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1. The approach
The objective of the approach is to gradually accelerate to a maximum controlled speed at takeoff. The most important factor for the distance traveled by an object is its velocity at takeoff both the speed and angle. Elite jumpers usually leave the ground at an angle of twenty degrees or less; therefore, it is more beneficial for a jumper to focus on the speed component of the jump. The greater the speed at takeoff, the longer the trajectory of the center of mass will be. The importance of a takeoff speed is a factor in the success of sprinters in this event.
The length of the approach is usually consistent distance for an athlete. Approaches can vary between 12 and 19 strides on the novice and intermediate levels, while at the elite level they are closer to between 20 and 22 strides. The exact distance and number of strides in an approach depends on the jumpers experience, sprinting technique, and conditioning level. Consistency in the approach is important as it is the competitors objective to get as close to the front of the takeoff board as possible without crossing the line with any part of the foot.Inconsistent approaches are a common problem in the event. As a result the approach is usually practiced by athletes about 68 times per jumping session.
2. The last two strides
The objective of the last two strides is to prepare the body for takeoff while conserving as much speed as possible.The penultimate stride is longer than the last stride. The competitor begins to lower his or her center of gravity to prepare the body for the vertical impulse. The final stride is shorter because the body is beginning to raise the center of gravity in preparation for takeoff.The last two strides are extremely important because they determine the velocity with which the competitor will enter the jump; the greater the velocity, the better the jump.
The objective of the takeoff is to create a vertical impulse through the athletes center of gravity while maintaining balance and control.This phase is one of the most technical parts of the long jump. Jumpers must be conscious to place the foot flat on the ground, because jumping off either the heels or the toes negatively affects the jump. Taking off from the board heelfirst has a braking effect, which decreases velocity and strains the joints. Jumping off the toes decreases stability, putting the leg at risk of buckling or collapsing from underneath the jumper. While concentrating on foot placement, the athlete must also work to maintain proper body position, keeping the torso upright and moving the hips forward and up to achieve the maximum distance from board contact to foot release.There are four main styles of takeoff the kick style, doublearm style, sprint takeoff, and the power sprint or bounding takeoff.
The kick style takeoff is where the athlete actively cycles the leg before a full impulse has been directed into the board then landing into the pit. This requires great strength in the hamstrings. This causes the jumper to jump to large distances.
The doublearm style of takeoff works by moving both arms in a vertical direction as the competitor takes off. This produces a high hip height and a large vertical impulse.
The sprint takeoff is the style most widely instructed by coaching staff. This is a classic singlearm action that resembles a jumper in full stride. It is an efficient takeoff style for maintaining velocity through takeoff.
7. Power sprint or bounding
The power sprint takeoff, or bounding takeoff, is one of the more common elite styles. Very similar to the sprint style, the body resembles a sprinter in full stride. However, there is one major difference. The arm that pushes back on takeoff (the arm on the side of the takeoff leg) fully extends backward, rather than remaining at a bent position. This additional extension increases the impulse at takeoff.The correct style of takeoff will vary from athlete to athlete.
8. Action in the air and landing
There are three major flight techniques for the long jump the hang, the sail, and the hitchkick. Each technique is to combat the forward rotation experienced from takeoff but is basically down to preference from the athlete. It is important to note that once the body is airborne, there is nothing that the athlete can do to change the direction they are traveling and consequently where they are going to land in the pit. However, it can be argued that certain techniques influence an athletes landing, which can have an impact on distance measured. For example, if an athlete lands feet first but falls back because they are not correctly balanced, a lower distance will be measured. In the 1970s some jumpers did a forward somersault, that was subsequently made illegal.
The long jump generally requires training in a variety of areas. These areas include speed work, jumping, over distance running, weight training, plyometric training, bounding and flexibility.
10. Speed work
Speed work is essentially short distance speed training where the athlete would be running at top or near top speeds. The distances for this type of work would vary between indoor and outdoor season but are usually around 3060m for indoors and up to 100m for outdoors.
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