Mental Training (in my opinion) is the most important kind of training when it comes to athletics. The sad thing is that mental training is also the most ignored aspect of training. This is especially true at the high school level where athletes need it the most due to their overall inexperience and lesser knowledge of the jumps. The information below is not only for the jumps, but can be used in everyday life and be tailored to fit almost any situation.
1 minute of visual work equals 7 minutes of training!
The brain is the driving force behind all we do. If the brain truly understands something, why do we need to pound our bodies in training to see results? One of the first things I do is instruct athletes to start watching as much video as possible to help them visually understand what must happen in a long and/or triple jump. I do this by directing them to my YouTube channel, and share videos I've broken down with them so they can both see and hear an in-depth look at the jumps. The gains I've seen (time and time again) from an athlete simply spending a small portion of their night watching videos is truly amazing. If you are a coach, I highly recommend rethinking your approaches to training to include more mental/visual work so that kids can stay both healthy and motivated as the season progresses.
Mental strength is EXTRA crucial when heading into big meets.
For years I have seen kids attend the state meet for the first time and become completely overwhelmed by the 20,000+ fans and the enormity of the meet. Below you will find two different resources that I've used to help my athletes mentally prepare for "the craziness". The first one is a 360 degree video of our state meet so they can see the mass number of spectators. The second is a video I created for one of my 2018 state jumpers that I personalized to meet her needs heading into the meet.
Make it a routine!
A few years ago I took everything I've learned about 'mental toughness' and put together this a routine for my athletes. This is something even I struggle to implement as much as I would like, but I can promise you that the most successful athletes are generally the ones that are able to fight through mental weaknesses. Use this routine as you see fit - I promise you won't be disappointed!