chapter  20
Visual regulation of the long jump approach phase
Pages 9

The effectiveness of the long jump approach phase is determined by the athlete striking the take-off board accurately with minimum loss of velocity but also in an optimum body position for take-off (Hay, 1988). In order to achieve success in the long jump it is important that the athlete is able to satisfy these requirements repeatedly over trials. Typically, it has been believed by coaches that due to the need to consistently produce an accurate stereotyped approach, the experienced athlete should practise running from a carefully measured out start mark. Lee, Lishman and Thomson (1982) initially investigated the degree to which experienced long jumpers were able to reproduce a stereotyped run-up. The findings of their research provided a valuable insight into the nature of the action and also contributed to the development of a theoretical understanding of how goal-directed gait may be controlled. This chapter aims to review the research that has been conducted on the long jump approach phase and to discuss some of the theoretical and practical issues involved with control of gait in the run up.