When I first started high jumping in high school, I mostly figured it out on my own, with the help of an old video on jumping technique given to me by my coach.
That video helped me to lay out my steps in the approach, but not much else. I still managed to do pretty well after practicing for a year, but it wasn’t until I got to college that I got specific high jump training that taught me leap building exercises and the philosophy of glide.
At the college level I crossed paths with some high level jumpers many of whom had valuable tidbits to share. One guy would swear that the Russians had it all figured out. The next would say a good plyometrics regimen is all you need. The next would assure me it is all about mastering the penultimate stride. Yet another would say it’s all in the J curve and how you groove it.
They were all right. They all had important pieces. If only I had all these pieces as a junior in high school. The massive difference that would have made in my career. But by my third year at college, I started to develop a bruised fifth lumbar from hyper extending my back, and that changed my whole approach.
Now as a masters division athlete some 30 years later, I’ve gone back to the old straddle technique to protect my back, and I jump off the opposite foot due to a car accident that left my original leaping leg badly broken in 5 places.
I still love the event and work on balance and spring 3 times a week. For those of you new to high jumping, my hope is that you get the jump manual and use it. It will save you years of searching and those are key performance years that you can’t get back.
Try it and you’ll be leaping through the roof in no time, and if you are a high school junior or you are getting this for one, you might even earn yourself some college scholarship money with the huge gains you’ll make next season.