Tournaments are important in the world of sports. Athletes cannot exist without them. Tournaments are why so many sports fans all over the world gather and watch the said sports. Whether tournaments which are a regular part of the sport’s schedule, such as the Champions League, the Grand Slams, or a quadrennial meetup in the Olympic Games, tournaments are important for athletes.
For athletes who prefer jumping disciplines, such as the long jump or high jump, preparation for their tournaments is as important as the preparation is for other athletes. Here is how athletes in the jumping disciplines prepare for their tournaments.
General Fitness – Preparation is Done Long Before a Tournament
If one is talking about exercise, jumpers will often work on being as lean and as powerful as they can be. Excess weight can keep a jumper down, literally and also put a lot more strain on the joints and muscles.
Exercise-wise, jumpers will focus on the jump itself, practicing the technique most of the time. The approach is as important as the jump itself, often even more so, depending on who you ask. Since high and long jump share a lot with sprinting, or at least, the two overlap in the approach, jumpers tend to share some workouts with sprinters. Strength-wise, the legs are the main focus, with olympic squats and similar exercises having a major part in strength-building.
Actual Pre-tournament Preparation – Mental Training
Most tournaments require athletes to have 3 jumps, and 3 more if they get to the finals. 6 jumps in total for the athlete who should be prepared enough at that point, to conserve their energy and plan ahead for each jump.
Most of the jumping tournaments are not over at the first jump. But not every jump should be a full on, give it your best, jump. Sometimes, the fifth or sixth jump is as important as the first or second one. Athletes focus on their mental attitude prior to a tournament, planning for their jumps and effectively, warming up.
Warming Up – Staying Warm Throughout the Tournament
Jumping tournaments tend to last a bit longer, so athletes tend to warm up and immediately after jumping move into their tracksuits, to cover their muscles and keep their body temperature at the optimal level. Even if the weather outside is warm, having your body drop in temperature, and more importantly, your muscles, can be detrimental when attempting to break your record and get the best score possible.
A large part of warming up for an athlete at a jumping tournament is staying warmed up. Most athletes warm up long before their name is called out, because that way, they are always prepared and at their best.
Jumping athletes warm up just as any other athlete would. They keep their bodies ready for the performance they have to put out in order to win, while at the same time, working on their mental game, to stay as calm and as calculated as possible.