Training Program

There are a number of ways of achieving these aims. I feel that by starting my training now, I will have a head start prior to the athletics season, and will reach my peak during the season. Skill & Health Requirements High Jump is very much suited to an athlete who is tall, because of the nature of the sport. It is quite predictable in its execution, due to the fact that mainly two techniques are used to jump over the bar – the frosby jump and the scissor jump. The skill of learning to high jump is often dependant on the physical fitness of the performer. How fit a particular performer is can have a direct result on how successfully they perform in competitions.

Aerobic Capacity

This is the ability of a performer to take in and use oxygen to produce energy. It depends on respiration, cell respiration and the transportation of oxygen from lungs to muscles. It is measured as your VO2 max. The actual jumping process within high jump is predominantly anaerobic due to the strong spring run up. However during a competition as a performer progresses further aerobic capacity would become important, as the continuous sprint run’s can begin to take their toll. During a high jump competition it would be important for me to compete in my anaerobic system for as long as possible. This is because once I change to the aerobic system my breathing would become heavier and could distract me from the technique of my run up. However I feel that my overall fitness is sufficient and that it is not a great concern.

Strength This is the amount of force a performer can exert through their muscles. There are three types of strength, maximum strength, dynamic strength and endurance. Maximum strength is how much force is exerted through one single contraction, dynamic strength is the ability to overcome resistance and endurance strength is the ability to contract muscles repeatedly without becoming tired. In high jump maximum strength is the most important aspect, due to the one single push by the take of leg, just before the performer attempts to go over the bar. I think that the maximum strength in my legs is ok; however I feel that I have not reached my potential and that it could do with some improvement.

Flexibility This is the ability to move body parts around a joint. In high jump this is very important, due to the nature of the jumps executed. In the frosby jump, a high degree of flexibility in the lower back region is required, where as in the scissor jump, a high degree of flexibility in the legs is required. Poor flexibility in these areas leads to the performer knocking down the bar and if competing, eliminating themselves from the competition. I believe that although I have good flexibility in my legs, the flexibility in my back could be improved.

There are various aspects of skills needed in high jump. The health of a performer has a direct effect on the effectiveness of the learned skill. Speed This is the ability to move your body quickly over distances. It is measured by the rate of change of body position, which is controlled within the performer. High speed in the run-up stage of high jump is extremely important, because it allows the performer to overcome their inertia. Inertia is the resistance of an object to move. It is proportional to mass therefore an object with a high mass (e.g. a person) will require more force to move. Running at speed during the run-up phase ensures that more force is generated and imparted on to the vertical jump in the take-off. I do not feel that I need to improve on my speed because I have competed in sprint races before and I have a personal best of 12.59 seconds, which I believe is sufficient.

Reaction Time This is the time taken to respond to a stimulus. In high jump the stimulus provided is the approaching bed and bar. A quick reaction time is important because it allows the performer to gauge when it is appropriate to start executing the jump phase. I don’t think that I need to improve my reaction time, but that however I need to maintain it, by keeping up my concentration levels. I think my level of concentration is fine, however I think that I concentrate on the wrong aspect of the take-off stage, i.e. I concentrate on getting over the bar rather than achieving height.

Balance This is achieved when the centre of mass of a performer is over an area of support. In high jump a performers balance over the bar is particularly important because if they are off-balance they will knock the bar down. I feel that whilst my balance and stride approach within my run-up are fine, I have poor balance across the bar which leads me to knock the bar off when it reaches heights nearer my personal best.

Coordination This is the ability to move in a smooth and efficient manner to achieve a particular task. This involves the correct order of execution of motor programmes. I think that my organisation of motor programmes is fine, however the coordination between my arms and legs within the run-up could be improved.

Testing Before designing a personal exercise programme, it is important to establish how physically fit you are so that the programme is appropriate. To do this, there are a number of tests that can be implemented such as the multi-stage fitness test and the Illinois agility run test. When choosing what tests to use, it is important to make sure that it is testing the aspects of your fitness in which you want to improve. With this in mind, I have chosen to use the sergeant vertical jump test (the standing high jump), the standing long jump and the sit-and-reach test, because I feel these are the most specific to my aims (rather than e.g. the multi-stage fitness test).

Sergeant Vertical Jump Test This measures the explosive maximum strength in the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis, by jumping vertically. In this test you stand next to a tape measurer against a wall, with your arm outstretched. You then jump and the distance from your outstretched arm to how you jumped is the figure you record. Standing Long Jump Test This measures the same muscles as the sergeant vertical jump test, but by jumping horizontally. In this test you stand at the beginning of a measuring tape, then jump forward. The distance you jump from the beginning of the tape until where you land is the figure recorded.

Sit-And-Reach Test This measures the static strength and flexibility of the semitendinosus, biceps femoris and the semimembranosus. In this test you sit with your legs straight with your hands touching the beginning of a tape measurer (placed on a bench) with your hands outstretched, then you stretch forwards as far as you physically can. The distance from the beginning of your hands until the point you reach is recorded. It is important to remember that although tests are extremely helpful, the results are not definitive and other factors on the day of the tests need to be taken in to consideration e.g. illness, injury, fatigue.

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