Get a unique, yet simple, method to teach the high jump at a high level!
- Discover a series of drills that teach lift, stability, and proper knee and arm action for the high jump
- Develop the approach so your athletes will consistently jump high
- Learn how to transfer reactive force when jumping to gain more height in a quicker amount of time
with James Thomas,
Texas Tech Associate Head Men's Coach - Men's & Women's Jumps & Combined Events;
USTFCCCA Jumping Event Specialist; USATF Level II Certification- Jumps;
Coach of 1 Olympian & 4 NCAA Champions, 5-time USTFCCCA Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year
James Thomas uses unassuming terminology and visual aids to explain the mechanics and qualities of the high jump that are imperative to success. He shares his exercises and practice designs to facilitate his athletes' ability to accomplish the requisites to big jumps.
Thomas' video goes beyond drills and techniques associated with the high jump and begins to address which skills are truly important to success within the event. In each of his segments, Thomas simplifies complex skills in a way that is easy for the beginning coach to understand, while providing some ideas that may challenge, or help, advanced coaches take their jump training to the next level.
Coach Thomas opens by explaining the importance of building a better athlete through multi-lateral training, not just coaching the high jump. He shows the six fundamental exercises that he uses to develop an athlete's elasticity to jump high, demonstrates a unique teaching progression for developing the all-important approach, and addresses the psychology of the athlete and how he works that into training.
High Jump Specific Plyometrics
Thomas explains that he doesn't use a lot of drills to teach his high jumpers how to be successful in this event. However, he does use a few key drills to emphasize proper joint stiffness, while discussing its importance in setting up a quick and powerful takeoff. This includes drills such as stiff leg low hurdle hops; skipping for height; and run, run, jump.
While describing each drill, Thomas details specific body positions required to make the drill successful and how proper execution transfers over to the high jump.
Using Circle Runs
A well-executed curve will create the speed and power required for an effective takeoff. However, most novice jumpers tend to fight the forces generated on the curve run. In this segment, Thomas demonstrates how circle runs help athletes become comfortable running tighter turns and body positions they can take up, such as opening the chest. He demonstrates both the traditional 5x5 approach and a more innovative 6x4 approach. He presents his thoughts on the difference between the two approaches and why he favors one over the other.
Challenging Athletes at Practice
We all know the high jump can be a finicky event, and the mentality of the athlete often makes all of the difference at the big meets. In this segment, Thomas takes you through some of his unique strategies for structuring practices that replicate the competitive stresses athletes encounter when they compete. Some examples include placing limits on jump attempts, or ending practices after three missed jumps to replicate competition.
Coach Thomas presents the successful path he prescribes toward one that is oriented toward more time-efficient efforts for practice and competition.
37 minutes. 2018.Track & Field Videos