Athletics Weekly - - Performance -

AW: What are your par­tic­u­lar strengths as a long jumper and what do you think you need to do some more work on?

DB: My strengths have al­ways been my ex­plo­sive­ness off the board and with ply­o­met­rics. The thing I’ve con­stantly had to work on is runup speed/struc­ture. It’s more so in the last cou­ple of sea­sons that this has come to­gether and I’ve started jump­ing more con­sis­tently over the eight-me­tre mark.

AW: What are the cor­ner­stones of your train­ing?

DB: I’d say key for me are gym, tech­ni­cal ses­sions, for ex­am­ple, runups, short ap­proach jumps and lastly drills and sprint ses­sions.

AW: What are your go-to ply­o­met­ric ex­er­cises?

DB: Hur­dle bounds: a fun way to test and in­crease your lower leg power ... by fun I mean slightly scary!

Hops: a sin­gle leg ex­er­cise, good for strength­en­ing both legs sep­a­rately.

Stride bounds: these work on strik­ing the ground ef­fi­ciently and mov­ing for­ward which is im­por­tant when it comes to pen­e­trat­ing through the board.

Pogo jump: a lower leg ex­er­cise work­ing on quick ground con­tact and max­i­mal height from near straight legs.

AW: How im­por­tant are weights in your train­ing and what are your key ex­er­cises?

DB: I feel that gym is im­por­tant for power ath­letes as it helps main­tain strength through the sea­son, for me my key ex­er­cises are cleans, squats and step ups be­cause I feel they’re most rel­e­vant to long jump­ing.

AW: How much run­ning do you do in your train­ing?

DB: For a jumper I do quite a bit of run­ning, mostly speed work but quite a bit of speed en­durance too – to keep the fit­ness lev­els up through­out the sea­son.

AW: What are your favourite ses­sions and the ones that you dis­like most?

DB: It’s got to be the jumps and plyos ses­sions. I’m nat­u­rally bouncy so do­ing these ses­sions can be tir­ing but worth­while and a lot of fun. The ses­sions I do not like are the speed en­durance ones. They never seem to get eas­ier!

AW: If you could choose four or five con­di­tion­ing ex­er­cises for the long jump what would they be?

DB: Ab cir­cuits: a strong core is cru­cial to jump­ing ef­fi­ciently at take-off and land­ing es­pe­cially the leg shoot.

Stretch­ing: this keeps the body mo­bile so the right an­gles can be achieved on the run­way and take­off.

Skip­ping for height drills: helps to repli­cate a good take-off po­si­tion.

High knee drills: helps you stay tall

on the run­way.

AW: The long jump is a tough event, what do you do to min­imise in­jury?

DB: For me, stretch­ing and drilling are key ... putting your body through that much stress and not be­ing flex­i­ble and ef­fi­cient is al­most a recipe for dis­as­ter. So, stretch­ing and stay­ing quick on the ground would be key.

AW: What about nu­tri­tion?

DB: I don’t follow a spe­cific plan but I know what to cut out and what works best for me, which is less of the things I en­joy, like sweets, pizza… and more of the things my body needs!

AW: Do you use sports psy­chol­ogy?

DB: Not par­tic­u­larly. I do have a few cues I use such as deep breath­ing and re­lax­ing the shoul­ders be­fore jumps. I tend to use a lot of vi­su­al­i­sa­tion too in the warm-up and be­tween rounds to re­ally in­stil what I need to do.

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