Mastering Skills Day

Join ESP trainers Ben and Kevyn as they give some incite to our athletes about how to score big on Skills Day. This month, we will be covering the broad jump, the pro-agility, and the 40 and 60 yd dash. Check out a few pointers that could give you the edge during your next Skills Day!

Broad Jump – The name of the game is triple extension. This is defined by extension in your ankles, your knees, and your hips. All linear and lateral movements require some form of triple extension. It is how efficient you can do this that will separate you from the pack. Key things to think about is your stance, it should be about shoulder width apart. Arms have a great opportunity here to create power by swinging back and forward. The bigger your arm swing, the more force you can create. Stretch shortening cycle is defined as an active stretch (eccentric contraction) of a muscle followed by an immediate shortening (concentric contraction) of that same muscle. In layman’s terms, when you are squatting to take off and then extending to jump, make sure you do so quickly. That will give you the best chance of utilizing all power of your muscles! Upon take off, push the floor ‘down and away’ (remember this for your 40 and 60 yard dash). While in the air, drive your knees up to your chest to get that last extra momentum while airborne. Having your knees tucked will also allow you to create more hang-time, therefore letting you rack up those inches upon landing. Remember, landing soft is always what we want our athletes to do!
Pro-Agility –  Also known as the 5-10-5 drill. This is a great test to see how fast you can be in a small space. It’s probably the most appropriate test for measuring quickness and agility. Remember, its okay to cheat a little bit when you start. Open your stance a little bit so that it’s easier to cross over to that first cone. Before you pick up the first ball, sink your hips to slow down. Upon picking up the ball, try to turn your body a full 180 degrees so that you are in a straight forward stance to start going towards the second cone. The time you spend between touching cone #1 and touching cone #2 will make or break your time. Many athletes lose valuable time because they forget they have created a lot of momentum from cone #1. Make sure you have a good hip sink and utilize that 180 degree turn at cone #2. From here, its a race to the finish line. Good luck!
40 & 60 yard dash – Because so much goes into sprinting, we will just start with the acceleration phase. Arm swing is a main component of getting the most drive and momentum started. Drive your arms up and back as far as you can. This will give your drag leg time to pick up and hit the ground. Short arm action means short stride length. Leaning forward is big in the acceleration phase, keep your eyes forward and relax your shoulders as much as possible. Focus on pushing the floor down and away when you start out. This will put you in the right mindset to create the most drive possible. Once, we are through our drive phase, we can start coming out of our forward lean position. A lot of athletes want to stand up right away before they get to top speed. Use the drive phase to get up to top speed and gradually start to stand up. Now we can start to focus on keeping our arms in a 90 degree flexed position. Moving our arms at our shoulders will make us most efficient, many athletes move at their elbows which causes us to lose valuable momentum! More about the top end speed phase in another edition of Coach’s Corner! #ttp