Updated: Apr 1, 2019
Yesterday I was unable to attend practice due to parent-teacher conferences.
It was another speed day, so the jumpers got an extra large amount of time to work on approaches and board consistency.
Looking over our performances from the first three meets I realized we have gotten better every meet in regards to boards hit since we made this change. If your athletes are having difficulty hitting boards simply spend more time on it at practice. Here are a few other suggestions to help you or your team develop better lane "steering":
1.) Commit roughly 70% of your practice time to approaches. The more the better from an experience standpoint.
2.) Know that every day is a new and different day than the last. This means that an athlete may need to move a shoe up one day and a shoe back another.
3.) Watching for inconsistencies in their movements is what is the key to making them more consistent.
4.) Although they may need to move a shoe up/back don't move them large distances as this will only hamper their approach experience. At most, athletes (in my opinion) should only move 1-2 total shoes from their mark during a practice session. This may be different at meets due to weather conditions, adrenaline, etc. so be aware of those factors.
5.) Never show discouragement when they can't hit a board. If you don't look worried they won't/shouldn't be worried.
After approaches the kids worked on the standing long jump landing progression I've discussed in a previous post. Landings are the one area the jumpers haven't gotten better in, and that is why we dedicated a large amount of our practice time to it this week. This will continue into the foreseeable future unless they start showing a better understand of how to land properly. This is simply the stage we're in, and will gladly stay focused on landings until we don't need to anymore.
We are having a "Lactic Acid" day tomorrow. These days are used at practice to mimic a meet, and to build our athletes' lactic tolerance. On these days we push them HARD. At the jumps pit we will be having our first official jumps competition day. I'll put the board in for the first time this year, and have the kids go toe-to-toe. I'm pretty excited to see what a few of them will do!
Each will only jump 2-3 total times, but this could answer a lot of questions that are still lingering about who will round out of varsity spots moving forward!