Tips For Bringing Scissors High Jump Practise To Your Backyard
You don’t need a need an athletics facility or fancy equipment to teach kids some introductory scissors high jump skills.
Just a few bits and pieces from around the home and a bit of creativity will be enough to get you going.
For some backyard scissors high jumping fun you will need:
- A forgiving, stable, non-slip landing surface.
- A soft crossbar.
- Something to hold up the crossbar.
- Enough space for a short run-up.
- A safe “buffer zone” around the landing area.
Check out the examples below for some inspiration.
Sample Home High Jump Set-Up No. 1
Initially set-up as a modified tennis net for the kids, the athletics coach in me saw an opportunity to add in some exercise mats to transform it into a pretty good scissors high jump challenge.
How It Worked
Watch the video to check out the challenge in action.
Did you notice the gumboots?
Also, the run-up seen in the video is only 4 strides, indicating you can even do this in quite a small space. Just ensure that the area is free of obstacles, and slip, trip or fall hazards, and that there is enough space within which a jumper can come to a halt after clearing the bar without colliding with a fence, tree, pole or shed!
If you look closely, the young jumper is starting from a blue marker set at about 45 degrees to the bar. If you look even more closely, in the background you can see another blue marker on the ground. This is set diagonally opposite as a target to run and jump towards. Use this technique to help beginners to learn the appropriate angle at which to approach and clear the bar. It is a great way to prevent kids from hurdling the crossbar from straight-on or jumping along the crossbar from too narrow an angle.
Sample Home High Jump Set-Up No. 2
I came up with this set-up for a session with a group of six to eight-year-olds. We didn’t use any landing mats, with the kids simply taking off and landing on the grass using a simple scissors high jump action.
Pool noodles are one of the least expensive, most versatile pieces of equipment I use. They make a great high jump crossbar. Here I have used a couple of mini hurdles to hold them up, but you can use whatever works.
How To Get Started With Scissors High Jump
To perform a scissors high jump in the backyard:
- Use a straight 30-45 degree approach to the bar. (No curve in the run-up).
- The knee of the leg that is closest to the bar is driven up and over first.
- The knee of the leg that is furthest from the bar follows immediately after.
- Land on the feet – the foot of the lead leg touches down first quickly followed by the foot of the trailing leg.
Practise approaching the bar from both sides. If the child struggles to remember which foot goes over the bar first, mark the shoe being worn on that foot as a cue. I often use coloured tape, but on the occasion captured in the above video, I had drawn an “X” with chalk on the gumboot.
Check out the following video for some tips about getting kids started with the scissors high jump.
Over To You!
If you have the space and an eager learner, try setting up some scissors high jump skills in your backyard using some simple equipment. I would love to hear how you set it up and how it goes. Let me know by leaving a comment/reply or by using the contact details below.
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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.