Last night we had our first home meet of the season vs. Beloit Memorial.
A large number of our athletes were not present due to this week being our spring break; but the kids that were present stepped up!
For as long as I can remember it's been the same beliefs - kids should go on vacation if able to, to spend quality time with their families. We don't preach that our sport is more important than creating memories and recovering from their rigorous personal, athletic, and student-based schedules they all face on a daily basis. Because of this, athletes that decide to continue practicing over break get an opportunity to show what they can do; and every year there are those that make a name for themselves during this week.
The biggest thing that stood out to me was that athletes are really starting to put things together when it comes to proper landings. They aren't perfect, but the growth we've witnessed this year in that area of focus is honestly impressive!
For years I've worked extremely hard on trying to put together the correct progression to teach landings. This year, I am extremely confident in saying we've finally figured it out!
As I watch athletes bail out on their landings and fall to the sand out of control I shake my head and hope that their coaches are working hard to fix those aspects of their jumps. Unfortunately, due to the difficulty of the landing many coaches DON'T fix their athlete's landings and simply allow them to land in a manner that could lead to injury.
When you spend time tirelessly researching how to teach landings and working on progressions you watch a kid do something like this:
The jump isn't perfect, but the technical movements of the arms and legs are on point! She landed a tad early, and didn't extend her legs as much as I would have liked, but this honestly may be the best technical jump I've ever seen a freshman do!
Our work is paying off. Our progressions are making an impact. Our tireless attention to detail is creating knowledgeable and technically sound jumpers. I couldn't be prouder of this group!
We are an extremely young and inexperienced team this season. Give us a few seasons of technical jumps like the one show in the video and these kids are going to be FORCES of nature at the pits!
REST OF THE WEEK:
We only have one more practice scheduled this week (Wednesday). After that, we have a meet on Thursday and no scheduled practice on Friday (Good Friday). The practice on Wednesday is optional and I don't think many jumpers will attend due to our meet.
Our focuses on Wednesday will be as follows:
2.) Ramp takeoffs - forces athletes to have proper upper body posture at takeoff
3.) Chair landing drill
4.) First two phases of the triple jump