The high jump is a very technical event. Being an explosive leaper is certainly an advantage, but in this event technique is what makes the difference for champion jumpers. Teaching the high jump can be broken down into four distinct phases: Approach, Penultimate and Ultimate Steps, Take-off and Bar Clearance.
In the video clips below John Gartland, former head coach and now assistant coach at Indiana State University, demonstrates two drills to help teach the proper high jump technique in the penultimate/ultimate phase. The first drill is designed to help teach the proper arm action on the penultimate/ultimate step. The second drill is designed to teach knee drive and dorsiflexion.
These drills are from Coach Garland’s instructional DVD that includes 12 different drills covering all four phases of the high jump. For more information about that DVD click the link Curriculum Guide to the High Jump
The YouTube videos below have sound, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site. Some schools block access to YouTube.
Hip Penultimate Drill
Summary of the Hip Penultimate Drill
The athlete should take a very short approach in a tight circle. The athlete should focus on sprinting to the last step. Their arms should move like a sprinter all the way to the penultimate (next to last step). As they take their final, or ultimate step, the athlete should draw both arms back, before driving either one or both upward on take off. This will help maximize speed. It is best if the Hip Penultimate Drill is done by having the athlete leap into the pit. By landing on the soft surface you can do several reps.
Continuous Pop-up Drill
The focus on the Continuous Pop-up drill is to have the athlete drive their knee up and dorsiflex their foot.