Today was a scheduled speed day. I generally do approaches on these days, but kids have been hitting their approaches at practice quite consistently. The only approach issues we have are during competitions - kids need to learn how to mirror the same comfort they experience at practice while at meets.
So, instead of doing approaches we continued to work on our landings. Day 25's session was so transformative in my mind that I wanted to build upon it's successes and continue to teach our athletes how to properly land.
This time, we took the jumpers outside. We put down two chairs on one side of the pit, and left the other side open for short approach jumps with landings. The kids did AMAZINGLY well! Their understanding of proper angles and execution were wonderful!
When you see a kid land awkwardly and instantly see a look of recognition of why they landed that way it's a good day! This happened numerous times throughout our practice!
One of our best performers of the day was a FRESHMAN. He landed improperly a number of times, but had the drive and determination to keep going. When I asked that groups switch from chairs to short approach jumps (and visa versa) he begged me to get one more attempt before transitioning. I gave the "OK" and he performed a beautiful landing. The look in his eyes when he landed was priceless - he knew he'd done it well and was extremely proud of himself (just like his coach).
When a freshmen walks away understand a very complex part of the jump you know you're doing something right!
We have another speed day planned before another meet on Tuesday. Approaches will be our focus!