Tonight was an X-factor day. A lot of really great explosive movements were used/tested.
I started off practice working with the triple jumpers. I had them perform the first phase with 70-80% speed over a banana hurdle and had them focus most of their attention on the non-jump leg and it's proper rotation. Once they started getting the hang of that we added the proper takeoff leg rotation. This was the first time they've done this kind of work at the pits, and they seemed to really enjoy it. We still have a long way to go, but there were some great "wins" tonight! An athlete I've been trying to help with the proper non-jump leg rotation since last year did it numerous times tonight!!! We'll be focusing our attention on the takeoff leg rotation now moving forward - which I am very excited about!
After we completed our triple work, we moved on to our X-factor work.
For my station I had my first jump-related "contest" this season. The contest was a depth drop from an 18" box followed by a two-footed long jump. At first we had kids doing it on the track, but quickly realized (after a few slips) that we needed to perform the long jumps into the sand pit. Should have thought of this sooner, but you live and learn.
Some kids really stood out! I'll be posting their pictures later today (top 3) to my Twitter account.
After the X-factor competition I did short approach jumps with my athletes. Too often long jumpers (especially) just "muscle" jumps. They don't perform the proper takeoff, and simply believe that their God-given ability will help them to succeed. As well, too many coaches let them. So, to help my athletes better understand the flat-footed contacts needed in the last two steps I had them do three step approaches/takeoffs with the last to steps being flat. At first, many of them struggled with the rhythm of the drill. The younger and inexperienced athletes spent the entire time working from that three step approach, while the experienced veteran athletes got a little time from a farther distance (with more speed).
Just know, if athletes can't control the proper takeoff at lower speeds, they'll never be able to do it at higher speeds! My younger inexperienced athletes will probably spend the next couple of weeks on 3-step short approach/jumps. The experienced veteran athletes will only stay or move farther from the pit if they continue to show an understanding and execution of the proper takeoff. If they don't, I'll be moving them back up to the same point they lesser-experienced athletes are.
Everything must be progressive in nature!
We have a recovery day tomorrow. The athletes not competing tomorrow in Ripon will be experiencing a "lactic acid day" while the competitors will be doing stretching, rolling out, and RPR. The triple jumpers not competing will be continuing their work on the first phase.