Received a question through the blog about drills for young triple jumpers and ways to train the step phase. Here's my response.
I'll use gym mats at suitably spaced intervals to develop the hold, for hops and jumps... so with an x stride run-up (usually 7-11) the jumpers will aim to reach each mat in turn (2-4 mats). Some trial and error is needed to get the spacings right but it does seem to work in terms of getting that "hit and hold". Obvioulsy it has to be done in trainers.
You could use more mats for more of a conditioning aspect, but I like to keep the element of speed quite high and after 4-5 ground contacts that will slow.
Another drill is to hop the "required" distance and then to step the "required" distance into the pit - this can work off short and long run-ups. The ratio of phase distances for men are around 30-35% for each phase, and that works as a good starting point. Again it requires a bit of calculation for short approach jumps and distances achieved. The step landing is made in the pit and a mound of sand can be built up as a visual target as to where to hold the step phase to.
From what I understand female jumpers have a shorter step phase and are more likely to use a single arm action. I have a few younger triple jumpers (male and female) and have seen that some of the females at this stage in their careers work better with a single arm action (the focus on the arms detracts from what they are doing with their legs and take-offs). So it might be best just to keep to a single action with them. I also like the pushing of the arms through the hop take-off as opposed to a double arm.
We do lots of skipping drills to get the active foot-strike claw back on landings and it also acts as a conditioning drill - single or double arm actions can be used.
See what I've been up to!