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Lesson plan for high jump: Gary Bourne Style

Intention: To participate in and demonstrate an understanding of cues & drills, for

high jump for efficient execution of the take off and safety of landing
and how to incorporate them into games/activities suitable for students.

Note: this progression is different from the coaching manual.

Equipment & set up: high jump mat, uprights, flexi bar, bar, lots of markers, tape &
pen. Prepare the mats and markers. Take off marker: 3 foot lengths in
from upright and 2 out. Curve based on 3.5-4.5m out from upright but
parallel with mat and then 6.5-9m 90 degrees from there.

Warm up : Scissor jump relay to determine which leg to jump off.

High 5 relay (relays but meet in the middle and jump high for a high 5
before returning to team)
More stretches.
3 x run thrus over 20m, with good sprinting/running technique.

Gary Bourne High Jump 7 step approach

- set up safety markers & curve markers. Need Masking tape and black pen.
- students work out a 6 stride run up
- Step 1 Bent leg scissors: Jump onto mat with no bar using scissor technique
- Scissor technique: lead leg bent to 90 degrees at knee
- Jump tall like a pencil. Do not lean back or kick out.
- Accelerate all the way into the takeoff from the start of the curve
- Speed important for the flop, particularly the last 4 strides
- Upright take off position in the scissor
Do scissor kick game here if needed: 2 teams, 1 point for correct take off foot
and 1 point for upright landing. Call out the number of points when you return
to your team & tag hand.
- Step 2 lead knee and arm drill: Stand in a line, using 4 strides do a vertical
takeoff straight down the line (no mat). Drive lead knee quickly and forcefully
up & the arm on the same side of body. This should be at max speed
- Step 3: vertical takeoff and hold drill. No bar. Using 6 strides on the curved
approach, same as step 2 but rotate onto mat. At max speed: run in, take off,
knee drive. Jump vertically like a pencil and do not lean back at take off. Lead
knee and hip remain which causes a natural rotation and back to bar.
- Step 4: Lead arm exercise. No bar. In the flight phase move the lead arm at
the completion of its vertical drive down and around the body to point to the
far upright. This encourages the jumper to rotate about their vertical axis to
land with hips parallel to the line of the bar and more flat on back than step 3.
- Step 5: Lead Knee exercise. Low elastic bar introduced here. Point at far
upright with lead knee throughout the flight phase to assist with the hip
elevation and this also assists with the rate of rotation. Turn foot of lead knee
towards the far upright. Hold the take off leg drive so there is a slight
separation of takeoff and lead leg. Introduce a low elastic bar. Do not lean in
or anticipate the bar or hyper extend the back.
- Step 6: Bar clearance movements: Once proficient in take off movements:
work on final movements to clear bar: head towards chest when hips are over
bar. This helps with the hips dropping but lifting the thighs, lower legs and
feet to be elevated rapidly and taking them up and away from the bar. Arms
remain by side.
- Step 7: Establishment of run up. Stand on toes of take off foot at take off
point, face curve, run out along curve and then up the straight line for 8
strides. At same speed as their approach for jump. Partner marks position of
toes on 8th stride. (8 strides for beginner or 12-14 for top level). Last 4 strides
should be on a curve. Gradual acceleration from start mark to curve and then
more acceleration into the curve & lean away from bar. Do not accelerate too
rapidly before the curve

Note: Gary Bourne: uses above techniques and not drills and short runs ups as per the
coaching manaul as above are essential to the efficient execution of the take off and a
safe landing. He considers back flop drills or take offs from short or slow approaches
as detrimental to an efficient take off and a safe landing.

HJ Challenge 2 teams have a HJ competition. Each team has an allocated

time to do as many clearances as possible. Each jumper nominates the height
they think they will clear and the bar is moved accordingly. Points are
allocated for: 2 points for good technique: eg: correct take off foot, knee &
arm pointing at opposite upright, vertical at takeoff, leaning away from bar. 1
point for a clearance.

If time.. Two teams of equal heights or thereabouts. Higher and lower the
bar as needed.
Escape from the Space Monsters 2 teams have a HJ competition. Explain
to the class
You have all been captured by space monsters and are being held in the space
monster prison. The only way to escape is via the electric fence (elastic HJ
Once a player has cleared the bar, they stand behind the mat as an escapee. If
a player knocks the bar they have set off an alarm and have to have another
turn. The winning team is the first to have all players over the bar or safely
out of prison.

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