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  • Left foot - right foot

    In late September "you" carried a nice article about Christian Taylor, and that how he's been forced to switch his take off leg from left to right. Presumably with a PR or 58'11- 1/4 and a 2014 seasonal best of 57'5-1/2" he holds the combined "WR" at 117'4-1/4".
    Who else is up there on such a list? I vaguely recall that Norm Tate may have jumped off both legs at some point in his career. What about the long jump? Again, I have a vague recollection of Bob Beamon having to shift his take-off leg after Mexico City. This has some additional relevancy now because of Markhus Rehm. It would seem that he could shift his take-off leg to eliminate the controversy of him receiving any undue benefit from his prosthetic leg.

  • #2
    Not world class, purelypersonal experience.
    I was a right foot take off in every event. LJ, HJ(straddle), hurdles.. I could jump 25 low off my right foot and 23 low off left foot. In the one year (1952) we contested the TJ, I discovered it made little difference which foot I took off first.. two rights and a left or two lefts and right..the end result was 49 low...but it still felt more natural to start with the right foot.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lonewolf View Post
      I discovered it made little difference which foot I took off first.. two rights and a left or two lefts and right..the end result was 49 low...but it still felt more natural to start with the right foot.
      Indeed. 25 years of coaching has convinced me that a good jumper can be trained to use either foot effectively.
      If you are right-footed, that's your coordination leg and your left is your strength leg (on most athletes). I used to think you should hop off your strength leg, but have found that many jumpers have more initial success (which leads to more subsequent success) being able to hop on the coordinated leg and using the strength leg to LJ into the pit, as LJ/TJers would normally do.
      I have also seen Long Jumpers jump off the 'wrong foot' (due to major approach problems) and go farther than their correct leg produces.
      The HJ, however, is all about the strength leg, in my experience. Was Fosbury left-handed/footed? He approached from the 'goofy' side.

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      • #4
        The ability to change takeoff feet always puzzled me. I was a high jumper with a PR of 6'11" off my left foot. My best jump off of my right foot was 5 feet. I could do any dunk you can think of off my left foot; off my right foot I couldn't even touch the rim. Admittedly, I never really worked on jumping off the other foot...but this was because it always seemed impossible and felt incredibly awkward. Is this really a skill that can be learned, or are some people naturally more ambidextrous than others?

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        • #5
          I was never much of an athlete, let alone jumper, but to me at least it made zero difference; I could never make myself feel that one of my legs was better or more natural to jump off than the other. Perhaps I have two no-strength, no-coordination legs.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Atticus View Post
            I have also seen Long Jumpers jump off the 'wrong foot' (due to major approach problems) and go farther than their correct leg produces.
            The HJ, however, is all about the strength leg, in my experience. Was Fosbury left-handed/footed? He approached from the 'goofy' side.
            In the LJ? Not at the world level. maybe at high-school and age group level (jumping lomnger off the "wrong" leg)
            We should phase out the expression "goofy side" The 2 earliest flop jumpers Fosbury and Brill jumped of the right leg. At the current world top, 3 of the top 5 also jump off the right leg, as does Kynard and Jesse Williams.

            No male Olympic HJ winner jumped off the left leg until Mogenburg in 1984. 16 years after Fosbury.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Per Andersen View Post
              In the LJ? Not at the world level. maybe at high-school and age group level (jumping lomnger off the "wrong" leg)
              We should phase out the expression "goofy side" The 2 earliest flop jumpers Fosbury and Brill jumped of the right leg. At the current world top, 3 of the top 5 also jump off the right leg, as does Kynard and Jesse Williams.
              No male Olympic HJ winner jumped off the left leg until Mogenburg in 1984. 16 years after Fosbury.
              If I'm not mistaken (I have a wonderful memory; it's just rather short), both Bob Beamon and Mike Powell had jumps off their 'wrong' foot that were very good.
              The operative question for left approach HJers is: are they left or right-footed (coordination-wise)? I'd be interested to know if some of them were right-footed, because that would confound my theory that all right footers should jump off their left leg (aka the strength leg) and approach from the right. I've had one left-approacher in the last 20+ years and he was my only left-footer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KDFINE View Post
                This has some additional relevancy now because of Markhus Rehm. It would seem that he could shift his take-off leg to eliminate the controversy of him receiving any undue benefit from his prosthetic leg.
                No more controversy regarding Markus Rehm, the german federation announced that the final results of the biomechanical analyis of the german championships do not offer conclusive proof for an advantage due to the prosthesis, however strongly suggests the advantage exists. Therefore he and others will no longer be allowed to compete against "normal" people, however he will get to keep his national title.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by norunner View Post
                  biomechanical analyses . . . do not offer conclusive proof for an advantage due to the prosthesis, however strongly suggests the advantage exists.
                  Is it just me or does that make absolutely make no sense in allowing him to jump against able-bodied (PC?) athletes. If it STRONGLY suggests an advantage then . . .
                  This is not an NFL replay which has to provide conclusive contrary proof to overrule!

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                  • #10
                    I am equally confused by the "decision/explanation"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Atticus View Post
                      Is it just me or does that make absolutely make no sense in allowing him to jump against able-bodied (PC?) athletes. If it STRONGLY suggests an advantage then . . .
                      This is not an NFL replay which has to provide conclusive contrary proof to overrule!
                      Which part of "no longer be allowed to compete against normal people" is confusing?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by norunner View Post
                        Which part of "no longer be allowed to compete against normal people" is confusing?
                        Where's that 'oops' emoji when you need it?
                        I read 'no' as 'now'.

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                        • #13
                          I was on an exercise bike watching a tape of the 1988 Olympics, and saw that in the Heptathlon JJK jumped off her left leg in the high jump and off her right leg in the long jump. I guess that says something more about her athleticism.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by norunner View Post
                            No more controversy regarding Markus Rehm, the german federation announced that the final results of the biomechanical analyis of the german championships do not offer conclusive proof for an advantage due to the prosthesis, however strongly suggests the advantage exists. Therefore he and others will no longer be allowed to compete against "normal" people, however he will get to keep his national title.
                            I'm confused as to why he can keep his title, if he can't go for one in the future...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by norunner View Post
                              No more controversy regarding Markus Rehm, the german federation announced that the final results of the biomechanical analyis of the german championships do not offer conclusive proof for an advantage due to the prosthesis, however strongly suggests the advantage exists. Therefore he and others will no longer be allowed to compete against "normal" people, however he will get to keep his national title.
                              There should be a simple experiment for this one: get together a group of national-class long jumpers, run them through a series of tests, jumping off each leg, come up with a "standard" differential.

                              Then do the same with Rehm, jumping off prosthetic and jumping off his natural leg.

                              I have my (strong) suspicions on what the result would be.

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