Landing Shallow? Here's what to do.

Landing deep in the pit is good, but what happens when you land shallow with the same pole and grip that you were using when you landed deep on the previous jump? If your pole and grip were the same as before, then you can eliminate them as factors affecting your jump. Instead, it could be your run.

Here are a couple reasons you’re landing shallow due to the run:

  1. If you’re too far out at takeoff, then you’re probably over striding, which slows down your run and makes it difficult to jump up. A flat takeoff slows down your pole speed.

  2. If you’re too far in, then your strides become shorter and you need to back up. Taking off under the pole causes you to get ripped off the ground, which prevents jumping up. Again, this leads to the pole speed slowing down.

In both situations, you need to watch the run and make sure the step is on. Once you’ve adjusted your step, then you can start working on technique, but you cannot fix technique when the resistance (grip height or pole stiffness) prevents you from jumping smoothly.

Pole stifness and grip height can also create too much pole resistance. If you go up a grip and land shallow, maybe you’re not ready for that grip yet. Go back down and continue working on your jump until you’re consistently landing deep in the pit. Then, you can go back up to that higher grip.

Similar to grip, you should only go up 5 pounds at a time when you’re rolling over your current pole well and getting lots of bend. Again, too much resistance means you need to go back down 5 pounds to a smaller pole and make it easier. It’s always better to work on technique with less resistance. Match your pole and grip to your ability. Not the other way around!

Shallow landings happen. As long as you make the appropriate adjustments, then you won’t have to worry about it happening again on the next jump. However, if you land shallow consistently, then you are unnecessarily increasing your risk of injury every time you jump. The adjustments mentioned above will help you land deeper and stay safe.

I want my athletes to grip higher and get on bigger poles like everyone else, but safety comes first. Every athlete has their limits. It’s better to develop skills with lower grips and smaller poles before moving up. Make the jump easier, not harder. Play it safe!

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