Teaching the High Jump
High Jump Drills
By: Travis J. Geopfert, University of Arkansas
1. Build a Base
2. Developing an Approach
|Things to do
Blind 8-10-step approach. Correct foot forward.
Gradual acceleration, Count..1,2,3,…1,2,3,…1,2,3, jump
10-step to apron. Start turn on 5th step.
Run approaches without jumping.
|What to Watch
Use chalk-mark 5th and 10th step.
Correct running, Rhythm/tempo, displace.
Same rhythm, controlled, foot work correct.
Max controllable speed, Hips tall, Rhythm.
Make it so they don’t have to count.
3. High Jump Drills
|Things to do
8-10 step straight line rhythm approaches.
Approaches with bar on ground.
“U” Drills from full approach.
Circles and Figure 8 drills
Circle Drills with Take off.
Back overs from ground or box.
4 and 6 step jumps off of ramp.
6 step short approach jumps.
Hurdle Hops and box jumps
|What to Watch
Rhythm/Tempo, posture, displacement.
Start curve correctly, foot placement.
Body lined up correctly. Right shoulder.
Body position. Bend at ankle not waist.
Positive foot strike and pop off of ground.
Cross-over transitions. Displace throughout.
Head and chest accelerating toward pit.
Knee up, Heel up, Toe up.
Finish take-off, good rotation over bar.
Pushing through turn active take-off.
Active on impact, quick off of ground.
4. Bringing it all Together
- Athlete must be in good physical condition. It’s important to strengthen ligaments, tendons, and muscles so the athlete can endure the whole season.
- Teach athlete how to run effectively. Good sprint mechanics. Be technically correct.
- Teach athlete how to run in a circle. Circle drills, figure 8’s, “S” drills. With good mechanics.
- Master the straight line rhythm approach.
- Develop a consistent approach with good transition into curve. Focus on posture, rhythm and tempo of approach. Maximum controllable speed.
- Through this whole process athlete can be working on “positive” take-off drills at the end of approach.
- Do back-overs over the bar from the ground or box. You can even jog into a back over off of two feet. Focus on rotation over bar. This drill with help athlete with body awareness. Accelerate head and shoulders into pit on back side of bar.
- Jump off of ramp coming from 4 steps. First do scissor jumps to focus on take-off. Then progress to the complete jump.
- Take numerous full jumps from a short 6 step approach. You can take more jumps and focus specifically on the take-off or over the bar technique.
- As a coach remember to put emphasis on what the athlete does correctly and progressively eliminate weaknesses. Remember a good consistent approach and active take-off will fix 90% of any problems.
When teaching the high jump, start with basic athletic skills, then develop the approach run and specific high jump drills.