Young jumpers may be surprised, however, that their first lessons probably involve running, not jumping, as they learn to develop a consistent stride. The eventual goal is to start from the same point on the track and always be running at full speed when the takeoff foot hits the board.
Those who display sufficient speed, combined with a consistent stride, will eventually move on to learn advanced long jumping techniques.
Safety and comfort:
Beginning jumpers probably won’t leap far enough to injure themselves, but it never hurts to teach some flight techniques to young jumpers, so they don’t tumble out of control while in the air, or land on their hands. The first landing drills will likely be performed from a standing start. The jumpers will leap off of both feet, then reach their arms forward as their legs do the same. They’ll learn to extend their legs, land on their heels, and either roll to one side or push themselves forward. But the first concern will probably be to insure that jumpers don’t instinctively try to break their falls with their hands, thereby risking sprained wrists, or worse.
Beginning jumpers, of course, will be focused on jumping, not the approach run, which may just seem like a preliminary activity – something to get out of the way before the real fun begins. To keep them focused on the approach, therefore, it may be wise to practice the approach run on a track, rather than on a long jump runway. Once the novice jumpers develop a consistent approach run – and they’ve learned proper landing technique – let ‘em rip on a real runway. Generally, right-handers will begin the approach by striding with the right foot, and will take off with the left foot.