Tips And Tricks For Introducing Scissors High Jump To Beginners
Check out this Little Athletics NSW video. (I am the host and on-camera coach!).
A handy summary can be found below the video.
What is a Scissors High Jump?
Scissors high jump is a great introductory high jump technique for young athletes.
In performing a scissors high jump an athlete:
- Use a straight 30-degree run up to the bar.
- Drives the leg that is closest to the bar up and over first.
- Lands on their feet.
Why Scissors High Jump For Beginners?
- It is a user-friendly technique
- It is a reasonably safe high jumping technique.
- It helps prevent high jumping bad habits.
The technique is great for less-confident youngsters. Compared to the flop technique the scissors is less complex and less intimidating. The jumper gets to stay in an upright position the entire time and then land on their feet.
Rather than just “fall” over the bar as many kids do when they attempt the “flop” technique, the scissors teaches the kids to jump and actually lift their hips to get over the bar.
Step-By-Step Teaching Progressions
1. High Jump Step-Up Drill
The kids simply run straight at the mat and step up onto the mat – no crossbar.
2. Step-Up Drill With Bar
As above, but stepping/leaping over a flexible (foam & elastic) training bar.
3. Step Up From Run Up at 30 Degree Angle
Take the kids out to the point from which they will commence their run-up. The kids run in from a 30-degree angle and step up onto the mats as they have been doing in the previous activities.
Common Scissors Mistakes Kids Make
- A straight leg kick rather than a bent leg knee drive. (The leg only should extend to clear the bar).
- Taking off from the foot that is closest to the bar and swinging the outside leg over the bar first. (Solution: Change the side from which the child is approaching the bar; or stick a piece of coloured tape on the foot that needs to go over the bar first to remind the child which foot to use.).
The Elastic Training Bar
It is highly recommended to use a foam and elastic high jump training bar when teaching beginners.
Be aware, however, that this type of bar, which loops over each of the uprights, can pull the uprights down and onto the athlete if the athlete lands on the bar and the uprights are not weighted down or fixed into the ground.
Over To You!
Have a go at using these tips and tricks with beginner high jumpers. I would love to hear how it goes! Let me know by leaving a comment/reply or by using the contact details below.
Where To Start With Complete Beginners In The High Jump
Scissors High Jump: An Essential Guide for Teaching Kids
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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.