The Triple Jump Encyclopedia


This is truly an encyclopedia of knowledge about one of the most physically and technically demanding events in track & field. The spectrum of requirements including speed, rhythm, explosive power, maximum strength and finely tuned technique are presented here along with much more. I have had this book since it was first published in 1977. My original is worn and dog-eared from constant use. For me it was a resource beyond the triple jump. It was really a handbook of all I needed for power, speed, and technical development for all the events in track & field.

The authors Larry Knuth, a fellow Fresno State Bulldog and Ernie Bullard, formerly head coach at San Jose Sate (Where he succeeded the great Bud Winter) and USC are both great coaches who share the thoroughness of their overall approach and practical orientation in this book. Everything is covered, nothing is left out: history & background of the event, how to coach in general and the triple specifically, obviously a thorough mechanical analysis of the event, how to start a beginner, technical fouls and their correction, how to improve strength, speed, skill and flexibility, the various schools of triple jumping. There is some really neat material from training expert John Jesse and a good review of Bud Winters sprint drills. There is also an amazing center foldout sequence of Victor Saneyev- poetry in motion. A bonus available now with the book, certainly not available in 1977, is a CDROM with the some of the greatest triple jumpers of all time.

In August I had lunch with Larry Knuth when I was in California. He told me there was 150 copies left of the last printing still available. I feel this book is as valuable and some areas more available than when it was first published. It is a window into another era, an era that offers us as much knowledge today and a valuable historical context. To purchase the book go to: It is $25.00 not including postage and handling. It also comes with a 17 min. DVD of TJ greats including Edwards, Butts, Wellman, Oliveria, Perez, Saneyev, etc.

For you track coaches, Larry Knuth just completed, in spring 2010 a monumental work called California Community College Track & Filed Hall of Champions. Available at It is a history of California junior college track & field. He honors the state champions, notable performers and Olympians who competed for California junior colleges. It also honors the great coaches who coached there. Reading it brought back a flood of memories. If you love track and field you will love this book. Thanks Larry for all the work you put into this and your contributions to the sport of track & field.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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