The Long Jump Drills

For The Approach

Long Jump Approach Preparation

Preparing for the approach should take place on the track and not on the runway. After basic running technique is developed, a long jumper can learn how to move down the runway to prepare for the takeoff.

The key is a consistent acceleration pattern using good sprint technique

Long Jump Drills (30-40-meter approach acceleration pattern)

Set cones every 10 to 20 meters for acceleration check points

10 meter-10 meter -10 meter drill

10 meter-10 meter – 20 meter drill

The long jump learns how to accelerate and move down the runway with visual checkpoints by 20 meters, top runway speed is achieved then maintained for the last 20 meters.

Long Jump Drills (12 step approach check marks)

Run down the track using good acceleration mechanics taking 12 steps

Repeat four to five times to find a consistent mark for step 8 and step 12

Then move the approach run on the long jump runway taking 12 steps

Always teach beginning  jumpers a static simple start for the approach.

Long Jump Drills (Cone drill)

Cones can also be used to mark steps and acceleration patterns.

This helps set a pattern for the coach to observe the change in speed down the runway.  This will help develop a consistent pattern for the approach. Jumpers need constant acceleration on the runway until top end controllable speed is established.

Coaches can determine which part of the runway is causing problems when fouls occur or the jumper is short on the board using a check mark system at step eight and the takeoff board.

Approach Length

Takeoff marks can vary depending on the age of the athlete and the time of year for more advanced athletes. More advanced jumpers take 14 -20 step approaches. For most beginners a six-step approach is enough to gain momentum and prepare for the takeoff. The approach is a build up run, when the athlete is about halfway down the runway on approaches longer than six steps, the jumper should be near their controlled top end speed. The top end controlled speed is maintained until takeoff preparation (the last two steps prior to the long jump takeoff).

General Guidelines

Approach Length with Video

Beginning level jumpers and athletes under 14 years old

12-14 total steps

Intermediate level jumpers and athletes from 15-17 years old

14-18 total steps

Advanced level jumpers and athletes over 19 years old

20+ total steps

A general rule of thumb is matching the age of the jumper and the number of strides taken in the approach run.

Speed on the Runway

Good sprint mechanics and proper acceleration are the key to speed on the runway.

But how fast is maximum controlled speed?

From research done by Dr. Philip Graham Smith of the University of Salford in England, he estimates that a good technical male long jumper needs a 10-meter time of one second to jump 7.30m (24’). For women with high technical skill, running 1.2 seconds in the 10 meters equals 5.49m (18’) in the long jump.

When top coaches discuss the factors in long jump distance, it is commonly thought that about 90% of the jumping distance is from the speed of the approach.

Approach Length for Training Jumps

For practice sessions, when taking actual long jumps, it is best to take short approach jumps. Generally, a 6-12 step approach with jumping are done in training, longer approaches or full approach jumps are only done during competition.

Consider short approach jumps as long jump drills and do not be concerned about distance, focus on the technical execution of the various phases of the long jump technique.

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