Should An Athlete Use Their Dominant Foot For The Triple Jump Take-Off?
Which foot should a young athlete use for the triple jump take-off?
Should they use the same foot that they use when long jumping – their dominant leg? Or should they use the opposite foot so that they end up using the dominant leg for the “jump” portion of the sequence?
The Triple Jump Sequence
A triple jump is made up of a “hop – step – jump” sequence. There are three “take-offs”: one for the hop, one for the step and one for the jump.
The athlete will either do a right foot hop, then a right foot step, then a left foot jump OR a left foot hop, then a left foot step and a right foot jump.
As you can see, in each case, the first two take-offs will be on the leg they start with, with the final take-off done on the other leg.
The Jump Take-Off
The jump phase of a triple jump is like a long jump. Therefore, should an athlete aim to do the jump phase off the same foot as they would for their long jump? It makes sense, doesn’t it?
It would simply mean that an athlete starts the hop on their opposite foot so that the final phase is done on their “long jump foot”.
It may sound like it makes sense, but this is not the best way to go.
Which Foot To Hop With?
I recommend beginning (hopping) with the same take-off foot that is used for long jump.
This means the athletes will hop and step off their strongest foot and need only do one take-off from their non-preferred side. Done the other way, they will need to perform two take-offs from their non-preferred foot and only one take-off from their strongest foot.
Another consideration is that landing from the hop and launching into the step is often the part that most young athletes have trouble with. It is much better done with the preferred side than the non-preferred side.
The easiest part of the triple jump is the jump phase. If one phase has to be done with the non-preferred leg, this is it.
The first take-off in a triple jump sequence should be done from an athlete’s preferred leg. This will usually be the same take-off leg that they use when long jumping. This will mean that they hop and step off their preferred leg, and jump from their non-preferred leg.
Triple Jump Resources
Coaching Young Athletes Digital Resource:
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Darren Wensor is a sports development professional, coach educator, specialist coach of young athletes, and founder of the blog coachingyoungathletes.com. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or via email. Check out Coaching Young Athletes on YouTube, the Coaching Young Athletes podcast, and the Coaching Young Athletes E-Book Series.