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If you enjoyed Boo’s 32 Tips for Speed and Power Development in the Jumps and Boo Schexnayder Interview: 5 Questions, here are more training tips from the man himself.
If you’ve been to enough USATF and USTFCCCA clinics, you’ll recognize the name Irving “Boo” Schexnayder. His resume includes 19 NCAA Champions and 10 Olympians.
Looking back at my long and triple jump “career”, these are my top 3 tips I learnt over the years as a coach and athlete.
- the approach run sets you up for the jump phase just like the start in the 100 meters. Thus, a lot of errors can be attributed to the 30-40 meter approach run.
- consistency throughout the rounds, including getting the ratios right. One bad phase (takeoff, hop or step) will flow to the next phase.
- Lack the strength and explosive power for the correct height and distance for each phase, especially the 2nd phase, the STEP.
If these points sound familiar to you, then here are 6 specific question for Boo.
Training Questions & Answers with Boo Schexnayder
Q1 – SpeedEndurance.com: If you had only one drill or exercise to use with your jumpers during the pre-season or general prep phase what would it be?
Boo Schexnayder: The most important drill for any event is the event itself. While drills have a place, the coach must eventually become good at coaching the event within the context of the event. Even the best drills have relatively low rates of transfer into the events, so actually practicing the event is critical, and it’s a common error to spend too much time on drills. Research shows time and time again that whole learning is more effective than part learning, so fight the temptation to break the event into small parts. That makes it difficult for the athlete to learn and feel the correct rhythms and flow.
Q2 – SpeedEndurance.com: How should one approach training volume periodization (volume and different modalities) for the high school jumper?
Boo Schexnayder: The high school jumper should begin the season with training volumes that are near the highest of the year. To allow these volumes to be done safely, the coach should make sure that the intensity of the work is low enough so that the high school athlete can complete the work. Once the athlete has shown the ability to complete these high work volumes, the difficulty (intensity) of the work can increase, and volumes decrease in compensation. Starting with high volumes might seem odd, but the brevity of the high school season means you don’t want to spend excessive amounts of time building training volumes when increases in the intensity of training are what cause improvements.
Q3 – SpeedEndurance.com: What is your view on ratio of work between general (speed, strength) and specific (actual jump mechanics) training, throughout a macrocycle? I, at some point in the season, always become concerned that my athletes are getting too much CNS stimulation, as most training elements are geared toward it. How can we add more metabolic training (and reduce CNS) that wont inhibit speed and explosiveness, but would still be worth adding to the training inventory?
Boo Schexnayder: A good way to insure balance in training between metabolic and neural training is to assign a theme for each training session. Neural days should contain acceleration and speed work, plyometrics, and all major weight training exercises. General days contain bodyweight exercises, medicine ball work, technique and drills, circuits, and submaximal (tempo) running. These general day components are important to achieving good training balance, and most good training programs alternate neural and general days. Although there may be exceptions, neural days should begin (after warm-up) with acceleration and/or speed, followed by multi-jumps and plyometrics, followed by weight training. General days should begin (after warm-up) with technique, then circuits or endurance work.
Q4 – SpeedEndurance.com: When coaching young children, would you agree that it is more important to learn how to jump properly, before concentating on striking the board. For example I see kids running twice the distance they need to, only to slow down as they look for the take-off board.
Boo Schexnayder: With the exception of beginners, I advise against taking full approach long and triple jumps in training. The high speeds and intensities make it tough to teach skills. I suggest working on the approach in some sessions, while doing actual complete long and triple jumps from runs of 6-10 steps. This enables better learning and more repetitions. The first full approach jumps should come in the early season, not-so-important meets.
Q5 – SpeedEndurance.com: I have several multi event athletes. I know that there are many similarities between sprinting and jumping but how much specific jump training do athletes need to work on specific technique?
Boo Schexnayder: Organizing the training for jumpers who sprint, hurdle, and do multi-events should not be an overly difficult task. After all, speed and explosiveness are essential to all of the events. My sprint, hurdle, jump and combined event athletes all follow a training program that is very similar. I suggest setting up a base program for all these events, and then making small adjustments from it for each rather than writing an entirely different workout for each group. For example, if I have an acceleration day, the jumpers can be doing accelerations, the sprinters block starts, and the hurdlers work over 1,2 or 3 hurdles. On a speed day, the jumpers can do runway practice, the sprinters do fly work, and hurdlers might work over 4-6 hurdles. These groups might come together to do the same circuit, plyometric, and weight training
Q6 – SpeedEndurance.com: What is the ratio of training in the pit with the technique of jump in comparison to the amount of sprint training done to perfect the run up?!? One coach where I live does 90% pit work and 10% on run up. I do about 70% on run up (sprint training) and included in this 70% is a lot of conditioning work. What is best????
Boo Schexnayder: The flight path and rotations of a jumper are predetermined at takeoff and unchangeable after, so it is best to spend the vast majority of actual coaching time addressing the elements of the jump that occur on the ground. The percentage of time spend on the runway vs. the track is not as critical as the percentage of time spent addressing the run and takeoff vs. flight and landings. It is critical though that the coach actively works on running and jumping mechanics not only during jump practice, but during all running and plyometric workouts. Cross country does not help, and can actually harm sprint and jump performance, because speeds are too low and endurance addressed too much in that type of work.
For more information on Boo’s programs, see MultiEvent Training & Practice Organization and Complete Technique & Teaching for the Jumping Events and Complete Program Design for the Jumping Events.
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