Indoor Practice Ideas
Living in a state like Wisconsin can make things extremely challenging! There are seasons where we don't practice outside until the third or fourth week; and by that time a third of the season has passed. Yikes! Below you'll find ideas to help you and your team battle the elements and still hold meaningful jumps practices even without a runway and sandpit.
Option 1 - Use a high jump mat!
There are COUNTLESS drills you can do if you have a high jump mat and the necessary space. I use a large number of indoor drills to start my season every year, and generally don't jump most of the jumpers outdoors until absolutley necessary. I don't have a list of the various drills I use, but if you are looking for one please let me know! To give you a visual I have included a few examples below.
LONG JUMP EXAMPLE
This is a great drill for indoors because athletes get to complete an entire long jump without the need of a pit! There are two boxes at the edge to help with the takeoff (one 6" and one 12"). The entirery of the jump from the start to the landing can be practiced indoors!
TRIPLE JUMP EXAMPLE
This is a drill that works on the hop-to-step connecion, and the power needed to pull off a proper step phase. The focus here isn't on the hop phase as much as it is on the athlete's ability to powerfully jump up and over the front edge of the high jump mat.
Option 2 - The Pool
Every school out there differs. I know. If you're lucky enough to have a pool on school premises (or close by) I highly recommend using it! The pool gives athletes a natural resistance that is great for plyometric movements. As well, the water's ability to soften the blow of repeated landings is absolutely perfect for jumpers! Before moving on though, here are a few suggestions.
1.) For most plyometrics you want to make sure your athletes are in the shallow end of the pool. The deeper they go, the more likely they are to losing the proper form/explosiveness (thus it will be pointless).
2.) Make things as fun as possible. If you look at the background of this page you'll see that another coach and I are using pool noodles to challenge our athletes to jump up to and over differing noodle heights. They LOVE this drill. Make it a contest! Nothing like pitting competitive boys against one another (HA!).
Each year I pull specific drills from the resources that are provided below to meet the needs of my jumpers. No two seasons are alike in the pool. I recommend after clicking below that you simply use the resources as ideas and not set-in-stone routines. Change things up to your team's needs as you see fit.
Use a gymnastics location!
In the district I currently coach for, the gymnastics team practices in a facility that is off the high school grounds. Because of this I have a "jumpers party" each year where I take my jumpers to a local gymnastics business to enjoy the many jumper-friends resources they have. This has been one of the most beneficial and fun experiences of coaching career and the kids really enjoy it! If you have the ability to use gymnastic specific mats/materials on school grounds I highly recommend it! Below are a few resources I have used to help my athletes make the most of our time when working out at a gymnastics location.
The ideas are very specific to the location we go to, and are constantly in flux due to our changing needs. Take what works for you!
This is a simple suggestion sheet as to what my athletes need to focus on while there.
This is a map of the location we go to, and the suggested drills for each area.