Day 28 was a recovery day due to our meet on Tuesday. We had kids perform RPR, and gave them time to go over film from the meet.
The male jumpers and I went over three videos together and discussed the various positives and negatives of each video to give them a better understanding of the proper takeoff and flight needed to maximize distance.
I've been good at "teaching" my athletes in the past, but for some reason I feel I've really taken things to the next level this season.
Let me explain...
Last week we did a session on landings and I drew a pictures to better illustrate proper takeoff angles so they understood how to best set themselves up for a correct landing. Since then, most of our kids are jumping much better and more confidently when focusing on angles alone.
Yesterday, I showed them three videos (which I've added below) and went through each focusing takeoff and flight. The kids have gotten so much better at angles and landings, but they are still (up until now) not understanding how their takeoff can positively and negatively effect the flight and landing.
Video 1: This is one I posted yesterday, but is one I'd like to revisit.
If you watch closely, Blake has near perfect takeoff posture (chest up, eyes up, continues his sprint form, etc.). This upright body posture is something so many kids are struggling with. They either take a long last step to "load" for the jump, or they take a long last step in anticipation of the board (trying to hit it). Blake doesn't do that in this video. His last step is a tad long, but overall very good in the larger picture. There are a few things we still need to clean up (and he knows that), but his overall jump was fantastic!
Video 2: This is a jumper that leans backwards at the board. He is in his first year and is still learning how to properly long jump; but what you'll see in this video is something that a large number of experienced jumps (high school, college, etc.) also do.
If you slow the speed down at pause it at the moment he contacts the board you'll see that his back is arched and that his body is leaning away from the board. When this happens the ability to perform a proper takeoff angle is diminished greatly. It also put him in a position to be leaning backwards while in flight, and this resulted in an improper landing (butt came down way behind his first contact with the sand).
Video 3: This is a mix of the first two videos. The jumper takes off at a near perfect angle and has wonderful body posture.
Once he was in flight though, he worried too much about the landing and extended his feet/heels out as far as possible without thinking about his upper body.
Due to this, he became nearly parallel to the ground and landed quite roughly on his back. Basically stated, a backwards lean at any point during a long/triple jump will result in a smaller jump than anticipated.
While going over these videos I was overjoyed to see a lot of boys shaking their heads in agreement/understanding as I discussed the proper takeoff posture and why many of them scratched their jumps or jumped smaller than desired numbers. They seemed to "get it". The last time this happened was the flight and landing drawing from earlier, and since then the coaches and I have been extremely happy with their landings at competitions.
My hope is that once they better understand the posture at the board, they will start performing a proper flight phase that leads to even better landings.
It's a process - it takes time!
We have a meet scheduled but I'm pretty sure it's going to get cancelled due to weather. My hope is that we can get in the pool instead and I can share a fun pool workout idea with you. Check back tomorrow!