When I was jumping when TV was black and white and run-ups were cinder (okay, it wasn't that long a go, but it was a while back), one of my very first coaches said that I should push my foreleg away from me just after take-off before swinging the leg back down into the first part of the hitch-kick. Unfortunately I didn't take this on board. In hindsight I wonder as a young athlete had I worked on this whether I would have jumped further. I did have a technique with a very quick take-off, but was often unable to hold onto that positive - the result being forward rotation and a potential loss of distance.
As a coach I'm always learning and I've noticed that the better technicians in the group when it comes to either the hitch and the hang do tend to delay the movement into their specific mid-air action with this extension of the foreleg before sweeping it down into the hang or hitch. I've been emphasising this recently in training. And also recently I have pulled together a video on this technical aspect. Take a look!
See what I've been up to!