High Jump: Training & Technical Phase-Based Approach to Seasonal Planning
with Chad Gunnelson,
University of Dubuque Director of Track & Field and Cross Country;
has mentored 37 NCAA qualifiers, 18 All-Americans, and 76 IIAC Champions in seven seasons;
2017 & 2018 IIAC Men's Indoor Track Coach of the Year; 2017 & 2018 USTFCCCA Central Region Men's Coach of the Year;
former Madison East HS (WI) Boy's & Girl's Head Coach, won back-to-back state championships in 2010-2011;
holds the USTFCCCA Certifications: Jumps Specialist, Endurance Specialist, Strength & Conditioning, Track & Field Technical, and Program Management;
USATF Level 1 certified
The high jump is one of the most complicated jumping events. As a highly specialized event, it can be intimidating for high school coaches to put together a successful training program that meets their jumpers' needs, especially under the scheduling challenges of a typical season.
In this video, Chad Gunnelson helps alleviate that fear by showing how to break down every aspect of the event. From annual planning to weight room progressions and over an hour of on-track instruction, Coach Gunnelson shows you how to get the most out of your athletes and create dynamic, explosive jumpers.
Developing an Annual Plan
With only 12 weeks per season and two meets per week, the high school track & field season has a unique set of challenges that aren't seen in other levels of the sport. To help you navigate these issues, Coach Gunnelson breaks down his organizational method for meso and microcycle development.
By placing a performance emphasis on meets at the end of each week, Gunnelson shows how to fit in the important sections of training, including technical days, speed and power days, and weight lifting sessions. He also shows how he organizes technical training days to add variety to high jump practices and provide the best learning environment possible.
Designing Weight Training
High jumpers put several times their body weight in force into the ground. As a result, a well-organized weight training program can make the difference between a good high jumper and a great one. However, in a short season, weight training can be difficult to implement and teach.
To help organize an efficient and effective lifting program, Gunnelson discusses various progressions for bilateral and unilateral squats. When combined with his progression for hip thrusts, he shows a simple way to help athletes safely and effectively use the weight room to build explosive strength and power. For coaches with advanced athletes, Coach Gunnelson also shows more advanced lifts like rep split jerks that take advantage of the stretch shortening cycle to help jumpers leave the ground more powerfully.
Assemble and Develop the Approach
The high jump approach is the key to success in the event. A properly executed approach can help athletes reach new heights and gain confidence in their ability to attack higher bars. However, errors early on in the approach can lead to problems at takeoff and prevent athletes from reaching their potential. In this segment, Coach Gunnelson spends over an hour breaking down every aspect of the approach, from the drive to the transition and curve, to the takeoff. By pointing out common errors and corrections, Gunnelson expertly uses various drills and progressions to help you troubleshoot issues and streamline the approach.
This video is especially great for coaches under the restrictions of a typical high school season. Coach Gunnelson provides great ideas that will be sure to help your jumpers improve!
90 minutes. 2018.
Buy at Championship Productions
James Thomas' Unconventional Approach for High Jump Consistency
with James Thomas,
Texas Tech Associate Head Men's Coach - Men's & Women's Jumps & Combined Events;
USTFCCCA Jumping Event Specialist; USATF Level II Certification- Jumps;
Coach of 1 Olympian & 4 NCAA Champions, 5-time USTFCCCA Mountain Region Assistant Coach of the Year
James Thomas uses unassuming terminology and visual aids to explain the mechanics and qualities of the high jump that are imperative to success. He shares his exercises and practice designs to facilitate his athletes' ability to accomplish the requisites to big jumps.
Thomas' video goes beyond drills and techniques associated with the high jump and begins to address which skills are truly important to success within the event. In each of his segments, Thomas simplifies complex skills in a way that is easy for the beginning coach to understand, while providing some ideas that may challenge, or help, advanced coaches take their jump training to the next level.
Coach Thomas opens by explaining the importance of building a better athlete through multi-lateral training, not just coaching the high jump. He shows the six fundamental exercises that he uses to develop an athlete's elasticity to jump high, demonstrates a unique teaching progression for developing the all-important approach, and addresses the psychology of the athlete and how he works that into training.
High Jump Specific Plyometrics
Thomas explains that he doesn't use a lot of drills to teach his high jumpers how to be successful in this event. However, he does use a few key drills to emphasize proper joint stiffness, while discussing its importance in setting up a quick and powerful takeoff. This includes drills such as stiff leg low hurdle hops; skipping for height; and run, run, jump.
While describing each drill, Thomas details specific body positions required to make the drill successful and how proper execution transfers over to the high jump.
Using Circle Runs
A well-executed curve will create the speed and power required for an effective takeoff. However, most novice jumpers tend to fight the forces generated on the curve run. In this segment, Thomas demonstrates how circle runs help athletes become comfortable running tighter turns and body positions they can take up, such as opening the chest. He demonstrates both the traditional 5x5 approach and a more innovative 6x4 approach. He presents his thoughts on the difference between the two approaches and why he favors one over the other.
Challenging Athletes at Practice
We all know the high jump can be a finicky event, and the mentality of the athlete often makes all of the difference at the big meets. In this segment, Thomas takes you through some of his unique strategies for structuring practices that replicate the competitive stresses athletes encounter when they compete. Some examples include placing limits on jump attempts, or ending practices after three missed jumps to replicate competition.
Coach Thomas presents the successful path he prescribes toward one that is oriented toward more time-efficient efforts for practice and competition.
37 minutes. 2018.
Buy at Championship Productions
Championship Speed and Power Drills: High Jump
with Jim Dilling,
Minnesota State University Head Men's and Women's Track & Field Coach;
3x Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Coach of the Year (Indoor 2014-15; Outdoor 2014);
2007 USA Outdoor Champion in High Jump, 2x NCAA DII Indoor Champion (2006-07), 2x NCAA DII Outdoor Champion, 5x NCAA DII All-American
Learn the secrets behind creating a championship high jumper! Jim Dilling shares the training and methods that brought him success, both as a coach and athlete, in the high jump on a national level.
This video is loaded with over 50 drills and progressions to help you enhance your training inventory. Use this start-to-finish jump training method with your athletes as Coach Dilling takes you through baseline testing, a jumps-specific warmup, a static stretch routine, relevant lifting and strength training, plyometrics and jump exercises, a stadium stair series, and methods to increase speed for a consistent approach and powerful takeoff for the high jump.
A well designed warm-up sets a strong foundation for any practice. Coach Dilling breaks down the components of an effective general warm-up, while incorporating high jump specific exercises that are designed to engage the appropriate muscle groups and increase hip mobility to help athletes prepare for the demands of a high jump session. Static stretches important to jump training are reviewed and explained, along with a complete sprint drill series consisting of 32 exercises. Using drills like serpentine runs and accelerations, Coach Dilling helps you create a progressive warm up that can match the demands of any session.
Weight Room and Strength Training
Developing strength in the weight room is an effective way to quickly improve jump performance. Coach Dilling demonstrates 11 high jump specific strength training drills and ways to safely progress from unweighted to weighted exercises. Most of the lifts in this segment are single leg, intended to develop leg strength for a powerful drive leg and takeoff in the high jump. The controlled motions of these lifts will also help improve coordination and balance for athletes.
Plyometric and Jump Training
The high jump is a technical event, requiring power, timing, and coordination. In the plyometric section, Coach Dilling shows a mixture of double and single leg exercises that are further geared toward developing explosive power and capitalizing on the foundation built in the weight room. These exercises focus on specific high jump skills such as double arm swings, keeping a dorsiflexed foot and high quality and quick contacts with each jump movement. A variety of jump drills will create a strong and stable core in your athletes.
Approach, Curve Running, and Takeoff Drills
The last segment of this video takes the jump mechanics and skills athletes have been working on and applies them to the approach and takeoff portions of the high jump. Coach Dilling explains why:
- Consistency with the approach and your steps is the only way to ensure success
- Curve running and mechanics will help you keep your speed through the jump
- You should learn proper angle and placement for jump takeoff for bar clearance
Jump drills are reviewed to help master the penultimate step and create a powerful final step for takeoff.
Coach Dilling gives you an outstanding foundation of training to develop as a jumper. He focuses on the process and mastery of the skills leading up to the jump and provides a variety of ways to become a better high jumper through sharing his experiences and training methods.
80 minutes. 2017.
Buy at Championship Productions
20 Drills & Techniques for Teaching the High Jump
with Jeremy Fischer,
Head Coach and Lead Instructor at the Chula Vista High Performance Training Center/USA Track and Field;
USATF Level 3 Certified, holds Level 2 Certificates in the sprints, jumps and throws and currently serves as the Level 2 (event specific school) Jumps Lead Instructor;
former University of Oklahoma Men's and Women's Jumps and Multi's Coach; 2007 Midwest Region Men's Jumps/Combined Events Coach of the Year; All-American and All-Big Ten jumper for the University of Wisconsin (He also coaches Olympian & medalist Will Clay, 6x National Champion Amanda Smock)
There is a simple principle in the high jump - whenever the athlete starts wrong, they will ultimately finish wrong. Modern athletes struggle with maintaining posture, spatial awareness and multi-planar body control. Therefore, greater amounts of time must be given to work on approach progressions and developing multi-planar movement patterns.
Jeremy Fischer, head coach and lead instructor at the United States Olympic Training Center, outlines the importance of setting up an effective approach for the high jump. He also creates a step-by-step progression, complete with various drills and coaching cues, to help coaches teach athletes how to run smooth curves and maximize their power at takeoff.
Setting up the Approach
The high jump approach is unique to each individual athlete, with a variety of factors to consider. Coach Fisher helps to alleviate the guesswork by establishing guidelines on how to measure the approach and create a radius that will allow each athlete to run smoother and turn effectively. He breakdowns the specifics on how to determine proper start marks and jump marks.
Drills and Cues for More Effective Curve Running
Maintaining speed while keeping a proper curve radius is one of the most difficult challenges facing all high jumpers. Coach Fischer demonstrates drills and provides unique coaching cues to help athletes run the curve more effectively. This includes tips such as running flat footed on the curve, which enables the athlete to use full surface of their foot to gain better leverage and traction on the curve, and in turn, better lean.
Developing the Takeoff
Coach Fischer lays out a simple step-by-step progression for teaching the takeoff. He shows the DiPena take off drills from standing, to walking, before linking them together with the full length approach to blend all aspects of the event together.
Top of the Bar Mechanics
You will learn a drill that trains athletes how to relax while being inverted to prevent premature chin and butt drop while going over the bar.
Coach Fischer covers the importance of rest recovery, nutrition and prehabilitation. The best athletes in the world tend to maintain weight and strength levels year round, not just during their competitive seasons.
Coach Fisher delivers a straightforward teaching tool for knowledge-hungry coaches who want to build more competitive high jumpers.
59 minutes. 2016.
Buy at Championship Productions
Online Seasonal Training Plan: Boy's High Jump
with Mike Lugar, Founder and coach of Lake Erie Jumps Club;
Assistant coach at Elyria (OH) High School and Amherst (OH) High School; Currently has 22 state championship medals accredited to his coaching and training; Trained Tianna Bartoletta, United States Olympian and current member of the world record 4x1 team; He jumped 6'5" in the high jump to win the 2013 Masters Indoor National title
Follow top high school coaches as they share their thoughts and training plans throughout the course of an actual season.
You'll see a compilation of real-time, weekly videos from master coaches detailing the training week for their program. Included are daily breakdowns for every training session of the season all the way through the championship meet!
- Weekly video journal for an entire season
- Seasonal goals and objectives (PDF)
- Seasonal plan with training phases (PDF)
- Entire season of workouts (PDF)
- Coaching tips to give your athletes that extra 'winning edge!'
Learn from the best to become your best!
65 minutes. 2015.
Buy at Championship Productions