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Visual guidance during competition performance and run-through training in long jumping
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2006, 00:00 authored by E Bradshaw, Brad AisbettBrad Aisbett
To ensure precise foot placement on the take-off board, long jumpers visually regulate their stride pattern during their run-up. A relationship between how much visual guidance they use and the horizontal distance they jump has not, however, been quantified. Run-up precision is often practiced using run-throughs, which exclude the take-off and, therefore, the high physical stress of the complete long jump. The validity with which this common training method simulates the long jump approach remains, however, to be verified. Four state-standard long jumpers and two heptathletes completed two sessions, each comprising six run-throughs and six competition long jumps. A 50 Hz video camera was manually panned from an elevated platform to film each trial, to enable subsequent gait characteristic evaluations. Linear regression analyses identified that a longer visual regulation phase, measured in time, distance or number of strides, was a key predictor of long jump distance. The number of strides that were visually regulated during the long jump approach was, accordingly, positively correlated with long jump distance (r = 0.67, p = 0.001). The amount of visual regulation used during run-throughs was, however, less than half (p = 0.001) of that observed during long jump approaches. Our results should compel long jump coaches to supplement run-through training with additional visual guidance exercises, to encourage their athletes to visually regulate more of their long jump approach.