Updated: Apr 1, 2019
Tonight was a recovery night. I generally try to avoid any "pounding" on these kinds of nights, but I really wanted to work with my triple jumpers on the first two phases.
I set up two lines. In one line I put out a smaller banana hurdle for phase one, and a 12" banana hurdle for phase two. In the other line I put a smaller banana hurdle for phase one and an 18" hurdle for phase two. I did this so athletes could "differentiate" to their own personal needs.
The kids looked GREAT doing "connection drills!
One thing they still need to work on is the proper rotation of the takeoff leg. This has been a struggle thus far this season, and so I changed things up a little bit halfway through. I took away the larger banana hurdles and put down a piece of tape (on the ground - roughly 3-4 feet from the smaller banana hurdle) instead. I asked them to focus on rotating their takeoff leg to land on the tape. A few light bulbs went on after that, and some kids did seemed to transform. It was great to see!
A few kids were grimacing during our time together so I kept it incredibly short this time around. I wanted to give them the normal "two practices a week" routine before our outdoor meets begin next week. As of right now I have them scheduled to also do triple on Friday but will reassess as that time comes.
After we were done, athletes went straight into the recovery day routine and did RPR with the rest of the team.
Kids didn't seem to be as focused this time around when doing RPR. I think the novelty of it is wearing off and many of them have simply gotten used to the "craziness" that is the RPR routine. As well, athletes still aren't understanding what it means to truly "dig/push/rub/chop" spots we are showing them as many of them are smiling through the routine when they should be showing signs of discomfort.
Once RPR was done Coach Block (our pole vault coach) had them do some visualization work, and had a long discussion afterwards about the importance of visualizing and watching film. His discussion was right on point. Watching yourself from a spectator's point of view, and seeing everything happen from a first-person perspective is a great way to help train your brain to better understand the jump and prepare for success.
This is something many kids simply don't understand or find incredibly goofy. The unfortunate side to that is that visualization is incredible and truly transforms those that give it the time and dedication it deserves. Just recently I talked with a prior athlete and she admitted that in high school she didn't try visualization very much. In that same discussion she said that her indoor season this year was her best yet because she spent more time than ever on visualization and positive self-talk.
To follow that up, I thought it would be a great day to do some film study! So, the boy long jumpers and I watched some landing videos that I have compiled on my Google Drive and on YouTube. The ones that I have downloaded onto my Drive are of ones I truly feel are worthy of watching. The ones I brought up on YouTube was a mixed-bag. Just because there are jumping videos on YouTube doesn't mean they are good. If you are using visuals to help your athletes better understand an event, make sure they are watching someone perform it well and not learning poor mechanics.
The YouTube video work was great. I put things in slow motion and had a discussion with them at the end of every jump. There were some great landings, and there were some terrible landings. They were able to decipher between these, and did very well at explaining why. This was their first step in better understanding how to land properly and I was very happy with how much they picked up in a short period of time.
After we were done breaking down videos, we went to the field house to work on the "chair landing drill". This is BY FAR the best landing drill out there (in my opinion). We still have a long way to go in executing the proper movements, but they did pretty good for the first time. The drill can be found on YouTube - check it out (it's by Cameron Gary).
Approaches for our "speed day". I won't be at practice so the athletes will need to be self sufficient!