As practice was about to begin today the heavens opened up and a great deal of rain came crashing down onto South Central Wisconsin. With the fact that our kids had just competed last night we wanted to keep things fairly simple and not push them into weather conditions that could be detrimental to their recovery. So, we drastically changed out original plans (approaches) and broke down film from the meet instead.
We sat down together in a classroom at school and began a breakdown session that involved me playing various videos and the athletes holding small group discussions about what the athlete did right and what was done wrong. As we watched numerous videos the athletes started picking up on things that I was unsure they'd catch. Their attention to detail is starting to develop! Hopefully this will lead to better personal understanding and bigger jumps moving forward for them.
We watched videos with good starts. We watched videos with poor sprint mechanics (which is something I think too many jump coaches simply put on their sprint coaches to fix - which I don't recommend). We watched videos of poor flat-flat takeoffs (simply striding to the board). We watched proper flight phase videos. We watched poor flight phase videos (with "flailing" in the air). We watched so many videos with discussion and reflection that by the end the athletes were confident in their assessments, and were showing excitement at the possibility of breaking down their own film with my "breakdown template".
Video breakdown days like this are common with sports like football and basketball, but track breakdowns are uncommon - this needs to change. Young athletes learn well visually and this is a GREAT way to help them better understand the proper mechanical and technical parts of the jumps.
Approach work! We have a meet on Tuesday and the kids need to be better prepared to battle the elements and be consistent in the lane!