Have you ever had the experience where you got into the air higher than you thought you could, only to realize you didn't actually plan on how to come down? Did it hurt? I know it did!
In recreation or competition, getting into the air can be both necessary and fun. Flying through the sky gives you a sensation we don't experience while our feet are on the ground. It's exhilarating, awakening, and can be alarming, especially if we haven't prepared for the quick return to earth. Too often we find athletes training to take bigger and longer jumps, only to be injured by the necessary descent. The bigger the jump, the bigger the landing.
When training athletes, we understand the importance of being prepared to take it to the next level. It's not all about getting bigger, stronger, and faster, as we discussed previously. It's also about being able to handle the impact, sustain the load, absorb the stress, and be ready to go again. We find great success in teaching athletes how to put on the brakes, and how to decelerate the movement. This reduces injury risk and improves coordination, all while seeing performance excel. Learning to control the load actually helps to move the load.
We spend part of our training working on jump landing mechanics so that we know our athletes are absorbing the impact efficiently. By taking time to work on landing mechanics, the actual jump power improves and the height, distance, and speed of the jump naturally increase. Sometimes it feels like we are cheating by not actually working on jumping, but still seeing significant performance improvements.
We also spend time working on loading and creating power through the jump. This helps reinforce the landing mechanics, and establishes a consistent technique to use when you can't spend time thinking about how you are jumping. Taking the time to train jumping the right way allows you to have freedom to enjoy your time off the ground, and not worry about how you are going to get back down.
Big jumps need big landings. #snowbeastperformance