When it comes to the vertical jump, hearing the phrase, “It’ll get better with time,” is quite common. Despite how dependent a basketball player is on their jump, it’s rare when you see someone actively working on improving it.
On one hand, the more you play, the higher you’ll be able to jump, but such passive improvement will only get you so far. Whether you believe it or not, unless you’re consciously working on a skill, there’s always going to be a cap on how good you can get at it. This list is all about why you need to actively improve your vertical jump. Get ready for a burst of motivation.
Vertical jumps are essential when it comes to improving shot accuracy. Granted, you can shoot with your feet glued to the ground, but with a strong jump, you won’t have to exert as much force with your arms which will allow you to focus on making calculated shots. As per the available scientific research, a low jump height along with decreased shoulder flexion can reduce the accuracy of any shot, especially ones taken from a long distance. Improving your vertical jump will guarantee you a higher percentage of shot accuracy which can make you a master of sinking in three-pointers. Not to mention, with a strong vertical jump, no defense player will ever get in your way.
One factor that can make or break a game is rebounds. After all, the best way to increase your chances of scoring is to shoot as much as possible. A quick rebound takes everyone by surprise, especially your opponents who will most likely still be in your half of the court after a failed offense. In other words, quick rebounds combined with a sprint, also known as a fast break, will guarantee you a free, unsupervised shot at your opponents’ hoop. Needless to say, a high vertical jump will allow you to catch the ball right after a missed basket, thus saving you time and giving you a head start.
So far we’ve talked about how vertical jumps help with offense players, but that doesn’t mean they’re useless for those who play defense. Unless you’re as tall as the now-retired Utah Jazz’s Mark Eaton, you’d benefit from a good vertical jump. Keep in mind that it’s not an easy journey, and if you visit this site, you’ll see that there’s no magical pill that can make your jump better. Nevertheless, all it takes is a consistent, well-thought-out workout plan. Combined with the right technique, you can block any lay-up or shot. Especially when you’re up against a tall power forward, you’ll need that extra height.
Whether you’re a basketball player or not, there’s no doubt that you’ve dreamt about dunking. It looks good, it feels good, and if you’re invested in winning a match, that’s a guaranteed two-pointer, every time. While some are blessed with the height, others need the jump to get them closer to the hoop.
That being said, if you’re on the shorter end of the spectrum, you might think you’re unfortunate, but only until you take a look at your opponent after you let go of the hoop. The shock, the utter disbelief, and the humiliation that comes with getting dunked on by the person you’d least expect it to come from, that’s enough to push anyone to work on their jump.
Jumping is one of the activities that engage several muscle groups. If you’ve ever focused on your body during a jump, you’d notice that, in addition to your lower body, the jump engages your core, back, chest, and arms. Ultimately, however, the explosive power comes from the glutes, calves, and quads. Because, in order to work on your jump, you’d need to strengthen those muscles, the more you work on your jump, the more you’ll notice the collateral benefits on the field. Whether it’s speed, agility, stamina, or strength, you’ll feel it. In other words, working on your jump will, consequently, make you a better athlete.
If you’ve read all of the above and are now itching to start your workouts, we’ve got a couple of tips for you before you go. First and foremost, know your limits. Sure, it’s important to challenge your limits, but you’ve got to keep in mind that you can’t ‘microwave’ a skill or an improvement. Trying to fast forward to a 30-inch vertical jump will most likely leave you disappointed, if not injured. Go on those intense workouts, but give yourself breaks and learn to appreciate your progress, regardless of its size. Secondly, don’t forget that there’s more to basketball than a high jump. While you’re going to be working on your jump, don’t forget to maintain the equilibrium between technique and physical ability.