PROBLEM SOURCES IN THE HIGH JUMP. Rick Attig. Blue Valley North High School

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1 PROBLEM SOURCES IN THE HIGH JUMP Rick Attig Blue Valley North High School Part of the challenge of mastering new skills in the high jump is uncovering the source of the problem. It is difficult to correct any problem without knowing why the athlete is having difficulty with the skill in the first place. Applying the 4 C s of learning is helpful but in order to prescribe the proper cues and drills we must know the source of the technical flaws. In my years of working with jumpers I found that there seems to be three primary sources. I have labeled the three sources as 1) Pre-phase preparation, 2) Phase execution, and 3) Post-phase anticipation. The term phase refers to the phase of the jump that needs to be corrected. In explaining the three sources I will use the plant as the phase to be corrected. Phase preparation is referring to how the athlete is positioning his or her body, arms, legs, and head prior to starting the phase or, in this case, the takeoff. Using an open stride prior to the last two strides of the jump will create a longer path to swing the free leg at takeoff, giving him/her a stronger takeoff. Tucking the hips during the approach will likewise create a more elastic swing action. Failing to execute one or more of the many takeoff preparation components makes a good takeoff very difficult. Phase execution can be more than just not knowing how to execute the skill or not having practice the skill. In the example of the takeoff which is often perceived by the athlete as one of the more risky phases of the jump. The jumper may have some subtle feelings of insecurity. This insecurity may show up in the last 2 strides of the approach. Many athletes will jump forward make sure they will go over the bar and more importantly land in the pit. Running a tight curve with a lean away from the bar will often give the athlete the perception that he/she is too far from the bar causing them to move towards the bar. To help these athletes learn we must address those feelings of insecurity with specific cues and drills. Post-phase anticipation can be seen in several parts of the jump and is often observed when the athlete is already displaying actions or postures seen in the next phase. In some cases the athlete may be anticipating the improper execution of the next phase which may create even greater flaws for the problem phase. It is for this reason that the pre-clearance phase was created. The pre-clearance phase will focus on maintaining the high knee position created at takeoff instead of dropping the knee to start a premature arch. Holding the thigh at horizontal will assure a more complete takeoff and will also encourage greater body rotation prior to peaking over the bar. By focusing on takeoff completion it will aid lift at takeoff and a better clearance position. When athletes are anticipating clearance you may see them lean towards the bar by dropping the shoulder or tilting the head as well as dropping the inside arm toward or over the bar. After identifying the source(s) of the problem the athlete should make sure he or she understands the Concepts of the what, how, and why of the skill, create the Cues that innervate the proper muscle groups, discover the Clues as to how the skill should feel by doing drills, and should finally Consciously execute (Concentration) the skill when jumping.

2 Problem Sources in the High Jump Phase Preparation Posture, arms & legs position and movement Example Open Stride into Takeoff & Lean from curve Phase Execution Execution of the problem phase Example blocking arms above the head Post-phase Anticipation Starting the next phase without finishing the current phase Example Leaning and arching toward the bar

3 Takeoff Problems Phase Preparation Open Quick Rhythm Stride into Takeoff An Open Turning Stride into Takeoff (curve) Tall Upright Posture Arms Gathered behind the trunk A Slight Drop During the Pre-takeoff Stride A Quick and Rising Stride into Takeoff

4 Takeoff Problems Phase Execution Swing Arms and Block Hands Quickly at Eye Level or Finish with Lead Arm in Vertical Position Swing and Block Lead Knee to Hip Level Maintain Extended Posture Throughout Takeoff Finish Takeoff with C. of G. Above the takeoff Foot

5 Takeoff Problems Post-phase Anticipation Don t let arms drift into an arching action Swing Arms and Block Hands Quickly at Eye Level Don t drop the lead arm over the bar at takeoff Finish with Lead Arm in Vertical Position Don t drop the knee into a quick arch at takeoff Swing and Block Lead Knee to Hip Level Don t tilt your head or shoulders toward bar at takeoff Maintain Extended Posture Throughout Takeoff Don t settle for takeoff posture tilted toward the bar Finish Takeoff with C. of G. Above the takeoff Foot

6 Clearance Problems Phase Preparation A Tall, Quick, Turning Stride into Takeoff (curve) A Slight Drop During the Pre-takeoff Stride A Quick and Rising Stride into Takeoff Maintain a High Positioned Lead Knee Drop and Position the Hands on the Hips Draw the Takeoff Leg Up to Mirror the Lead Leg Spread the knees Drop the Shoulders Below the Bar into an Arched Position *Doing all these things may create too much rotation *Use only what it needed to hit the optimal position

7 Clearance Problems Phase Execution Lift the Legs and Unarch Post-phase Anticipation (insecurity of landing) Develop a more secure feeling about arching /Landing

8 Create Approach Momentum Create optimal horizontal speed Convert Approach Momentum into Vertical Momentum Start the takeoff from a position that increases time to apply force Plant the takeoff foot while the athlete is rising upward Utilize the stretch reflex for an explosive takeoff Takeoff from a vertical aligned position Transfer the momentum of the free limbs into the body vertically Maintain a rigid trunk to avoid dissipating the forces of takeoff Conserve Optimal Horizontal Momentum to Travel Over the Bar Use the optimal approach speed Avoid an excessive checking (braking) action at takeoff Use the proper angle of travel to the bar for an efficient clearance Control Rotation for an Efficient Clearance Position Shorten and / or Lengthen your radius of rotation Clear the Bar by Using the Proper Bar Eluding Actions Assume the Optimal Peak Position for Easy an Clearance

9 Approach During the approach the athlete is striving to obtain the proper amount of speed in an effort to maximize vertical lift. The approach also needs to provide the speed that allows the jumper to travel over the bar and to create rotation for clearance. The run must be consistent and accurate to create predictable takeoff preparation and the proper takeoff point. To run the approach properly the athlete should: 1. start the approach from a standing, walking or jogging start. 2. open up into strong springy slow rhythm strides shortly after the start. 3. tuck the hips and maintain straight trunk alignment. 4. lock the ankles and line the heels with each stride. 5. progress from a slightly forward lean to an upright posture at the start of the curve. 6. develop most of his / her speed prior to the start of the curve. Takeoff Preparation The athlete must prepare to takeoff mentally as well as physically. Focusing on an explosive vertical takeoff rather than clearance will aid in developing the proper physical preparation for takeoff. In preparing physically for takeoff the athlete should attempt to rise onto the takeoff foot to avoid having to redirect the body upward. The takeoff foot should be positioned forward of the center of gravity to give the athlete ample time to generate force at takeoff. He / she should position the free limbs in an effort to utilize a strong swinging action. The swinging of the free limbs will magnify the force applied by the takeoff leg during takeoff. The athlete s trunk must remain extended and stable to avoid the dissipation of the takeoff forces. (rhythm) to prepare for takeoff properly the athlete should: 1. progress from an open springy slow rhythm to a fast rhythm stride into takeoff. 2. increase stride rhythm to aid rising onto the takeoff foot and avoid dropping. (inward lean / curve) to prepare for takeoff properly the athlete should: 1. start the curve around 5 strides from takeoff which creates the proper inward lean. 2. use a curve with a radius that aids in maximizing vertical lift at takeoff. 3. lean from the ankles not the hips or the trunk. 4. continue turning to stay on the curved path with each stride and during the takeoff. 5. run the curve properly and avoid jumping toward the bar or anticipating clearance. (backward tilt) to prepare for takeoff properly the athlete should: 1. tilt backward slightly as he / she goes into the penultimate stride. 2. maintain the tilt into takeoff while keeping the hips tucked and the trunk extended. (stride adjustment) to prepare for takeoff properly the athlete should: 1. touchdown on the heel during the penultuimate stride and maintain the backwards tilt. 2. realize that the tilted heel touchdown should result in a natural lowering of the hips. 3. quicken his/her rhythm into takeoff in an effort to rise into takeoff.

10 (free limbs) to prepare for takeoff properly the athlete should: 1. use a full natural arm swing throughout the approach and into the penultimate stride. 2. allow the backside arm to remain back upon touchdown of the penultimate stride. 3. then draw back the frontside arm going into the final stride. 4. have drawn back both arms in preparation for the swing into takeoff. 5. use an open running stride so the free leg will also be drawn for a powerful swing. Takeoff A good takeoff is often a product of the proper perception of what it takes to clear the bar. A poor perception is usually one where the athlete is focusing on clearing the bar rather than jumping over the bar. As a result the anticipation of clearance often creates inefficiencies at takeoff. If the athlete prepared for takeoff properly he / she should execute a powerful takeoff that will finish in a tall vertical position. The athlete should use the free limbs to transfer the momentum of the limbs to body at the moment of takeoff and possibly aid in a higher position at takeoff. The takeoff should also create the appropriate rotation for an efficient clearance. To takeoff properly the athlete should: 1. prepare for takeoff properly and anticipate a powerful vertical takeoff. 2. position the takeoff leg ahead of the hips to increase time to apply force at takeoff. 3. use a powerful stretch reflex,for an explosive jump, without overloading the T.O. leg. 4. avoid raring back as if to try to throw the back over the bar. 5. swing the arms upward and stop the hands quickly at eye level. 6. attempt to takeoff with the athlete s C. of G. aligned vertically above the takeoff foot. 7. keep the trunk extended by not allowing it to flex (rigid trunk) during takeoff. 8. swing the free leg upward and stop the thigh quickly at horizontal. Preclearance After leaving the ground the athlete must control his / her rotation in order rotate into position for an efficient clearance. The athlete does this by altering the body s radius of rotation. To prepare for an efficient layout position the athlete should: 1. speed up the body s rotation so the shoulders drop below the hips at the peak. 2. speed up horizontal rotation by executing some or all of the following rotation skills; keep the lead leg s thigh at a horizontal position. draw the takeoff leg up to mirror the free leg. drop and position the hands on top of the upper thigh. drop the head and shoulders down below the bar into a layout position. Clearance The athlete must utilize the proper bar eluding actions to avoid dislodging the bar. To clear the bar the athlete should: 1. first rotate into the proper position at the peak of his / her flight (preclearance). 2. coordinate the unarching with regard to the bar, flight path, and clearance position. 3. unarch by raising the trunk toward the thighs as if performing a sit up. 4. unarch as the hips are dropping below the bar. 5. allow the feet to trace a semicircle around the runway side of the bar. 6. extend the knees as the thighs are dropping below the bar.

11 Airtime Jump Camps High Jump Curve Chart A A = Measure out from takeoff B = Measure back to start of the curve C = Length of the curve Radius = Determines the tightness of curve Degrees = Determines the angle of attack to the crossbar Takeoff C Radius B Start 25 Degrees 30 Degrees Radius A B C Radius A B C 19' 11' 17'3" 21'7" 19' 9'6" 16'6" 19'11" 20' 11'7" 18'2" 22'8" 20' 10' 17'4" 20'11" 21' 12'2" 19' 23'10" 21' 10'6" 18'2" 22' 22' 12'8" 19'11" 25' 22' 11' 19'1" 23'1" 23' 13'3" 20'10" 26'1" 23' 11'6" 19'11" 24'1" 24' 13'10" 21'9" 27'3" 24' 12' 20'9" 25'2" 25' 14'5" 22'8" 28'4" 25' 12'6" 21'8" 26'2" 35 Degrees 40 Degrees Radius A B C Radius A B C 19' 8'1" 15'7" 18'3" 19' 6'9" 14'7' 16'7" 20' 8'6" 16'5" 19'2" 20' 7'2" 15'4" 17'5" 21' 8'11" 17'2" 20'2" 21' 7'6" 16'1" 18'4" 22' 9'5" 18' 21'1" 22' 7'10" 16'10" 19'2" 23' 9'10" 18'10" 22'1' 23' 8'3" 17'7" 20'1" 24' 10'3" 19'8" 23' 24' 8'9" 18'5" 20'11" 25' 10'8" 20'6" 24' 25' 8'11" 19'2" 21'10"

12 Airtime Athletics Rick Attig Master High Jump Drill List Sprint / Approach Takeoff Prep & Takeoff Clear. Prep & Clearance SPRINT DRILLS STRIDE ADJUSTMENT Ball Clearance Flat Back Jogging Heelpops Box Springs Cat Back Countdown Heelpops Sboard Spring & Spin Bend & Tuck In Place Sboard Jump & Spin Walk & Line Walking Ramp Jumps March & Line Jogging Short Run (2-6 Str) Skip & Line Running (10 Stride) Long Run (10+ Str) Jog & Line Steering Drills Above w/ Knee Tip Jog & Switch Walking Short Run Jumps (2-6) Pump & Line Jogging w/ Knee Tip Ankle Starts Running Drop & Swing Steer & Pop Drills Rhythm Knees Jogging High Gear Rhy Sprint Running Equipment Drive Bounds-30,20,10 Cones Drive Bounds x 2 10 Stride Bags w/ 10y DB w/sprint Blend A Frame Tip Drill roll 2 DB's w/ Sprint Blend chalk Rhythm Sprints CURVE tape measure Wave Runs Bag w/ take rolls APPROACH Circle Runs A Frame w/ tip ball Power Starts (PS) Jog - 10 feet Clearance Ball Rhythm Runs (RR) Run feet Springboard 10 Str Countdown Circle Pops Ramp Linear Jog - 10 feet Drill Pit (pv section) Curve Run feet 2 standards J Runs Circle Jumps-10,15,20 Crossbars J with Takeoff Roll TILT Bungees Approach 2 Stride Tilt Pit Partner Tiltpop Push Tiltpop Testing CD Tiltpops Speed Trap Jog Tape Measure Run Chalk 10 Stride Drive Squat - Box Circle Runs Dumbbells Vertex ARM GATHER 12" Box CD Reelpops 4K & 12 lb Shot Stationary March Walk Video Jog Camera Hi 8 Run Player Hi 8 10 Stride TV or Projector

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