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Neuff's Guide to Jumping Events (Key Principles)

Neuff's Guide to Jumping Events (Key Principles)

There are certain key principles that apply to all jumping events; these include the high jump, long jump, triple jump and pole vault.

Short approach runs put less stress on the body and are thus safer and better suited to young people just starting out in these events. These runs usually consist of roughly 10 strides (based on 7-8 year old). As you get older you can add more strides to your approach. A good rule of thumb is adding a stride for every additional year of age. A barrier, such as a hurdle, should be placed at the start mark in order to cement the number of strides in each practice session (another useful rule of thumb is that one running stride = six times the length of the person’s foot). Minor adjustments can be identified and made to meet the needs of the individual after a few practice runs.

Running approach:

  • Run with hips high.
  • Run on the balls of the feet.
  • Run lightly.
  • Maintain upright body position during final stages before take-off.


  • The hips always go up during one’s take – off.
  • The take-off leg always thrusts into the ground.
  • The other (lead) leg rises to hip height and is briefly held there.
  • The torso maintains an upright position.

During Flight:

  • Head up.
  • Torso remains erect.
  • Free thigh kept away from take – off thigh until late in flight.
  • Hold this flight position.


  • Always on two feet.
  • Should be a soft/squashy landing with the ankle, knee and hip joints flexing to absorb the landing forces.
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