Let’s face it, every athlete – professional or recreational – has a desire to jump higher, to dunk the basketball, to dominate in volleyball. We all harness this ultimate dream of flying “like Mike” or dunking “like Kobe.” Heck, some of us are willing to go beyond the dream phase and actually train to increase our vertical jump. If you’re reading this, chances are you have already made that decision.
But why should you even bother? What are the benefits of vertical jump training? Why step out of the comfort zone and do something uncomfortable just to increase your “vert”?
Because vertical jump training has HUGE benefits that go beyond a childhood dream of being a slam-dunk champion.
Here are some of the benefits of vertical jump training and why you should train for it:
1 – A measuring tool for overall athleticism in ALL sports. A strong vertical jump is not just about jumping higher. It also translates to overall athleticism in sports that require strength, speed, and power: basketball, volleyball, soccer, hockey, football, etc. So what exactly does that mean? It means that you have the ability to take your strength and use it efficiently. This is important for ALL sports. This is why bodybuilders and powerlifters are not necessarily “athletic.” They may possess great strength, but can they use it efficiently?
Did you know? The vertical jump test is one of several tests used by the NFL on athletes in the NFL combines. While it might not be totally obvious that jumping is important in the game of football, still the vertical jump of all athletes is tested to determine their athletic ability because it translates to better performance on the field. Scouts can use the vertical jump as a measurement of the players’ explosiveness.
2 – Gain a significant edge over the competition and dominate. Next time you’re playing your sport, take a good look at the players you play with (or against). How many of them actually dedicate special training towards increasing vertical jump? How many are willing to make the time and extra effort to gain more inches in their vertical? Chances are pretty good that it’s not many. Use that as a separating factor. This is your secret weapon. This is what differentiates a good player from a great one.
3 – Creates mental toughness; something needed by any successful athlete. Training to improve your vertical requires great willpower. Nobody told you to do this. You decided for yourself. YOU decide to train. YOU decide when to train. YOU decide how hard to train. YOU decide to succeed (or fail). When you step out on the court, or on the pitch, no one knows about your vertical jump training. Only you (and your coach) do. This is mental toughness.
4 – Test yourself physically and mentally. If you’re ultra-competitive like I am, you don’t wait for challenges to come to you. Instead, you tackle them head-on just to be able to “test yourself.” What does this mean? It means to test your boundaries and determine exactly what you’re capable of achieving. VJ training is physically and mentally demanding work, so if you’re able to stick with it, you’ll be genuinely surprised at what you can do.
So as you can see, vertical jump training has many beneficial “byproducts” that will go a long way in helping you perform better in your sport. Don’t be surprised to discover new athletic capabilities that you didn’t plan for!