It’s no mystery I am not afraid to ask questions to those better than myself. This weekend I asked a few questions to Boo Schexnayder, on of the top jump coaches in the world. Each year I get hidden gems when I ask the same basic questions, as experience and wisdom drills down deeper. Two questions that I will address are details of circuit training and running velocities specific to triple jump and selecting appropriate speeds. Two specific questions are not rocket science, but I do think the application of science and coaching is the tricky part. Here are my thoughts in the responses to one of the most respected coaches in Performance.
Inserting Acyclic Movements to Circuits- I didn’t gravitate to circuit training until I was in the northeast because I had luxuries of weather in Florida, but I have learned that circuit training is harder to prescribe if done properly. I find circuits actually the most difficult to design because it’s one size fits all for a group of athletes and the nature needs to be very precise or the average will be to far away from the ends (neophyte or highly trained). Circuits have a license to kill as nobody really tests the ability of them to transfer to any biomotor ability. Nobody does a circuit to get faster or more explosive, but marathon athletes don’t do it primarily for endurance either. While they help fitness, some of the mechanisms are questionable, and I find them often just junk reps unless someone is fit. If someone is not fit they are great ways to get started with a foundation, since sprinting on day one can doom the out of shape athlete. When doing circuits Boo suggested an acyclic activity inserted into the circuit to help break out of a rhythm of reps. I will try adding this to the circuits this spring and see if it helps keep people sharper.
Velocities of the Triple Jump Approach- While it’s easy to say slower than long jump, the approach speed is less talked about than it should be. The velocity of the triple is not as important as the long, but without sufficient speeds one is not going to simply walk to the board and go 17 meters. I test the 30m fly to see change in speed but I think the key now is how skilled and coordinated the athlete is to transfer rapidly into jumping from a running approach, similar to the hurdles. Cardinal signs the velocity is too demanding is a gathering instead of a natural response, something only trained eyes can see. Since I am more like Henk, I am going to see how much pelvic drop and how early one tries to negotiate the board with their arms. Also I believe a coefficient does exist, a differential of speed between run up speed and top speed. The more coordinated the athlete is the more likely he or she is able to use their top speeds on their runway. Developing that coordination is a different story.
I encourage strength and conditioning coaches as well the obvious track and field coach visit Boo’s website at SACSPEED and invest into his educational products.