As a triple jumper, you must develop the feel and rhythm of the event to improve on your jump distance. You must learn to transition smoothly from the approach, to the hop phase and to the jump itself. Different drills that break up the elements allow you to concentrate on each rather than always working on the jump as a whole. Once you develop and master each element, combine them to increase your distance and make your triple jump appear effortless.
Find your most comfortable foot combination by standing on one of the yard lines of a football field. Stand on your left foot with your right foot off the ground. Hop off then land on the left foot. Hop off the left foot once again then land on your right foot. Hop off the right foot and land with both feet together.
Repeat this drill by starting on the right foot. Repeat the drill until you can determine which foot combination feels more comfortable: left, left, right, together or right, right, left, together.
Initiate a run up to the yard line beginning with a two-step start. Move two steps back from the yard line and begin your triple jump foot combination at the yard line. Repeat this drill by backing up 5 and then 10 yards to feel your bound rhythm and foot strike pattern.
Work on building your speed down the runway while still staying in control of your movements. Run too fast and miss the takeoff line; too slow, you cannot maintain height and forward momentum.
Practice from the starting line and landing on the takeoff line with your takeoff foot. Repeat over and over, making an effort to increase your speed each time.
Learn the proper bounding technique with the help of a grocery store shopping cart. Push the cart down the running track as you hop from the right foot to the left.
Try to make each hop larger than the hop before, bringing the knee of the forward leg up to and parallel with the handle of the shopping cart. This is not a speed drill, but a drill to help with timing and a smooth bounding motion.
Learn to take off and land in the sand correctly. Start at least 10 yards back from the sand pit. Run to the takeoff line and hop into the sand. Keep your eyes focused on the horizon and work on moving horizontally rather than vertically.
Work on bringing the heel of the takeoff leg to the butt, pulling the takeoff leg back to the front of your body with the thigh horizontal to the ground, then stretching the heel of the takeoff leg out in front of your body for the landing, almost in a cycling motion.
Learn the jump portion by running to the takeoff line, taking off and making two hops on your dominant leg. Drive off the takeoff leg at the second hop as your pull your free leg to waist level in front of your body.
Drive your arms forward and keep your body perpendicular to the ground during the jump. Pull your knees up and swing your legs forward, allowing your heels to hit the sand. Let your knees collapse as your hips rise, sliding your body forward in the sand.
Repeat the jump portion slowly at first to get the rhythm of landing in the sand correctly. You must learn to fall forward during the jump rather than back. Use the swinging motion of your arms to help increase your forward motion as well as keep your balance as you complete the jump.