Greg Rutherford – Champion

12I for one, never doubted that Greg Rutherford would add the World Long Jump title to his impressive CV…


Many thought he wouldn’t. Ye of little faith….!

All the other pretenders fell by the wayside. The USA trio fell apart – possibly due to the fact that they hadn’t the competition experience of Greg.

Also, couldn’t help but notice those commentators who immediately jumped on to the ‘winning bandwagon’…!!!

Read all about the final by clicking on the link below…

Worth a large bet NOW on Greg defending his Olympic Title in Rio next year..

Speak with you all soon,


What makes a perfect heptathlete?

Coaching Junior AthletesWhat makes a perfect heptathlete? This article posted by BBC Sport is a great insight into the world of combined events. Every aspiring combined eventer should read this….



The key points are below….BUT READ THE ARTICLE

  • Mental toughness and phenomenal work ethic
  • Being an excellent high jumper
  • Target your weaker events – up to a point
  • Find a coach you trust
  • Keep the bravado going – and rivals guessing


Speak with you all soon,


World Championships in Beijing

Coaching Junior AthletesReally looking forward to both male and female long jumps at the World Championships in Beijing 2015…

Can Greg Rutherford add the World Title to his Olympic, European and Commonwealth titles?

Going along for the ride..

Will Britteny Reese find some form?

Brittney 1

Take a look at all the news from the IAAF website…

PLUS: Will the Heptathlon and Decathlon be won by a husband and wife?

Speak with you all soon,


Posture on the runway

Coaching Junior AthletesPosture on the runway has a huge bearing on how you jump and how far you jump.

An ‘untidy’ runway will have negative effects on many aspects of the whole jump.

Before I add any horizontal jumpers to my training group I have to be sure that they can ‘run’..

By this, I mean, are they rhythmical, balanced, stable and coordinated?

There are those horizontal jumpers who find it very difficult to run in a straight line. Just stand on the take-off board and watch them running towards you; they can wander everywhere!

Some jumpers impart lateral movements into what is a linear event. Running correctly and being mechanically efficiently is so important, and we work very hard on this aspect.

Lauren 14

Whenever we do any form of quicker runs over distances ranging from 30 to 70mts I always emphasise that must give a lot of thought to ‘how they are running’….

We call them POSTURE RUNS….

I always watch them closely when they do this type of session, and they are aware of this. By doing this type of running drill will increase body position awareness [kinesthesic awareness]  and create positive transfer into the runway and approach to the take-off board.

  • Last evening we concerned ourselves with the posture of the body into the those vital last six strides to the board.

There’s a need to accelerate over the first phase, align the body in the mid part of the approach run then stay tall into the attack to the board in what I call the ‘business end’ of the approach run.

It’s a lot to think about – but absolutely necessary..

It’s a lot more difficult if the jumper has a outward splay of the foot or has a tendency to place one foot in front of the other when running at high speeds…

In these situations, the attention to detail becomes more pronounced, and possibly more specific remedial work needs to be done.

In a typical 16 stride approach run, the margins of error are increased and horizontal jumpers have to concentrate, because as I’ve explained many, many times – the approach run is a complex, serial skill and must be treated as such.

You’ve only to impart an unwanted lateral movement into one of those 16 strides, or sink the hips a few centimetres for problems to arise. The jumper duly arrives at the board and fouls or takes-off behind the board

Typically, a coach will simply say – “move your checkmark back one or one forward” and hopes that by doing this will get their jumper somewhere near, or on the board. They don’t realise that the problem might be one of running inefficiency…

Only consistent practice over the approach run and special emphasis on how they run to the board will result in consistency throughout competition.

OK….you’ve got them to the board -what should happen next? This will be in the next jumps blog…

Speak with you soon,


Triple Jump

Me 2The Triple Jump…

This is a short video clip of one of my female triple jumpers who has only been triple jumping a few months. She has progressed very quickly from a sub 10mts to a respectable 11.42m..

Video clip 1 is real time and video clip 2 is the same jump but in slow-motion….



She needs a lot of work BUT she has developed a sound technical base to work from in a short time. I shall outline in detail her technical training throughout the forthcoming winter months.

Some initial observations….

  1. Running into the hop as opposed to preparing to hop…[this is good because she is also a long jumper and sometimes athletes who do both long and triple get confused with the differing take-off angles]
  2. Well defined triple jump hop throughout the flight phase – ‘good cycling action’…
  3. Strong hop landing to a good step/bound position in the second phase..
  4. Good arm positioning – alternate arm action..

BUT…might change her legs over during the winter so that she is long jumping on the last phase from her dominant leg. I always try this. Sometimes it doesn’t work but at least we’ve explored it…

Speak with you soon,

All the best,



12Communication is key in any ‘National Sporting Governing Body’. But many volunteer coaches don’t think it’s a strong point from their leaders and line managers…

A recent survey from the Havard Business Review has found the most common communication complaints which provide effective leadership…

NOTE: I’ve adapted the findings to reflect our sport of athletics..

  1. Not recognising coach achievements…
  2. Not giving clear directions…
  3. Not having time to meet coaches…
  4. Refusing to talk to subordinates…
  5. Taking credit for others’ ideas…
  6. Not offering constructive criticism…
  7. Not knowing coaches names…
  8. Refusing to talk to coaches on the phone…
  9. Not asking about coaches lives outside work…

NOTE: These are not my views, but a very interesting and thoughful piece of research..

All the best,



Winter Training 2015-2016 [1]

What does the coach see?With just 5 weeks left of the competitive season my thoughts are now focusing on winter preparation through to 2016.

Loads of questions and self-reflection:

Must ask myself if the current training programme was successful. All my training group established personal best performances, many gained international representation..

BUT was it because of me or in spite of me. Some serious self-reflection to come….!!

Who do I want to coach this winter. Now this is a big question…

I never assume that athletes who I coach want to be coached by me next year – so I ask them.

What do I include in my programme?

I have a huge choice – plyometrics, complex training, body weight circuits, over-distance work, medicine balls, weighted vest, traditional weight training, Olympic lifting etc….What do I exclude because of time constraints?

So a lot of planning to be done in the next few months even though some of my training group are still competing at a high level right up to last weekend in August.

Had a problem this week: One of my female long jumpers has been fouling a lot, but at the same time jumping well when she hits the board. So we decided at this late stage of the season to get rid of the old approach and construct a new one. We have 5 weeks to the AAA U17 Championships in Bedford. Five weeks to get her ready. Will this drastic change work? I hope so – it’s a chance we have to take.

We’ve gone from 16 strides to 14 [less room for error] – well that’s the theory. Second session tomorrow and going to work on her first 4 strides. Get this right and the rest of the runway will not be as compromised…

Will let you know how she gets on..

Speak with you soon,



Long Jump Coaching Points

NewsletterBelow are a series of photographs of one of my female jumpers jumping out to 5.29m at a recent competition.


Lauryn 1

Photo 1: Height from board with good extended take-off leg extension…

Lauryn 2

Photo 2: The ‘hang’ shape with upright torso, head OK, arms behind body…

Lauryn 5

The ‘flight’ phase. Good position at apex with which to prepare to land. Must HOLD ON to the flight phase….

They say a picture tells a thousand words. This series of 3 photographs tell me a lot. We have worked very hard this winter and previous winters on the body positioning at take-off. This TOUCHDOWN element on to the take-off board is something that the jumper must understand. A basic understanding of simple biomechanics is paramount for every jumper I coach….

Photo 1: A good demonstration of take-off leg extension. The jumper must place that take-off foot and leg down firmly on to the body with ‘tension’ to limit any unwanted lowering of the centre of mass. On lifting from the board the jumper must push the board behind her – the ankle sweep back. The free thigh is driven to the parallel and the arms which contribute approximately 30% to the vertical impulse have to be co-ordinated…especially the arm on the take-off leg side [the contra-lateral arm] which contributes approximately 25% of the vertical impulse…

Photo 2: She has now reached the apex of the flight phase and her positioning of ‘body parts’ is quite good. No extreme arching of the back [just a slight hollowing] with the head upright and eyes looking forward. The arms are behind the body waiting for the legs to initiate the leg chute. Both legs are below  and slightly behind the hips. They are in a short levered position with the heels quite near the backside. They have to be bent because short levers are quick levers. The arms MUST remain in position slightly behind the body until the jumper has brought the legs from the back to the front in preparation to land..

Photo 3: This is a good shot and illustrates the coaching points made above. Young jumpers want to land too soon..

They have to be encouraged to go ‘along for the ride’ in the flight phase. Tension must be maintained and the flight phase extended for as long as possible. The shape at the apex of the jump must be fixed and strong. My only criticism is the left leg is ‘dragging’ behind which could possible compromise the landing position – timing is everything on the descent from the high point to the sand…

This a great photo of Greg Rutherford ‘going along for the ride’….

Going along for the ride..

Speak with you soon,