Read these 9 Long Jump Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Track And Field tips and hundreds of other topics.
As in the high jump, where you look is where you'll go. Long jumpers need to have a visual focus during the approach, but it shouldn't be the board. The jumper should look at the board early in the approach, but should then shift their gaze to directly ahead of them at eye level after the first few steps.
This way, a sense of speed and board location will be established and the jumper will not get in the habit of looking down at the board before takeoff, which causes deceleration. At takeoff and during flight, the jumpers' eyes should be looking up at a forty five degree angle from horizontal. If you want to go up and out, that's where you need to look.
The long jump is a smooth, consistent acceleration to the board, followed by a takeoff jump and flight into the pit, while maintaining proper body position that will enable the jumper to take off with maximal velocity and land as far as possible into the pit. The long jump can be examined in five phases:
Improving your speed in the long jump – critical to good distance – can be accomplished in much the same way you would train for any sprint event… except that you won't be starting from blocks. General information on increasing sprinting speed can be found in good track and field coaching manuals.
Basically, you'll need to increase core strength (circuit or weight training) and work out a running program with your coach that includes speed interval training. Don't neglect your long jump form drills, either. As your running speed increases, so may your stride… which could possibly throw you off a bit on your approach.
Whether you hitch or hang while flying through the air, if the slowing of forward rotation is not accomplished, you will see it in the landing! Rarely is a poor landing simply the result of poor landing technique or practice. Landing preparation for the in the long jump should begin near the peak of flight.
The torso should remain upright, arms sweep downward, fully extended until the hands are near the hips. Legs should extend out in front of the body and upon impact, knees should flex forward to continue forward movement.
Fast, furious, fierce and flying! Long jump training needs to prepare athletes to be all of these things when competing. Therefore, long jump training requires sprint workouts, flexibility and strength training, repetition after repetition, and a competitive atmosphere. Long jumping is not like racing head to head as it is in any event on the track or even in the high jump or pole vault when the bar can be seen being raised and jumpers missing or making each progressing height.
Competitive edge in the long jump must be achieved by the athlete mentally, an edge that can be gained through long jump drills in practice, but must be accompanied by a high level of competition at an important meet. Never underestimate the power of adrenaline and what it can “lift” you to do!
There are two schools of thought when it comes to the best long jump flight technique. To hitch or to hang? The hitchkick technique looks like the jumper is running in the air and employs circular arm and leg movements to create secondary axes.
The hang technique is when the jumper extends their arms while slightly arching the back. The goal of both flight long jump techniques is to slow the forward rotation of the body and thus cutting down the time in the air and the distance of the jump.
Prepare to launch yourself! If you want to get off the runway and into the air, you need to first prepare for the takeoff by lowering your center of mass just slightly at the penultimate step. This will set up the jumper to then take the last step and take off the board in a an upward direction with the body's center of mass can move from slightly behind the takeoff foot at the time of ground contact to well past the takeoff foot before the jumper even leaves the ground.
Check it off the list. Checkmark systems are for coaching long jump, not competing in the long jump. Coaches may want to put a checkmark four steps back of the board next to the long jump runway. This checkmark allows the coach to see where the long jumper is in relation to where they should be prior to the transition or preparation phase.
This can tell a long jump coach more than the athlete's location on or near the board because the coach will be able to tell by looking at the athlete compared to the checkmark and the board as the whether or not the athlete slowed down a the end of the run, a common and most detrimental error when long jumping.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|