Cross Country or even his athletics

Today I have decided to move straight into the preparation work by starting the session with a good warm up then moving directly to some Plyometrics. I have decided to do the more easy exercises first to move him into Plyometrics and once he has mastered these I will move him on to the more complicated things. I will start with Alternate with Double Arm Action. As it is only his first session I will set him three sets of three reps with a two minute rest in between. This is very stressful on the joints and bones so to finish of the session I will work on Adams Sprinting Posture to see if we can improve his driving to the board.

We will start with the basic drills e. g. high knees, and bum flicks, then move onto skipping, pumping and marching, then finally moving onto light sprinting at 90% with good posture. Feedback: Adams response to the work was extremely good as I underestimated his potential in Plyometrics. The Plyometrics involves timing and rhythm which I thought Adam did not have in the last session due to his poor phases in the Triple Jump. But after close analysis I found out that he only has problems with his timing and rhythm when he is jumping at speed.

As he is coming down the runway he is concentrating on his sprinting and not what he is going to do when he jumps. I decided I wouldn’t tell him about this until we did the sprinting drills so I could change this then. He Jumped well in the Plyometrics and surprised me with his “spring” and strength that he must have gained from football. Before the second half of the session I discussed with Adam the problem with his timing and rhythm, as I identified this he realised what he was doing and became more aware of the problem.

This is what I had hoped to achieve by telling him. We started the Sprint session and I had told him to apply what I had said into his running, he did this by keeping relaxed. I could see this change in his sprinting as when he ran before his cheek and facial muscles were extremely tense. Now when he sprinted his facial muscles were a lot more relaxed. I had also got him to use his arms better as he was only using around 30% of his arms potential. I changed this by applying no movement from the wrist or the elbow, but only in the shoulder.

When he did this his arms were rising further back and further forwards keeping a right angle at the elbow. This increased his balance when running also. This week I am going to try and really improve Adams technique in long jump and then next week I will work on his triple jump. I am going to work on his height, style and control in the air and also work on his take off around the board. First I will concentrate on his take off, when he hits the board his head should be up and his body should be upright, this will give him some height.

The next step will be to work on his leg being straight at take off. His last stride should be longer than the last and the leg should be extended and almost straight before he hits the board, as his body runs through and his leg is under him the leg should then be extended at full length to get full potential out of the jump. This will give the basis for a good height throughout the jump. In the air your driving knee should drive as long as possible while your straight leg pulls back and trails.

After the optimum height the driving leg is brought down to join the leading leg, this will raise the hips even further. As this is happening the arms should be both either rotating forwards in a cycle action or both should be up in the air in a star position. This whole movement is called the hang technique. After this phase everything reverses. The legs are brought up and the upper torso and arms are brought down. This involves the legs rising as straight as possible horizontal to the floor. The arms are brought down and the hands to the shoulders should be below the knees.

This can only done if sufficient height is attained and if Adam is limber enough. As this technique training is extremely stressful I have decided to do no more and apply a long cool down to the session, this will incorporate a slow jog for around 300m and then a slow walk for 100m. Then I will show Adam some stretches so he will not ache the day after. Feedback: This was the real test for Adam, I had set him really hard tasks and I wanted to see how he would adapt to major changes in his style.

We started the session with a good warm up then applied short run up jumps so he could attempt the changes at slow speed. We performed this a number of times, each time I pointed out what was good and bad. In turn this made him realise he should change some things in his jump and not others. E. G. Adam performed one jump where he gained good height of the board from a straight leg and in the same jump his arms were not doing anything. So I pointed this out and he kept the good height and also used his arms. This shows good progression and adaptability.

After I was pleased with his technique we set out his run up and he tried this at full speed. At first the jumps were extremely sloppy but as he adapted his speed and changed his body position he put it all together to pull out a really good jump. As I said before the last session I will be focusing on triple jump this session. I will be working mainly on distances between the three phases. The phases need to be around the same distance to create a top class jump. To do this we will concentrate on the height he gets through the phases, his balance and his timing.

For this to work Adam must be extremely focused and confident that he can complete the task. As we did with the last session I will let Adam take short run-ups so he can practice the technique without the speed. This is a lot easier to perform but as the height in the phases comes in we must add the speed as when speed is applied Adam will have the tendency to run thorough the board as apposed to generating lift like in long jump. The first two phases are all about covering as much ground as possible without straining too much so you can’t get a good jump on the end.

To get the distance in the first two phases Adam will have to get the correct height so he doesn’t come down to early and so he doesn’t injure himself landing from too high. Feedback: Adam performed really well, he is now learning how to control and manage his speed and height in the air and between phases. His sprinting style has changed some what as he is preparing for his jump a lot sooner than he would usually also he is driving more towards the start of his approach, this will give him more time to build up speed.

I am mostly impressed with Adams ability to adapt his body and actions to what I say, and if I say something is wrong he will change it immediately to suite his needs. Now I am pleased with all aspects of Adams jumping, he is connection well with the board on both long and triple jump, which is hard because both are very different from each other. His height is good throughout the jumps and he is attacking the board a lot better so he is at optimum speed when he hits the board.

As you can see in my list there is no general fitness heading as I explained in my first step his entire general and much needed fitness will come from his Football and Cross Country training. Fitness is a key …

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David from Healtheappointments:

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