Today, I like to share something interesting, something different, something that’s been troubling me for years. Have you been trying to learn a certain skill set and for many years you still failed to master it? For many years, I have this goal, this dream that I would get an IPPT Gold.
What is IPPT, you can read here but in short it’s a physical test that most Singaporean men have to do when serving the Army.
I have never gotten an IPPT Gold, the best I could do was a Silver. The biggest hurdle – the standing broad jump station aka SBJ. I can do all the stations and even a good but SBJ is always the spoiler. Last year for my IPPT attempts, I only managed to clear my SBJ station after my fourth tried. I been trying to master this SBJ monster but it is truly a skill that does not come naturally to me.
For fellow readers, I’m sure you been through a situation where you see yours friends or someone else picking up a skill without much effort while you were suffering away. When I queue for my turn to the SBJ station, I feel funny. I wonder how these guys do it, I wonder how they jump so high and so far.
Going for the strength
Some friends told me I could not jump far because I lacked the power so I started strength training. Squads, Leg raises, leg curls, leg extensions, I do it all. I do it thrice a week, each time 3 sets, each set 15 reps. I did this for about month before heading back for my retest. Same thing happen, my push off from the mat was low and I landed short.
It’s not all about strength
Right after me was this guy who jump straight off the mat after One Single Swing and he landed on the 264cm mark. Just like starting up, we always try to learn from the best/ role model. I went off and speak to him. He shared that SBJ is not all about strength but mainly about technique and I was surprised that he was there for his retest too because he could not clear the 2.4KM station. He shared with me some of the common errors, such as improper arm swing, take off position/angle and setting our eye-sights too low.
I know, i know, there are many out there who are willing to exchange the SBJ for the Run, so to get the Gold Badge and the S$400 incentive.
So again, I went back and start training for techniques. I did tuck jumps and lots of practice jumps. I went back for my third retest. Same thing happen, I failed. I booked the test data again and at my fourth attempt finally I passed. – very much like the path down startup life, is that entrepreneurs never never never gives up.
This year, it will be different. I’m aiming for Gold. I’m going to start training for techniques now. So for the past week, I been doing research on IPPT training. I even manage to talk to Mr Azhar from NIE about IPPT Training and he shared a training manual with me. And yesterday morning because it was raining heavily, I decided to take what I found during the past week and make it into an IPPT digital notebook on evernote. There are two training programmes that are also referenced from Mr Azhar training manual.
Let me know what you think and how would you suggest I improve my SBJ.
Photo Credit: boston_public_library