When you talk to an athlete, or a parent, everyone wants to know how high they can jump… but nobody is concerned with how well they can land. We make athletes more powerful to run faster and jump higher, but are we giving them the brakes to protect themselves from injury?
Imagine you’re on a plane, and the pilot says, “We are now cruising at 30,000 feet, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve never landed a plan before.” Sounds crazy, right? So then why are we putting our athletes in this same position?
Learning the Skill of Landing
Landing from a jump, regardless how far you got off from the ground, is a critical skill in many sports. Proper jump mechanics can lead to success in many sports. Poor landing technique on the other hand can place an athlete at risk for both poor performance and injury.
When landing, an athlete must sit back and lower their center of gravity placing the shoulders over their knees and ankles. Upon landing softly, the feet are shoulder-width apart to absorb the ground forces correctly. When using this technique, the legs will be in position to powerfully move in any direction and prevent injury.
Focal Points of Landing Position
- Wide Base
- Low Center of Gravity
- Strong Back
- Shoulders Back and Chest Up
- 1/4 Squat
- Soft Feet