One of the most important stages of the high jump is when the athlete takes flight. In this clip featuring Karen Gaita, assistant coach at East Stroudsburg State University, you’ll see how Coach Gaita trains high jumpers to raise their hips and lower their shoulders over the bar.
Drill Summary: For the stationary drill, athletes lay on the ground on their backs with their feet shoulder width apart and heels close to their butt. For the motion, athletes push their hips off of the ground using their shoulders and draw their knees outward, then hold that position for a few seconds. Do multiple reps.
For the dynamic drill in this clip, the athlete stands up straight, then begins to move their hips forward and draw their shoulders back. As their shoulders fall back to the ground, athletes should imagine their shoulder blades “velcro-ing” to their heels. It’s also important to remember to “look through the window” with the hands in front of the face.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Move hips forward.
2) Draw shoulders back.
3) “Velcro” shoulder blades to heels.
4) “Look through the window” with your hands.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Becoming a Champion: High Jump for Girls’ Track & Field.” View other world class Track & Field videos!
USA Track & Field master coach Cliff Rovelto presents three drills that train athletes to be better high jumpers. These drills will improve the penultimate step and ability of athletes to be quick off their feet.
Drill Summary: For the circle popoffs, athletes run in a circle with a diameter of about fifteen yards. On every other step, execute a popoff. After doing that for a few times, run in the circle and do a popoff on every step. Make sure to do this in both directions to work both sides of the body. For hurdle popoffs, place four hurdles on their sides, about 4-5 feet apart in a line. Athletes jump over every hurdle, working on getting flat-footed contact and being quick off their feet. Finally, for the penultimate leg strengthening drill, athletes start down in a low position in front of the pit and bar with their penultimate leg forward while holding a rod on the back of their shoulders. To execute a rep, the athlete steps through, making sure to keep their low leg parallel to the ground.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Quick on your feet.
2) Flat-footed contact.
3) Shoulders should be square.
4) Chest out.
10 time MVC Coach of the Year John Gartland of Indiana State University has his high jumpers work on two things in the “Assistance Jumps With Box” drill: giving something to the ground (so it gives something back), and timing. Train your athletes using this drill, and they will soon be taking off the ground quicker and with more power.
Drill Summary: For this drill, you will need a jump box (coach Gartland uses an arched jump box in the video). Place the box where the athlete would do their take off before the drill. The runner executes a short run up (five steps) before using the sixth step to take off on the box. This will allow the athlete to jump higher than normal, so you may have to raise the bar.
Keys to the Drill:
1) Hit the “sweet spot” on the box.
3) Drive the knee.
4) Timing on top.
University of Southern California Assistant Track and Field Coach, Mike Pullins, discusses how the Weak-Leg Contraction Drill causes greater contraction on the weak-leg which forces greater contraction on the take off foot. This drill will cut down on some injuries that come with high jumping.
This video came from Championship Productions’ video “Becoming a Champion High Jumper – Beyond the Basics.” View other world class Track videos!
University of Southern California Assistant Track and Field Coach, Michael Pullins, shows you a drill that he uses at the end of a practice session anytime during the season. Coach Pullins uses this drill with his high jumpers, which includes two former All-Americans with one of them a former NCAA High Jump Champion. Coach Pullins discusses how the Weak-Leg Long Jump Drill causes greater contraction on the weak-leg which forces greater contraction on the take off foot.
The athletes run onto the long jump ramp and takeoff from their weak-leg and perform a long jump onto the high jump mat. This is a good drill for the end of practice to get more jumps in. Coach Pullins points out that this drill will cut down on the punishment the body takes during high jumping. This is a drill that can be done wherever you have a high jump mat and a long jump ramp.
This video came from Championship Productions’ DVD, Becoming a Champion High Jumper – Beyond the Basics. To view more track & field videos from America’s top coaches and athletes, click here.