In most of the articles that we’ve published, we’ve advised long jumpers to focus on developing their horizontal speed and jumping ability. We haven’t discussed long jump drills for height because many long jumpers get caught up in developing more air time to the point where it affects the length of their jumping distance.
You should specifically focus on height drills only if your horizontal speed is maximised and you need to improve your jumping arc.
What are the benefits with more height in the long jump?
When you take-off on the board and you hit top speed whilst having a good height off the board, you will be able to jump further because your horizontal speed will take you further. The athlete will need to aim for a 21-23 degree angle.
What is the risk of doing long jump drills for height?
The main risk is you will decelerate once you hit the board and that you will simply pop up and come back down without any gaining any additional distance.
What is needed to make these drills work for the athlete?
The athlete must train themselves to maximise their speed at the point of take-off and accelerate off the board in a way that will also allow them to generate height with minimal deceleration as possible. It isn’t uncommon for an athlete to get their height around 1.80-2m when doing the long jump.
What are some drills that the athlete can do?
Box jump take-offs.
The athlete can take-off a small box into the sand pit. The raised box will get the athlete used to the additional height that they need to get in order to jump further.
Electronically timed take-off phase.
Coaches can measure the velocity of the athlete’s approach to the board. This can be measured at full speed and then measured with the athlete also incorporating the additional height into the run-up with the penultimate step.
Penultimate step drills.
This is where the athlete lowers their centre-of-gravity before the board to generate additional height for the jump.
The athlete can use ‘mental guides or markers’, such as getting their hips higher than the heads of the officials.
Have the athlete complete their full run-up with a focus on the last phase. Ensure they are aware of what to do on every step in the lead-up to the penultimate step.
Below is a video from Carl Lewis’s coach Tom Tellez in which he shares more details about the penultimate step.
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We expect you to improve your long jump performance by at least 30cm.
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Thanks for reading.