Establishing approach rhythm happens during the “J” straightaway.Embed from Getty Images
Rhythm is defined as “a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound” (https://www.google.com/search?q=rhythm&rlz=1C1TSNP_enUS706US706&oq=rhythm&aqs=chrome..69i57.1851j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8). For the high jumper, the strong, regular, and repeated movement will be the strides and stride length. The jumper may run on the toes or heel-to-toe if desired; in the straightaway it’s not important. What is important is the rhythm of the strides. They should be nearly identical and slightly increasing as the jumper nears the curve.
Here is a jumper running the straightaway on the toes. Please pay attention to the even strides and rhythm before she starts the curve. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REiEEa5DyHYEmbed from Getty Images
Rhythm is so important in the approach that Jonathan Broom-Edwards, World High Jump Silver Medalist, uses the crowd claps to assist with his rhythm. “Rhythm is key for high jump, so losing that is detrimental for the jump; the clapping sometimes brings that rhythm back if you have temporarily lost it” (https://www.paralympic.org/news/what-makes-perfect-high-jump).Embed from Getty Images
Establishing approach rhythm happens during the “J” straightaway and the rhythm gradually and subtly increases as the jumper nears the curve. The rhythm sets the jumper up for more elements later in the approach and leads to a successful jump.
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