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Just Fly Performance Podcast Episode #58: Dave Kerin

Today’s guest is Dave Kerin, USATF development, men’s and women’s high jump chair.  Dave has been a contributor to Just Fly Sports in the past in the popular squat depth roundtable.  Dave has worked with athletes of many levels, and has great results to his name, including a NCAA DIII championship record holder in high jump.

Dave has been a strong influence in my knowledge of high jump, particularly on what it takes to be good on an elite level, and what guys jumping over 2.40m are doing versus guys who are jumping less.  Aside from this, Dave has been a fantastic contributor to generally applicable sport science concepts, such as his work : What is the most direct means to achieve strength gains specific to the demands of jumping events .  Dave is a regular contributor to expert roundtables on the jumping events, and his knowledge of the biomechanics and training concepts for the track and field jumps can be useful for any coach.

On today’s podcast, we’ll get into many aspects of track jumps and related training, and ideas that can be universally applied.

Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.

Just Fly Performance Podcast Episode 58: Dave Kerin


Key Points:

  • Dave’s background in track and field
  • Individualizing plyometrics to athletes
  • Finding an athlete’s force/speed profile in context of track jumps
  • Hypertrophy guidelines for jump athletes
  • Single leg jump takeoffs on the ball of the foot
  • Flat foot vs. full foot contacts in plyometrics
  • Predispositions for flop vs. straddle style high jumpers


“A jump is something undertaken from a standing position.  The preponderance in athletic pursuits is not what I would call a jump, it is a deflection”

“You have them throw 3 throws with the heaviest (8lb) implement, take the middle performance of the three efforts, then drop down to the 6lb ball, same thing, drop to the 4lb, same thing.   If a person is neurally wired, they should be able to accelerate the lighter implement”

“I gotta think that a woman who is going to jump 2 meters in the high jump is going to throw an OHB  (overhead back throw) 15 meters”

“I find a lot of commonalities of OHB and high jump”

“There are a lot of high jumpers masquerading as long jumpers because they don’t add the third dimension”

“In order to jump, you have to sacrifice horizontal velocity to redirect the path of the center of mass”

“The greater force we deliver to the ground, the greater potential force we stand to gain on the back side of the vector”

“The golden rule is to apply the greatest amount of force, in the greatest range of motion, over the shortest amount of time”

“Kids aren’t as universally athletic as they were 20-30 years ago”

About Dave Kerin

Dave Kerin USATFDave Kerin is the USATF chair of men’s development, and also chair for men’s and women’s high jump.  His time has coincided with a resurgence in the event.  Dave’s coaching career began with 14 years at the HS level followed by 14 years of collegiate coaching where an athlete set a still standing NCAA DIII championship record in women’s high jump.   A requested speaker and published author, he is perhaps best known for his work: “What is the most direct means to achieve strength gains specific to the demands of jumping events”.  He also presented that topic at the 2008 USATF SuperClinic  (click here for that PDF) 

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