Posted On Thursday, 12th July 2012 at 06:51
Jazmin Sawyers jumps today in Barcelona
Good luck to Jaz who jumps today in the World Junior Championships. She recently came third in the UK Senior Trials with a jump of 6.64m.
Her technical coaches Gary Jennings and Alan Lerwill have done a really good job of managing her training and competing schedule.
She has had a good run up to the Championships, increasing her jump scores almost on a weekly basis. Jaz is a real competition athlete, performing well in the big situations.
Making the most of what you have
I have been working with Jaz for the last 2 years, getting her ready for Heptathlon, Bobsleigh (Where she won Silver Medal in the Junior Olympics) and now long jump.
We started out with a musculo skeletal and movement screening, and worked from there.
Initially, we started with getting Jaz moving effciently and with more control in different directions.
The demands of training for Heptathlon are huge, so my over riding priority was getting Jaz fit enough to train all year round.
Track and Field is littered with stories of "niggles" and "illnesses". That is something I wanted to eliminate from our language: and pretty much all the athletes I have worked with over the last 3 years who have bought into our System are much more robust.
Jaz has some pretty extraordinary physical gifts. But, what makes Jaz really good is that she makes the most of every opportunity presented to her. She does the little things well, consistently.
When given homework, she does it: warm ups, stretching, 5x5x5 exercises, Christmas, Easter and Summer holiday training. Other athletes given the same advice and opportunity, didin't always take advantage, and have slipped backwards.
Juggling the Demands
It has not all been smooth sailing. Jaz has had to balance school demands: Head Girl, a million exams and House tiddlywink competitions the day before training.
We also had to consider the demands of Bobsleigh. Jaz was pushing, and was selected for her speed. Bobsleigh asked that she put on mass to help the bobsleigh. Gary Jennings and I were resisting this, thinking that mass for mass sake would not help Jaz run and jump faster and further.
We also had to consider the "Get big in a hurry" effect on a junior, developing female, with not much strength training background. (See more here in our Free ebook"Building the Big House" for Female Athletes).
We all decided that stronger was good over the Winter, but not at the expense of movement and speed.
Following her success, other opportunities have arisen: media, publicity and drinks with Nick Clegg!
I can't say that all this was ideal preparation. What I can say is that Jaz is extremely organised, and has managed her way through. As she says, these opportunities don't come along every day.
Jumping Specific Training
The last 2 months have allowed us to concentrate on the long jump. Jaz has had her A Levels, but her organisation and motivation have allowed her to train around them.
We have been working on "co ordination with resistance". Jaz is a speed jumper, not a strength jumper, so just getting stronger may not help.
I have looked to focus more on co contraction work, as well as getting her gluteal and dorsal muscles stronger (some of the exercises are in this video).
Jumping is an impact sport, so sometimes we have to let her unwind with some inverted brachiation training (picture)
Jazmin Sawyers Specific Training
All of this training has been develped alongside the work of Gary and Alan, and of course Jazmin. I haven't downloaded a blue print and followed it for the last 2 years (I haven't seen one for Heptathlete, Bobsleighing, Long Jumping, Head Girls, who also sing and dance!)
Instead, we have had an overall view and system which we have constantly assessed, adjusted and adapted to the various demands. It has been a pleasure working with Jaz, because she communicates well, is organised and applies herself.
Good luck today.
Follow Jaz on her blog here
See our Jump Higher programme here