Tonight was an X-factor day. We had athletes doing whole-body conditioning/explosive movements to best build them as athletes.
At my station I did one-legged hops up to a soft plyo box (switching feet every time they performed a jump). At Coach Boberg's station the athletes did ladder drills. At Coach Block's station the athletes did a vertical jump competition. At Coach Maughan's station athletes worked on wickets and the "boom-boom" drill. Overall, a really great set of conditioning drills that the athletes performed admirably at!
What I LOVE about doing X-factor drills is the ability to watch athletes perform dynamic/explosive movements that will impact their long and triple jumps and give feedback when/where it is needed. For instance, last night I was watching one of my triple jumpers that is currently struggling to figure out the hop phase (jump leg) rotation to set herself up properly for the second phase. As I watched her perform her one-legged hops up to the plyo box I realized she was rotating much better with her right leg than she was with her left leg. So, after practice I had her stick around for a little while and perform some jogging triple jumps to see the difference. Her right rotated a great deal better than her left and may be the change she needed to make BIG gains in the near future - we'll see.
After X-factor was completed we (as a jumps crew) focused on landings. We went down to our school's cafeteria, rolled out the mats we generally use for triple jump, put some chairs down, and got to work.
The first thing I did was to show them how to properly perform the landing drill. I went through it step-by-step and discussed the importance and purpose of every movement I made. Afterwards, the coaches and I had them spread out into groups and perform the drill while we observed their execution and understanding.
This was our BIG focus of the day because most jumpers had difficulty landing properly during our all-team meet on Tuesday.
As I watched, I realized that the athletes were going to need more explanation than simply doing the chair landing drill if they hoped to fix their landings before upcoming competitions.
So, I asked the other coaches to take over while I ran to an nearby office and got some paper and a pen. When I returned I asked all jumpers to surround me while I sat at a table and began to draw what is covered in the video above (make sure to watch it - it's a good one today!).
Yesterday's landing sessions were probably the BEST we've ever had as a group. The greatest part about it was we didn't even have to step foot outside, and there was little/no pounding on their bodies so it served a double-purpose (technique and recovery).
Due to yesterday's canceled meet and an unplanned practice I'm not completely sure what today's focus is. We have another X-factor day planned, but I bet we'll focus mostly on speed. There's even the chance that we'll have our athletes not competing on Saturday do a lactic acid workout.
Either way, jumpers will be working on short approach takeoffs and landings to put everything we did today into action!