morning he always landed virtually upright and was possibly losing 50cms.
So we spent over an hour on developing:
‘the long low hop – the ‘bound’ – ending with a split and pull ‘
A lot of empahsis was placed on ensuring that he was running into the hop phase as opposed to preparing to hop. I consider the hop phase to be an extension of the approach run. The take-off angle into the hop phase being crucial.
It was slow patient work but at the end of this specific drills session I had him taking the speed in to the hop and then utilising that speed throughout the remaining phases AND he was able to take off effectively from the step landing into an efficient landing position.
I shall elaborate on the details of the this skilled practice next week………….
All for this week
Have a Happy Easter,
Hey Nigel,Love your letters they are great, and I´m glad to hear people are listening to you in B´ham….. Margrethe Renstrøm finally set a new Norwegian record of 6.64m last summer and went to the World finals. She had 60% plus of her competition jumps as fouls due to her aggressive approach in previous years. Also her final stride used to be too long causing problems. A bag full of drills daily helped…. Its been years since I´ve seen or heard any coach actually touch upon the real reasons for approach variation. Keep pushing and maybe it will dawn on them… In 99-2000 I was working daily under Dr F-X Li at B´ham uni on standard deviation (SD) of foot strikes with data from all over the world from Carl Lewis to non athletes. Strangely about 1 in 200 people will run like robots with no SD in toe to board distance when long jumping…. This does not mean they are good at hitting the board. It just means they have no SD.
Understanding this gait regulation system in humans is crucial in developing learning paradigms for coaches. Stride length is regulated by air time between foot contacts. I.e. tempo and rhythm, you need too ´feel´the rhythm to ´enjoy´ the ride. Stride air time is regulated by vertical impulse of the foot strike. Time to contact to an object (take-off board) is calculated by the rate of radial expansion of two points on the object within the visual field. I use two bright cones on the edges of the board.
SO a strong connection needs to be made, in the athletes mind, between the rate of expansion of the cones and the vertical pressure of each stride.
The ´zeroing in´on the board only happens during the last 7 strides, so consistently the start mark position has little baring on the take-off point. I use a 4 stride from the board mark in competition warm up. Take an average from a load of run through´s. Some times the officals won´t notice, and leave it there during competition. The athlete is trying to hit the board and not the 4th marker as that is strictly for me only. I instruct the athlete to move the start mark forward or back relative to their foot placement on the 4th mark, NOT THE BOARD. I have had a lot of success with this technique. I will be fascinated to find out what you think of this approach and my thinking.
I tell the athletes that your mind is like a parachute, if its not open it will not work!
Keep up the good work Nigel, I´m following.