Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit two schools and give a brief clinic on the horizontal jumps. The schools were in Japan and the clinics were held in the rain. Fortunately, the rain didn’t fall too hard during the hour or so that I was outside watching the athletes struggle to get the technique correct.
From this experience, I realized that it is especially important to have coaches who understand the basic skills necessary to establish a fundamental skill level for the athletes and to correct major mistakes. Most coaches in Japan have a general education in the jumps. Unfortunately, high schools in America don’t hire track coaches, but use teachers who haven’t had the opportunity to study the technical events like the jumps. My hope is that these teachers will be able to visit a camp or clinic themselves to learn the basic skills necessary to coach these events.