Today I started with doing a one-on-one RPR session with one of our varsity athletes. She has been experiencing some leg pain/tightness in her hamstring. She is competing this weekend at the WTFA meet in Whitewater, WI so I wanted to have her "reset" herself to see if that would help. We spent nearly 20 minutes going through the routine I created for the team, and gradually worked our way through not just the hamstring but also the quad, hip flexors, abdominals, neck, and ankle stability. By the end Ashley was feeling better but wasn't 100%. I do believe in RPR, but I feel it can only be partially effective when athletes do it on themselves. The program calls for some very uncomfortable/painful moments where another person doing it to you would be more beneficial because they won't stop due to your pain. I think the program could be revolutionary, but we need to temper our expectations and never treat something like RPR as a "savior" program that will "fix all". I instructed Ashley to simply focus on 3 of the areas in which to reset over the next two days before the meet. I'll check in with her tomorrow and Saturday before she competes. I am hoping that by then she will feel that the program has done it's job in resetting her hamstring and lower chain to the point where there's no pain/tightness.
After my RPR session with Ashley I took my jumpers (who were with the sprint coaches at the beginning of practice) outdoors to work on some pop-up drills and plyometrics. We started with a quick plyo session doing skipping for height, skipping for distance, and bounding in a 30 meter area. Each of these drills have been used multiple times this year and have strong merit in helping kids to understand the proper foot, knee, and arm actions when jumping.
After the plyos were done I had my athletes head over to a secondary high jump mat and work on flat-flat takeoffs into the mat. The focus at first was to simply pop up into the mat with no landings. The athletes needed to make sure their arms, posture, and knee drive was correct. By not landing they were also working on patience in the air. Many times patience is something that a large number of jumpers don't develop and it is extremely important.
This patience generally comes with more exposure to jumps and is (generally) developed over the course of a few years; but the hope is to teach it earlier in a low-impact way like the drill work we did today (video above).
Approaches and more landing work. Landing work is SO IMPORTANT and if done with low-impact drills it can be done almost daily with kids!