Keturah Orji, known as KO, is a two-time Olympian and one of the world's rising stars in track and field. She is credited with leading a new era of excellence in the American triple jump. KO has also worked to advance access to opportunities for women of color. She is the first American since 1974 to win more than six consecutive U.S. titles in the outdoor triple jump and was the first American woman to qualify for two consecutive Olympic finals in the triple jump. Her mission is to show people that they can accomplish great things regardless of their background or looks. To carry out her mission, she created Amara's Pride, a mentorship program for girls. The program aims to provide young girls with access to successful women they can look up to, helping them envision themselves succeeding in their own lives. KO is currently a professional triple jumper and long jumper and trains in Atlanta, GA.
To help with achilles pain, try stretching the calf muscle and feet, using a massage ball to release any knots, and muscle flossing with a band. Transcript: "So something that has helped me with my achilles is stretching the muscles that attach to it. So, the calf muscle rolling that out, especially with like a small massage ball rolling that out and get any knots out that are tight and any areas that are tight and also stretching my feet and Toes sometimes like doing stretches of like the big toe or like the smaller toes will help the Achilles to and just rolling out my feet. Anything that's tight. Disconnected. Achilles may be adding to that soreness. Another thing that has helped me is muscle flossing on the Achilles and also on the calf and I'll include a YouTube video of what that is. But it's pretty much like wrapping a band really tight around that area and doing some exercises with it. And I feel like it helps with blood flow, and gets things moving, and it's helped me a lot too. So those are the things that I was go to when my achilles are tight or sore."muscle flossing
In the triple jump approach there are three parts: the drive phase, transition phase, and acceleration phase. During the drive phase you want to be pushing out hard with your head down and at an angle. The transition phase is when you bring your head up from being low to upright. The acceleration phase is when you're running as fast as you can with good running mechanics and bringing your knees high. It's important to remember to only run as fast as you can control. Transcript: "So I'm going to do my best to explain this with my words. And then I'll show a video and explain it while I'm actually executing it. So the three parts to an approach are the drive phase of transition phase and the acceleration phase the first point phase. The drive phase is really when you're pushing out hard, your head is down. You just trying to create as much power as you can and so you'll usually be running in an angle, more like this not up and down the second part that transition is when you're transitioning from running like this, so now being upright, you don't want Switch over from being a dry face, all of a sudden standing right up. You want it to be a slow transition slowly bring your head up last part. The acceleration phase is when you're at full speed running, as fast as you can. You're up tall. Good running mechanics, bringing your knees high. And so those are the three parts of the triple jump approach. And another important thing to remember is that you should only want as fast as you can control. So sometimes people assume if I run really fast, I'll jump further. But in the triple jump, It's really about how much you can control that speed. And so, if you have to run a little bit slower, Or to be able to control the jump. That's more important than just running really fast and being out of control during the jump. And so here's me, executing it. So right now, I am in the dry phase. My head is down. I'm transition. Now. My head is coming up and now I'm turning over and taking off."
To avoid collapsing during a triple jump, make sure you are not jumping too high, your chest is in the right position, your hips are underneath your body, and your feet land flat. To correct it, practice basic drills with no speed and increase difficulty and speed as you progress. It takes patience and practice. Transcript: "So there are a couple things that could be leading to collapsing during a phase in the triple jump to start. I would say getting too much height. So sometimes if you go way too high in the Hop or another phases it's hard to come out of that. You're going to fall out of it or collapse on that phase because you went so high and come back down on the ground. Another thing is your chest being too far forward or backward. So if your chest is really far forward, it's hard to control it. You may collapse and I'm not able to finish the jump. Another thing is your hips being out of position. So if your hips are back, Or just not underneath your body correctly, then that could also lead to lead to collapsing and then your Landing, your foot Landing. So the way your foot is hitting the ground. If you're on your toe, if you're on your heels, you're not a flat foot that could also lead to collapsing. And also sometimes just too much speed if you're running with a lot of speed and then you try to triple jump sometimes it's just hard to control that and so you do one phase and then you just fall out of it because you can't even control yourself through the job. And how is it? Corrected I would say just practicing all those things. I just said in slow either first like with basic drills. So like if you just do like box jumps or things like that, make sure your chest is on top of your hips, to make sure your hips in the right position. Make sure you're tall. Make sure you're not going too high on any jumps and just start off doing that in basic drills. And then when you start triple jumping just do it from standing triple jump, do it from Two Steps, do it from four steps and don't add any speed to it until you can hit those positions without speed. Because once you have the speed you're not To be with all of a sudden hit positions that you weren't able to without the speed. So I would say just mastering things while you are at a slow pace and while you don't have much speed and while you're doing things standing and then as you progress and as it gets easier at in speed at in difficulty, and try to make sure you hold those positions, you start noticing, you're losing the positions again. Go back to what you're doing and continue to master it and just takes a lot of practice and patience."
Kinesio tape is very specific to the individual and has been personally helpful for me in my muscle injury recovery. Despite some research that suggests it may not make a difference, many athletes still use it because it works for them. Therefore, I would recommend giving it a try to see if it helps you. Transcript: "My thoughts and kinesio tape is that it's very specific to the individual. Personally. It's helped me a lot when I injured, my peroneus longus, which is the outside of my calf, my physical therapist would put it on after dry needling and after soft tissue massage, because the muscle would often tighten back up very quickly after he would loosen it up. So in between all of our appointments, who would placate the upon me and tell me to leave it on as long as it stays on and then I would see him again next week and he would loosen up the muscle again and put KT tape on. So Very effective for me. I have seen some research that shows it may not be make an actual difference, but despite that a lot of athletes still use it because it's very helpful for them. So I would say is very specific to you and it's worth a try because if it works, then it helps you. And if it doesn't there was no harm in it. So yeah, I would say I am Pro KT Tape."
The best way to approach a competition is to try to think of it as practice and give your body the freedom to do what it knows how to do without forcing anything. Try to relax and be chill and let the adrenaline help you reach your best performance. Transcript: "So this is going to be a lot easier said than done, but you want to get to a place where two competitions feel like practice and not in the way of like intentionally trying to change things or improve things, but in a way that you are so relaxed and it's just another day. When you would have practice, you don't have anxiety or stress or super nervous. You don't have any of that because it just practice and you want to be able to get to that feeling almost that feeling when you're competing obviously the nerves, and the adrenaline really does help to bring you to your best performances. But Overall you would like to be more relaxed and chill and so you want to get to a place where you can feel that way. Even at competitions. Now mentally I would say you don't want to be as thoughtful about everything you're doing at a competition. You really just want to be in like machine mode where whatever happens happens. You're just letting your body do, whatever it's going to do because you've been practicing it so much. So I wouldn't say you should go to competitions, trying to think about what you did at practice and really trying really hard to competition in my Opinion everything that the work has been done. Everything you've worked on is already set in stone in your body. You just have to let it do it. You have to like move your mind out of the way and let your body do what it knows how to do. So yeah, try to think of it as a practice as in be, chill and relax at the competition but the same time don't be. So in your head about everything, you've practiced that you were trying to force things just let those things happen."
My hardest workout was a 3-2-1-3-2-1 and 50s and stairs. I got through it with the help of my teammates who pushed me to stay in the middle of the pack and focus on their feet and movements. Having training partners helps make workouts easier. Transcript: "I would say my hardest workout was probably from college. It's between two different workouts. One of them is 3 2, 1, 3, 2 1. And those numbers stand for the amount of Oxford, we would do around a 60-yard football field, a turf football turf field. So, 3 means 3 laps around it. Then a break, two laps around it or break one lap around it. That's one set. We do that twice. The other really hard workout was one 50s and stairs and we would run a 150, then do stadiums then Little break, walk back, 150, new stadiums, get a little break. I think we would do like, six of them, but those were pretty difficult to. And I would say, how did I get through it? Almost always, it is with my teammates. As long as I have someone in front of me, and behind me, pushing me, I'm always the person in the middle of the pack. I'm focused on who's ahead of me and not falling behind the person that's behind me. If I can just stay in the middle and focus on their feet, folks on there are movements and just continuing to move with them that helps me to get through it. He work out. And so that's why I think it's so important to have training Partners or people that will push you because it makes work out so much easier when you have them around, you doing the hardest workout with you to horses trying to do it alone."