Long and Triple has been a dream of mine for years. Now, the site is up and helping coaches and athletes from all over the world! My dreams for this site are coming true, and it's an amazing feeling!
But, my goals are continually growing. My hunger hasn't been quenched with visits from Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and Australia (to name a few). I want to help more. I want to be part of something larger. I want this site and the various forms of resources I'm creating to help an even larger number of people!
An experience this past weekend cemented that need (from coaches and athletes) and my desire to meet that need only grew!
Please read through my story to find out how you can help me not only achieve that dream, but to also assist others as I am.
On Saturday I was asked to do a triple jump training session with an athlete from out of town. We have worked together in the past, but this was the first time we've worked together during the season. She has been jumping good overall numbers, but wanted to get some advice on how to maximize her distance.
I first started by assessing her hop leg. I wanted to ensure she was using the correct leg at takeoff. I did this simply by putting out a box and having her do single leg jumps (and landings) onto the box. After seeing her do the drill from each leg I came to the conclusion that she was using the proper takeoff foot.
After that we worked on the rotation she had performed jumping up to the box with speed (without the box). The first phase is all about the proper takeoff leg rotation. This is extremely difficult and something many kids simply aren't comfortable doing. This discomfort comes from the unnatural feeling of the rotation, and the large amounts of force that accompany it. Many are unable to physically perform it due to a lack of necessary strength.
We weren't able to perfect the takeoff leg rotation, but that wasn't the point. I simply wanted to introduce her to that idea so that she could slowly build trust (and strength) to perform the proper movement in her own time.
Her rotation is good, but as she understands how to use it properly she could add as much as 3-4 feet (to the step phase) in her current physical condition (which would be HUGE).
Once the rotation was discussed and worked on, we focused on getting the hop phase properly connected to the step phase. I like to do this by using banana hurdles as barriers to jump over. This is where I noticed her main needs as a jumper - the connection to the step phase, and the step phase itself.
This is very common and plagues a LARGE percentage of the triple jump community.
A gentleman I have corresponded with is writing an entire book about this phase alone - it's significance and difficulty are extreme when it comes to the triple jump!
We worked on using the takeoff leg rotation properly, and discussed how the non-takeoff leg (the one behind the body) should assist in the step phase. She made some progress, but again, things weren't perfected by the end of our session. This will take time to sink in, but I have nothing but faith that she will start making better "connections" moving forward.
After that was done, the athlete asked me about the jump phase and how to properly end in the sand (upon landing). I asked her how she currently lands, and found out that everything she does has been created using instinct alone - she's never been taught how to land...
At that point I took her through a standing long jump progression:
1. Standing long jump with a "athletic" landing and 2 second freeze.
2. Step one, with a slow and controlled dropping to the butt
3. Steps one and two put together without the "athletic" landing and freezing.
The big thing here was to teach her how to properly rotate her upper body to stay in control throughout the entirety of the jump phase. I connected that drill to the chair landing drill, and showed her a few videos for further instruction.
By the end she was really seeming to understand the landing, and was excited to try it out during her next competition.
This is where this article comes into play...
She told me in our little bit of time together that she trusts me and feels lucky to have gotten to train together. She said that her coaches had never taught her how to land properly, and that in our 1.5 hour session she was seeing things very differently.
This wasn't a knock on her coaches by any means, but it shows how truly difficult this event is. As well, it shows how little many truly know about. This doesn't just stop with her coaches - it's everywhere.
I talk with athletes and coaches all the time that have severe misunderstandings about the triple jump. It is a complex "beast" of a jump that is extremely hard to perform. Even collegiate-level jumpers don't know how to properly perform it and are bragging about jumps that were clearly short of their potential...
So why the post? How does this connect with building an even larger reach?
If you've been reading my posts I ask that you share them. I ask that you communicate their importance/strength/validity to every coach you know. Help me to drive as much traffic to this site as possible.
Help me, help others. Retweet every meet update and practice plan. Share every Facebook post you can with others that may be interested.
As well, email me true concerns you have regarding the long and triple jumps. The more I get from coaches, the more I can answer in my upcoming book.
Lastly, if you know athletes that want private sessions let me know! I will give you part of the proceeds if that motivates you. I simply want to help as many as possible, while continuing to learn myself!
Let's build something special here - together.
Thanks for your dedication to my posts it means a great deal. As well, thank you for becoming part of a community that is dedicated to the jumps, and wants to learn more. We are truly on to something special here.
- Coach Ewing