Today was an approach day. With so many jumpers I hadn't gotten numbers for about 75% of the team. I still don't have a large number of approach marks down, but after today we got a great deal closer to giving everyone on the team a starting mark!
The athletes started at sprints (like always), and worked on timed sprints and mechanics. We purchased a Freelap system this year, and the kids (and coaches) are LOVING it! The ability to get instant feedback and data is honestly amazing! We were able to have all times sorted by the end of practice! That information was extremely helpful as we were able to put together some meet lineups (using the data) right then and there!
After sprints the athletes either came to me or went to the weight room. When they were with me I had them partner up and discussed the importance of an approach. We discussed the consistency, the speed, the mechanics, etc; and I asked that each athlete got a minimum of 3 approaches done and recorded. I set up three tape measures and instructed them how to organize themselves so we could maximize our space/time. I then watched from a distance as a large number of athletes did their run throughs, and awaited them to come to me so I could record their results on my Chromebook.
I wasn't looking for an exact number today because it was extremely cold and windy. I simply wanted to find a number that was in the "neighborhood" of what their final mark will be. These athletes need to understand and learn how to be consistent even in cold weather, and today was a decent first step in that direction.
We discussed their jobs as athletes:
1.) Sprint at an all-out speed down the runway - AT ALL TIMES.
2.) Don't slow down, overthink, or stutter at any time!
3.) If I ask you to move back/up because your approach was off do it right away - DON'T FORGET!
4.) Don't even attempt to figure out your steps if something is off. There are too many factors that only I have the experience to determine. Find me or coach Cross right away and let us determine that for you!
Today was simply the first day the athletes really spent time outdoors working on explosive starts and approaches; and their work was great! Cold weather in Wisconsin is extremely unpredictable, and many times the first nice meet is at the state meet in early June! Working in cold weather is nobody's idea of fun but is a necessary step when you live where we do!
New triple jumpers will add some speed to the entire jump now that they know the phases. The veteran jumpers will begin working off the of roll out runways to start conditioning their legs to harsher landings. They will also be focusing on PUSHING out in the first phase properly because this still tends to be our kryptonite from time-to-time as a team (which is common on most teams).
The long jumpers are going to do an extremely intense plyometric pool session because it's another "lactate" day (which means a HARD workout that replicates what they'd experience at a meet). I generally wouldn't go in the pool on the lactate day, but since we have it and no one else is using it I thought I'd give it a try...
Check back tomorrow!