Here we have two of the TFTC athletes, Kayla Bushey and Tate Lea working on a small scale rudiment jump series. This gives them the ability to focus on a few key elements; strong heel first ground impact, a tight core, and balance.
It is difficult for people to understand that your greatest force impact is through your heel, transferring weight to the mid foot and then finally releasing and pushing through the toes. All to often we hear the same traditionalist cue of run on your toes. Running and jumping on your toes is like trying to run away in high heels. You actually want to get somewhere fast? Throw those things off and make full contact with the ground!
Instead, run through your toes. The power from the movement comes from the heel and then your upward direction comes from finishing through the top of your foot or your toes.
Now you can transfer your weight rather than absorbing it. These movements are quick, efficient, and move your body through space based on how well you push through the ground.
In the above video, you can also see proper stabilization in their core and legs. The Rudiment Jumping Series offers help with working on the double arm technique but only after knowing how to engage the core. No core, no soar. If you can't actively engage your core, you are keeping yourself from transferring the energy. The ground contact you make should jolt through your body and push you back up into the air as fast as possible. If your core is loose, your energy is hitting a breaking point even before you leave the ground.
You can notice how they try to keep their arms relaxed to the sides to work on just this. So many athletes mask their weaknesses by using their arms to carry them through the jump. This is a great way to see your athlete's strengths, weaknesses and improvement points. Try it out. It might look easy, but don't let this series fool you, it is plenty intense.
The in-place bounding drills at the end of the video work on a combination of proper heel ground contact, core stabilization and balance. If you can't bound in place, why are you trying to bound in a direction. Always remember that each drill should have a purpose and work towards your goals of being a better jumper, sprinter, thrower, etc...
Coaching Cue: Make sure the athlete is striking the ground heel first and not attacking it. Remind them that the ground will always be there and gravity will bring them back down. Their job is to get off the ground as quick and efficiently as they can while staying engaged and balanced. And remind them CORE, CORE, CORE! Keep it tight and keep it simple!
Athletes Cue: Focus on one thing at a time. Feel the difference between tightening your core on some of these and letting it go. You will notice an immediate improvement in your balance and ability to get off the ground when you keep that core rock solid. Keep working on it. Each time it will get better.
And as you all know, "in any sport, your feet dominate what you do."