The High Jump is often seen as one of the most technical events in the sport of track and field. Gary Pepin, Head Track & Field Coach at the University of Nebraska has over 30 years of coaching experience and he quickly simplifies the event into approach, take-off and clearance and works to teach that same understanding to jumpers.
After teaching warm-up drills, Coach Pepin explains three different types of approaches; the Hook approach, generally used by beginners; the Flare, which most world-class athletes use; and the Common approach, which is suitable for most high school and college athletes.
Coach Pepin then explains how to measure the approach. Basically using a 10 step approach, measure off your first step, to make sure it is consistent. Then measure the jumper’s first five steps to their mid-mark, building speed. After five steps your jumper will begin their curve to the bar, ending with a take-off point near the inside of the near standard. The jumper must maintain speed and a proper take off form as the approach.