How The Take Off Point For High Jump Affects The Success Of The Jump
When “flop” high jumping, a young athlete should ideally aim to take off at a distance from the bar that allows them to reach the peak height of their jump when they are directly above the bar.
Therefore, the point of take-off for a flop high jump is crucial to high jump success.
Too Far From The High Jump Bar?
If a young athlete takes off too far away from the bar, they may reach the peak height of their jump too early. This will likely cause them to hit and dislodge the bar on their way down.
Too Close To The High Jump Bar?
If a young athlete takes off too close to the bar they will likely hit the bar on the way up, prior to reaching the peak height of their jump.
So, if an athlete is knocking the bar off on the way up, they may be taking off too close to the bar. If they are hitting the bar on the way down they could be taking off too far away from the bar.
How Far Away From The High Jump Bar?
How far away from the bar should an athlete be at take off? As a guide, roughly an arm’s length. (Another common method is measuring approximately, 2 foot-lengths from the bar). This will provide them with enough room to avoid hitting the bar on their way up and the best chance of achieving the highest point of their flight path directly above the bar.
How can we help and athlete learn the “ideal” take-off point? During practice sessions, as a visual guide to the athlete, the preferred take off area can be marked on the ground. My favourite way of doing this on a grass surface is to mark a circle on the ground with a substance like baby powder. I have found this effective in guiding athletes to a preferred take-off point. On a dry synthetic surface, tape can work well.
When coaching or observing kids who are flop high jumping, watch to see HOW the bar is dislodged by the jumper. Are they hitting it on the way up? Check to see if they are too close to the bar at take off. Are they hitting it on the way down? Observe if they are too far away from the bar on take off. A simple adjustment to their take-off point may solve the problem. Let me know if it works! You can do so by leaving a comment/reply or by using the below contact details.
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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, Anchor or via email.