The Best Place To Start With Young Triple Jumpers
Assuming that kids can:
- Perform a basic hop,
- Leap from one foot to the other and,
- Perform a safe two-foot landing,
the biggest initial barrier to being able to perform a triple jump is getting the sequence right.
This is the place to start when teaching complete beginners.
Where To Start With Young Triple Jumpers
Triple jump is commonly known as an event in which the athlete performs a hop-step-jump sequence.
I suggest that the first activity for new triple jumpers aims to familiarise the kids with the correct sequence, while at the same time introducing the concept of an even rhythm.
This can be done with a few cones and a flat surface.
You will need five cones – three of one colour and two of a different colour.
The cones are set up as shown below in a straight line on a flat surface. There is no need to use the sand pit at this stage.
For absolute beginners leave gaps of about 3 foot-lengths between the cones.
The child begins by standing on their preferred hopping leg next to the first cone. They will then:
- Hop to land on the SAME foot next to the first cone, pause, then;
- Leap (step) to land on the OTHER foot next to the second cone, pause, then;
- Jump to land on BOTH feet next to the last cones.
The pause encourages a controlled landing. It also implicitly encourages an even rhythm throughout the sequence.
An easy way to remember the sequence is that after the initial take-off, the child should land:
- On the SAME foot;
- The OTHER foot;
- Then BOTH feet.
You use the cue of “same foot-other foot-both feet” or “same-other-both” to help the child to remember “hop-step-jump”.
Have you noticed something yet?
The cue of “same foot – other foot – both feet” is reinforced by the colours of the cones:
- Same colour = Same foot
- Other colour = Other foot
- Both colours = Both feet
Once a child can correctly and repeatedly complete the correct sequence with pauses at each landing, the pause can be removed to allow a more flowing sequence. Continue to encourage an even rhythm.
As the child improves, the skill can be extended to include a short walk or jog approach. The coach can also progressively increase the gap between the cones, eventually moving the activity to the sand pit for a safe and comfortable landing.
Begin teaching triple jump by getting the kids to:
- Learn the sequence away from the landing pit.
- Stand on their hopping leg to start the sequence; no run-up
- Match their landing foot to coloured cones.
- Pause on each landing.
- Perform sub-maximal distances.
Would you use this activity as your triple jump starting point?
What are your thoughts on this as a triple jump starting point? Let me know by leaving a comment/reply or by using the contact details below.
Triple Jump Phase Landings Quick Reference Guide by Coaching Young Athletes
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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.