Every high jumper dreads having to jump if it has been raining or if the ground is wet. Even slight dampness in the ground can make a huge difference to your run-up, take-off approach, jumping ability off the ground and safety. Ideally, you won’t have to jump in these conditions, however there will be times when you won’t have any other choice.
Here are some ways you can prepare yourself should you find yourself having to jump in wet conditions.
Reduce your run-up speed.
The biggest mistake most high jumpers make is that they continue to approach the bar with the speed that they use in dry conditions. Unless you can control the speed in wet conditions and transfer that speed into vertical power without having it affect your technique, you will need to lower your speed.
Typically, you will feel the effect in your curve towards the bar. The centripetal force won’t be enough to take you over the bar and you will also feel like you will slip. So reduce the speed to a point where you know you can control it.
Focus on the rhythm of your jump.
The rhythm and technique that you should have practiced several times in the lead-up to the competition is what will get you through this. As mentioned in the previous point, your speed will be reduced to a point where you can control your approach and turn the speed into vertical power.
Focus on the vertical explosive power of your jump.
If you are a speed jumper, you will have difficulty in wet conditions. If you are a power jumper, it might work in your favour. Due to reducing the speed of the approach, athletes will need to harness as much power to give them the vertical lift over the bar.
Execute your technique flawlessly.
Your body mechanics need to be flawless if you want to succeed well in wet conditions. The focus, your body’s positioning, acceleration, centre of gravity and approach are all critical for successfully clearing heights in wet conditions.
Bring your run-up in closer if you have to.
Because your speed will be reduced, you will need to bring your run-up in closer. Make sure you test your run-up until you can find that ‘sweet spot’, so you can control the speed and turn it into vertical explosive power in the wet conditions.
I have shared some videos below that show some elite athletes jumping successfully in wet conditions.
Is there anything that you do during wet conditions that hasn’t been mentioned here? Share your experience in the comments section below.
Featured image credit: EP Trail
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