Today we continued our takeoff progression by adding some other focuses. So far, all we've really focused on is the flat-flat contacts and the knee drive that needs to happen at takeoff. Today, we added the proper arm movements while doing an actual jump into a high jump mat. To this point I've done drills that discussed arm movements, but that was happening while we were working on the "walking takeoffs".
If you look at the picture above (which I cannot take credit for - thank you Google images) you'll see the proper knee and arm placements needed for a long jump takeoff. The knee is at 90 degrees, the opposite arm is driven to 90 degrees, and the other arm is back behind the athlete. This is the ideal placement for the athlete to perform a proper flight and landing phases.
After this point, the athlete will bring her arm that is driven to 90 degrees back to mirror the other arm that is already back. From there they will go in unison up and over the head and forward to perform an "arm sweep". This needs to happen because it forces the legs to come up in preparation for the landing. Without the legs coming up properly the athlete will most likely perform a "squat landing" and lose a great deal of distance.
So, our focus today was simple. Continue the flat-flat, but know add the proper arm and knee placements while jumping up into a high jump mat.
I brought out an old mat we have in our shed, and put two boxes at the side to help with the flat-flat contacts. The boxes were a 6" and a 12" and are used to help athletes get more height to begin getting comfortable being in the air. All I wanted them to do today was pop like the female athlete in the picture above and land two-footed on the mat. I didn't get into the arm sweep too much, and I didn't have them do landings unless they were experienced jumpers that had already mastered the patience in air, the proper arm movements, the arm sweep, and the proper landing mechanics.
Outside of that drill today, I worked on some approaches and triple jump technique with jumpers competing tomorrow. I cannot wait for tomorrow's meet - we're going to compete VERY WELL. Watch for the updated meet results in my blog tomorrow!
I am leaving on spring break, and have already blogged my plans for next week. Let me know if you have any questions!