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By Nick Newman


Nick Newman is a British Long Jumper with a best of 7.77m and the coach of 2011 US no.2 female Triple Jumper Blessing Ufodiama (14.06m). Nick has been using the FREELAP system for the first two months of his 2012 Olympic Trial preparation with great success; here are his thoughts on using the set up for himself and his horizontal jumpers.

The addition of the FREELAP Timing System to my regular daily training has been huge. I had always been a huge fan of timing every sprint myself and my athletes perform. I did this for record purposes and also to gauge fatigue during a speed session. I had tried using other electronic timing systems but found it too much hassle to carry, assemble and unassemble during every speed session. As a result I decided to use a stopwatch and time all sprints from the first foot contact until they passed the line. Honestly, this worked well but one major problem was I could not time fly sprints and the timing accuracy of all sprints was always in question.

Timing for Horizontal Jumps

The idea of the FREELAP Timing System seemed fantastic and I could not pass up the opportunity to test the device on a daily bases on myself and the elite horizontal jumpers who I coach. During this early stage of preparation, my athletes and I are developing a base of acceleration development and are mostly performing sprints between 10-40m. For these we have adapted a timing method which had been used within Great Britain National Squad Camps for their elite horizontal jumps. For each sprint a timing sensor is placed 50cm ahead of the athletes first foot and a second sensor is placed at the end of the sprinting distance. As a large quantity of data using this timing method had been created by UK Athletics on their best horizontal jumpers, I wanted to continue using this method. The FREELAP Timing System allowed me to perform this method with incredible ease and efficiency.

Fly Sprints

The most important aspect of the FREELAP Timing System is its ability to time fly sprints. It is this assessment of maximum sprinting speed which will give me best feedback as to the competition readiness of myself and my athletes. For my female athlete I have been able to use a 10m fly sprint which is highly specific as it will mimic the final 10 meters during an athlete’s approach run. As I am running faster than 10 m/s I use a fly 11m sprint most of the time. This set up will work perfectly when performing full approach runs. It will be extremely valuable to see at what percentage of maximum speed myself and my athletes are attaining on the approach run. This will become a very regular part of the weekly routine within the coming weeks and all throughout the competition season.

Accurate, Easy Setup, Compact

The FREELAP Timing System has become a staple aspect of my training routine. It fits nicely in my training bag and is able to be assembled in minutes. I am now able to collect data during every session and record it with the comfort of knowing it is accurate and consistent. I could not be happier with the timing system and I am able to utilize its benefits. There is no doubt that all horizontal jumpers and jumps coaches would benefit from using the FREELAP Timing System. I am very grateful to Christopher and to FREELAP for allowing me to test the product.

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