I think part of the reason for my passion as a coach was my inability to find someone to help me on my path to my athletic goals in my younger years. As Tony Holler mentioned, usually the best coaches are the ones who felt they came up short on their athletic careers. Maybe, it is meant to be part of our journey. We came up short on purpose so we could help others achieve their goals. Of the many things that I enjoy about what I do, this is really my favorite. I like to be the bridge to help an athlete accomplish their athletic goals. What is cool about the process is the ability to look back and see where they started and where they finished. I have had the opportunity and luck to be able to do this on many occasions. This athlete is one of the examples.
Shane Molidor was a jumper at Downers Grove South High School in suburban Chicago. It is a school of 3000 students. It had a reputation as a football school and had the wins to back it up. It could have been a track powerhouse, but the football coach didn’t see the crossover. He wanted BFS. In that process, he let Shane slip through the cracks. As a sophomore, he qualified for state in the long jump with a 21’7 and was a decent 100m dash runner. His junior year should have been a big year, but he broke his ankle on the first meet of the year, and the rest of the season was lost. One week after the season was over I received a call from his dad to see if I could help him. A few days later, Shane showed up at my house for an assessment. I filmed Shane as I do all athletes when they start with me and then constructed an initial plan of how to get him to his goal that he stated firmly in the first minutes of our conversation, “to be state champion in the Long Jump.” By the end of our journey together, he jumped jumped 23’4 which won the meet and ran 10.73, second fastest of the day in prelims, second fastest time of weekend. But on Saturday after he accomplished his goal of state champion in Long Jump, I think he was done mentally and ended 7th in the 100.
I am going to show you what I saw Shane do on our first day, tell you what I see on the film and discuss the plan that we created. I will then show the after film to see what we accomplished. The film speed, software, camera were both the same for both shoots. Thanks to Sony DVX210 and iMovie.
Where a powerful pusher can get a great start and maintain speed, hopefully, long enough to win. Funny enough, Shane had hip flexor problems to begin. Quads were doing the work of the psoas. This is a problem with fast push runners. In the after frame look at Shane’s new pelvic position. It is horizontal with little pelvic tilt. There is vertical impulse on a rigid body. It is no different than bouncing an iron rod compared to a sandbag. Iron rod will bounce. Quicker plant leg off the ground. See how the trail leg lacks extension. This is a great before and after of a push vs. pull runner or horizontal vs. vertical impulse or the aftermath on that type of contact.
Overall, he is not in a horrible position from the side. He has some minor things that need work. From this we figured we would use a good, steady diet of prime time runs (stiff legged runs). This is a great drill to help teach and strengthen the body to get the foot under his hips on contact. The pelvic rock was a tougher issue. Did the rock come from a weakness in the obliques whose job it is to hold the pelvis in place while in the air? Or possibly the glute med that also holds the pelvis in place while foot is on the ground. Because his push is not terribly long, I didn’t think his push was causing the rock too much. But the prime times also tend to cure push runners.
To answer my question, I need t o look at the front.
That is quite a big difference in Shane over one year. Throughout the process. He increased his vertical from 28 to 40 inches. In future articles we look at his power output in a variety of lifts. And throughout the whole process, I eliminated all 2 legged exercise and most of his bodybuilding upper body workouts. We also changed his diet around as well. In another article, I will highlight the workouts that we went through, looking at the exercises and training. However, I will not get into long jump technique. The faster he ran, the further he jumped.
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