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Assigning a jumper a "starting mark" is where it all begins. This is an essential part of training a jumper because it provides them with a location to start the approach that will give them the best opportunity to jump a qualifying jump (hit the board). Finding the mark can be quite difficult so take your time and collaborate with your athletes consistently to check for comfort, understanding, etc.
Numerous Things to Think About!
Finding an approach takes time, patience, and a great deal of reflection to start the season. Coaches and athletes need to solidify the starting technique they've chosen to utilize, determine how the setup for that start can be done consistently every time, and what foot to jump off of. Once this information has been decided upon, athletes and coaches need to determine how many steps an athlete should us in his/her approach and practice numerous backwards approaches in hopes of finding a consistent number.
In my book, "Long Jump & Triple Jump: From the Ground Up" I provide readers with a progressive approach drill protocol that helps determine the number of steps, how to run backwards approaches, and what to do if athletes are struggling to find consistency. Check it out today!
During a season's worth of time, an athlete has the potential to change quite a bit. Some may get faster (don't expect too many high school coaches), stronger, better conditioned, and/or mentally stronger. When these changes happen the athlete may or may not have changed his/her ability to perform the approach to a better extent. I spend a great deal of my overall practice time "assessing" marks and working on approaches so that NO jumps are wasted while we are competing. The athletes that work deserve to hit that board every time!
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