The aim of the long jump approach is to establish maximum horizontal velocity without inhibiting the take-off.
In practice, the most decisive factor in determining the distance jumped is the SMOOTH linking of a fast approach run to a powerful and well coordinated take-off.
Ter-Ovanesyan [Russia] states that long jumpers must, right from the beginning, be made aware that ‘the approach does NOT FINISH at the board’.
- The board is regarded only as a part of the total distance to be covered in a smooth relaxed acceleration with increasing concentration and an aggressive approach just before reaching it.
- Long jumpers must in their training take into consideration the specific characteristics of the approach and not merely follow sprint training procedures.
Speed on the runway is vital and must depend on the jumper’s ability to accelerate to top speed. The approach requires precision in the stride pattern and a consistent rate of acceleration. The general construction of the approach run in the long jump has the coach and jumper developing the following important factors:
1. Length of approach
2. Rate of acceleration
3. Overall speed of the approach
5. Rhythm in the last strides
It is apparent that a lot of the jumper’s training MUST be done on the runway at speed. A jumper must establish the speed, control and accuracy for this most important phase.
These methods include: high knee lift runs, various forms of accelerations, downhill runs, technique runs over 30 to 40mts, varied pace runs, rhythm runs, sprint drills and starts.
According to Adams 1983: trends towards the training and development of event specifics for the long jump suggest that it can be divided into three parts:
1. Development of the ability to run ‘in balance’ and adjust to this balance [eg: technique runs, varied pace runs].
2. Development of consistency [stabilization of the approach eg: acceleration runs, rhythm runs, accuracy runs.
3. Development of basic speed. He comments that it is dangerous to assume than an improvement in sheer sprinting speed will lead automatically to improved distances. The jumper MUST learn to use the speed.
- With all this emphasis on speed on the runway and the complexities of the approach, many problems can emerge. These have been well documented and include:
1. Approach too long or too short…
2. Lack of proper rhythm…
3. Slowing down over the last strides…
4. Uncoordinated running, especially over the last strides…
5. Tension throughout the approach and over the last strides…
6. Inhibited by the board…
7. Blocking at the take-off…