20.Apr.12 Birmingham Athletics Network – High Jump Workshop
Following the result of a requirement identified by the England Athletics CCSO, National Coach Mentor for High Jump Graham Ravenscroft delivered a High Jump Development workshop entitled Basics through to Top Performer. Graham is a highly qualified and successful coach - IAAF Elite Coach Diploma, UKA Level 4 Performance Coach and Great Britain Junior Team Coach.
Three BaN Clubs were represented at the workshop which was held in the Birmingham High Performance Centre (HiPAC). Graham very quickly put the group at its ease and started the workshop by explaining the correct way to set out the run-up using cones. He emphasised the importance of the run-up as the basis on which all good high jump technique is based. ‘The ability to convert horizontal speed to vertical lift requires ‘A, B, C – Agility, Balance and Coordination’ Graham informed the group. He then explained how this is achieved.
The first part of the workshop focused on the correct approach to the bar – how to determine the start point, speed of approach, body position and take off point. The athletes had lots of opportunities to practice under the expert eye of Graham. The coaches were encouraged to play an active part in the coaching but Graham informed the group that from his experience it is important to ask the athlete how he or she feels about their performance. "The athlete normally knows what is right or wrong as they are able to feel it." "My arms felt wrong" replied Royal Sutton athlete Naomi Leighton as she practised her run up. Graham was quick to pick out the coaching point here and got Naomi to successfully make the appropriate changes.
The second half of the programme focused on conditioning exercises which included a series of running, skipping and walking exercises which included the use of a medicine ball. Graham stated that at the moment of takeoff the load going through the planted foot was up to eight times body weight. With this in mind it is vitally important that the athlete is strong through their core and stable through the foot. "Centrifugal force is taking the athlete out towards the bar so it is important that the athlete leans inwards on approach. At take-off Newton’s 3rd law of motion applies as the athlete plants their foot." stated Graham. This was as technical as Graham got which was great because his easy to understand explanation swept away the mysteries of high jumping.
"An excellent demonstration of how to set up a jumping session plus a wealth of drills which will soon appear in my gym work" commented BRATS coach Mike Bilson. The final word goes to Meg Evans of Royal Sutton Coldfield "Graham adapted his activities to suit the group superbly. He has provided us with a model we can use and adapt to suit the high jumpers at our Club."
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