Welcome to My Site on High Jumping


    As a former jumper I designed this site for other HJers, their coaches or just folks that want to browse and learn more.  The idea was to create a place with lots to check out.  I think if you have the time, you’ll find that’s the case.  The links at the top of the page are the way into the parts and resources of this site.

    Some of the resources includes video of different high jumpers that I’ve admired, training techniques for athletes who wish to be elite, and some competitions that I’ve found on

    It also allows me to keep in one place the details of learning and coaching some of the techniques of the HJ, including the passé dive-straddle and the currently more fashionable Fosbury Flop. 

    In the days when I was first learning to jump, my hero was Valeriy Brumel, the Russian jumper who set the world record in 1963 at 2.28 meters or 7’ 5 3/4”.  His dive-straddle jumping style inspired me to start jumping over things in the back yard, which paid off because eventually all that jumping around led to a scholarship and a college education.  You’ll find a special section of this site devoted to him and the technique he mastered.  Practically no one uses the technique any more because it is difficult to learn and even harder to master.  The highest anyone has jumped using the technique is 2.35 meters or 7’ 8 1/2” by the Russian jumper, Vladmir Yaschenko. 

    The more recently (backward) Flop technique is widely thought to be more effective and all of the current jumpers doing the highest jumps now use it.  The current world record is 2.45 meters or 8’ 1/2”, by Javier Sotomayer who used the technique.  The Flop method has its subtleties, but there is general agreement Brumel’s dive straddle is harder to master, and since harder to master and thought to be less effective, it has fallen by the way-side. 

    The slow motion footage in the section labeled “Brumelian Straddle Technique” is very revealing.  It’s worth mentioning that I found how to horizontally reverse the video so that Brumel approached can be seen coming from the right side of the bar rather than the left.  Being left handed, that would have been very helpful to me as I learned--but that “learning” ship set sail about 50 years ago. 

    More recently, the only two film clips of my learning to jump were found.  One was during the spring of 1965 in an alley behind a friend’s home and the other was from a workout at the University of Missouri football stadium.  Both clips are very short, but I was so pleased to find them after they had been considered “lost” for more than 35 years.  I transferred the 8 mm film ito video and then eventually digitized them.  I plan to put those clips somewhere on this site.  They bring back a lot of pleasant memories.  The photo (above, right) is a computer screen shot I made from that digitized film and then using Photoshop, I created the watercolor effect. This jump is at about 6’ 6” or 6’ 7”. And yes, I did clear it.

   Here’s another practice photo of my doing the straddle technique.  I used a
straight lead leg “take-off” that I adapted during my HS years.  The photo (left) was a practice jump at 6’ 9”, taken during my sophomore year at MU, Columbia.

    Enjoy exploring the site and its resources.  Long live the dive/straddle technique of Valeriy Brumel!


Jim Cook