Olympian Carl Lewis is one of the most decorated Track and Field Athletes of ALL TIME (9 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Medal, 10 World Championships Medals) and if we measure achievements, length of career and consistency in the sport, Coach Lewis is easily the greatest Long Jumper in history.
So when The GOAT of Long Jump shares his wisdom, you pay attention and take meticulous notes. Here are just a few of the "nuggets" he shared at this week's 3-day NIKE Speed Camp hosted by University of Houston Track and Field, as well as gems dropped during our post-camp 1:1 jump session:
- ARM STROKE > "Thumbs to the eye. Through the pocket. Elbow to the sky."
- Do your homework (i.e. arm strokes) consistently in the mirror
- Your legs follow your arms
- OPEN YOUR HANDS when you run; closed fists restrict arm movement
- POWER and PATIENCE are the key
- Blocks: POWERFUL STEPS are critical
- FOCUS. Work to RETAIN and EXECUTE corrections made
- If you have power the speed will come; apply force to the ground
- Keep it simple and avoid drama
- Be coachable
- Blocks: use a tape measure for placement; don’t guess
- Correct poor upper body posture
- You need the power of a strong core to support your upper body
- Focus on mastering your technique
- Drills are okay but RUNNING RIGHT is most important
- Meets: begin drills by walking to calm down and reduce anxiety
- Before your first event, lace up your spikes and SPRINT
- Achieving YOUR Personal Best is always the goal
- Drive: "the first 10 [meters] gives you the last 10"
- Don't run looking down. COME UP!
- LONG JUMP:
- KNOW YOUR MARK; move it out to avoid stuttered running
- Count EVERY step and memorize the rhythm of your cadence
- Run looking UP; identify an object down the runway. DO NOT look away
- OPEN UP > speed creates the velocity to jump farther
- On the runway, sprint like you do on the track!
- SPEED. SPEED. SPEED.
Study your craft and don't sleep on training. The 2024 Indoor Track and Field season is just a few months away.