Long Jump Training for Youth
The long jump pit must be clean and level.
The running surface must be firm and even.
The takeoff area must be able to withstand the full force of an athlete’s foot strike.
Wear proper shoes with support to withstand the impact of the sport with a good grip and not slip on the takeoff area.
Takeoff boards should be flush with the surface of the ground.
Athletes should wear shoes with support and shock protection.
Keep the equipment such as rakes, forks, and shovels outside the landing area with the prongs facing down.
Increase speed during the last four to five strides.
Plant the takeoff foot slightly in front of the body.
The jumper drives the free leg (bent at the knee) into the air and arms are used to assist and control the movement into the air.
Movement in the air should be simple of beginners, with a single leg drive and extension or hang style technique.
The thighs are lifted up on the descent and the foot brought out in front of the body to prepare for the landing.
Legs bend at the hips and knees, allowing the body to pass over heels when landing in the sand.
The long jump takeoff is off of one foot and the landing is with both feet. Start by jumping with two feet into the pit. Introduce standing on one foot and jumping onto two feet. Alternate legs and practice on both legs.
Practice short jumps with the left leg and the right leg to determine the best foot for the event.
Slowly introduce walking and jogging with a jump. Emphasize a controlled run in a ‘tall’ position, with the takeoff leg slightly in front of the body. Focus on keeping the takeoff leg on the ground as the athlete moves forward and up.
Introduce more advanced running and jumping for height from a jogging (4-8 strides) approach.
Coaches can use a bar to focus on height during the jump. Set a bar at an easy (low) height to start with and then progressive by raising the bar higher. Emphasize quick steps and a high knee drive at takeoff.
Practice jumping from 20′ and 25′ and 30′ away to help establish an approach. Athletes should start slow for 2-3 strides, speed up, and hit 85-90% speed during the last few strides.
Approach Lengths for Youth
The athlete runs at a steady pace, keeping sprinting form and the coach counts the steps. For the competition, youth jumpers can reach optimal speed usually in 8 to 10 strides. This is not maximal speed, optimal speed is the fastest running possible while executing good technique for the best distance.
Coaching Point: practice the approach run to get consistent foot placement on or near the board. After the approach run is consistent, add a takeoff or easy jump after the run.
- 2 to 6 walking steps into a long jump (single leg)
- 2 to 6 jogging steps into a long jump (single leg)
- 6 step approach jumps
- 8 step approach jumps
- 10 step approach jumps
The athlete runs at a steady pace, keeping sprinting form and the coach counts the steps. For the competition, youth jumpers can reach optimal speed usually in 8 to 10 strides. This is not maximal speed, optimal speed is the fastest approach speed possible to jump the greatest distance.
Many coaches of youth athletes use age +/- 1 or 2 as a guide for the length of the run-up.
Build up speed and move the approach back one to two strides as the jumper improves.
Depending on the age and ability of the developing athlete, the approach could be up to16 running strides with maximum controlled speed to optimize jumping distance. The top long jumpers in high school and college use up to a 20 stride approach during competition.
The triple jump is one continuous jump consisting of three phases: hop, step (bound), and long jump.
Practice the takeoff from both feet.
Sequence: hop, land on the same foot as the hop, step (bound), land on the opposite foot, and long jump.
Aim for an even rhythm and approximately even distances throughout the three phases.
The approach run must be controlled, and accurate at optimal not maximum speed at the takeoff board.
Emphasize an active landing, an upright body position, and an even rhythm during the different phases.
The jumper should land flat footed and drive forward and up into the next position.
The athlete runs and hops, the knee of the hopping leg is brought through flexed and high.
The body is kept upright in the hop and step phases.
The knee is held high in the step and held, similar to floating through the air.
Drive the free leg and arms high into the air to prepare for the final phase, the jump.
The hop and step landings must be ‘active’, pushing and driving forward with continuous movement.
The triple jump is a very demanding event, training should be closely monitored.
Coaching Youth in the Triple Jump
Athletes can start with different combinations of jumping movements that include:
- Standing triple jump from both legs
- 2 to 4 walking steps into a triple jump (both legs)
- 2 to 4 jogging steps into a triple jump (both legs)
- 4 step approach jumps
- 6 step approach jumps
- Multiple hops
- multiple bounds
- Multiple hops to multiple bounds
- Multiple bounds to long jump
- Multiple hops to multiple bounds to long jump
Start with standing jumps before adding speed.
Add combination jumps that are controlled, marked by cones or chalk.
Keep the jumps at a similar distance, for example, place 5 cones approximately 2′ apart, the athlete hops 5 times on one foot to the cones, not past the cones.
Slowly increase the distance of the approach and the distance between the cones as the athlete progressively gets better.
Short Approach Triple Jump for Youth
6 step triple jump
8 step triple jump
Takeoff Drills for Youth Triple Jump
4 step and takeoff repeats down the track
8 step and takeoff repeats down the track
*add phases 1 and 2 and land in the sand