Pretension- More on Michael Jackson


In 1996 I was doing some plyometrics in workshop and was just a college kid not knowing the details of training. I was excited to learn how to do the movements correctly but the nuances were not commercially available. A coach was training me and had very little understanding of proper technique besides the cliche cues and exercises. When I did the workshop with an experienced jump coach I was almost berated and was yelled for getting on my toes too much with drop jumps. Watching the guys ahead of me I could see that they had their toes up, but when I tried they dropped perhaps to limp as I didn’t have pretension. I mentioned the dangers of being on your toes like Michael Jackson, but go on youtube or some current blogs and yes, you will see toes dropping like dangling fish treats for killer whales. The easiest thing to cue is mid are loading by getting your toes like elf shoes. The reason you have to cue with jumping or stepping of boxes is that no pre jump stretch reflex exists because people step of boxes or do a soft jump that doesn’t trigger flexion of the limbs. This places the responsibility of the athlete to be consciously preloading the lower leg to absorb force or they be in trouble. A good video of technique can be seen here.

Different methods of getting dorsiflexion requires coaching the whole body to exploit some of the natural reflexes, and ultra short boxes during bounding routines is a great way to encourage good landing mechanics and properly overloading the leg. Other techniques such as extended and rotational hops are popular in some circles.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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