Texas A&M Test for Explosive Power

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While fitness and conditioning play a large role in most sports, T&F jumps come down to incredibly short bouts of pure explosion and power. Because of this, Texas A&M assistant T&F coach Jim VanHootegem uses five key tests to chart his jumpers' explosive capabilities and progress throughout the year.

"Our core tests are the Standing Long Jump, Standing Triple Jump, Overhead Back Shot Throw, Between-the-Legs Forward Shot Throw and a 30 Meter Dash From Blocks," VanHootegem says. "We evaluate the athlete's numbers [from those tests] throughout the year and from year to year, to monitor retention and improvement." Regularly perform the following tests, track your numbers and see if you're making the necessary improvements.

1. Standing Long Jump

Measure from starting point to nearest point of contact

A few points to keep in mind:

• Extend at hips, knees and ankles
• Drive arms into extended position
• Land in athletic position

What this tests: Leg power

2. Standing Triple Jump

Measure from starting point to last point of contact

• Assume athletic stance with feet hip-width apart
• Lower into squat
• Extend at hips, knees and ankles to jump forward as far as possible
• Land on one foot; immediately jump forward
• Land on opposite foot; immediately jump forward
• Land on both feet in athletic position

What this tests: Leg power, elasticity and coordination

3. Overhead Back Shot Throw

Measure from starting point to shot's first contact with ground

• In athletic stance [feet hip-width apart] with arms fully extended, hold shot at waist level
• Lower into squat
• Explosively extend hips, knees and ankles upward and back while simultaneously swinging arms up overhead
• Release shot backward as far as possible

What this tests: Total body power and coordination

4. Between-the- Legs Forward Shot Throw

Measure from starting point to shot's first contact with ground

• In athletic stance [feet hip-width apart] with arms fully extended, hold shot at waist level
• Lower into squat, and bring shot between legs
• Explosively extend hips, knees and ankles, and throw shot forward as far as possible using underhand motion

What this tests: Total body power

5. 30-Meter Dash From Blocks

Time athlete from start to finish

• Assume position in starting blocks
• Sprint as fast as possible for 30 meters

What this tests: Acceleration and power


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: TRACK & FIELD