The vertical jump is a key athletic skill set. Most athletes associate the vertical jump with basketball and volleyball players. An athlete’s vertical jump is a key indicator of their overall explosive capabilities. Despite that this test demonstrates power in the vertical plane, it is still indicative of an athlete’s potential. Even the NFL uses the vertical jump to evaluate a player’s overall athletic value. Although the vertical jump should not be the only test used to assess an athlete, it reveals a lot about potential when combined with other general athletic tests like the 40-yard dash, bench press, and chin-up test. Today, coaches are using general athletic tests in combination with player stats and sport-specific tests.
The modern day athlete should be using various base line athletic tests like the vertical jump as a barometer of their training. Aside from needing to be a good test-taker during combines, athletes need to use athletic tests as a means to assess whether their training program is improving their strength, speed and power. Most athletes and trainers only look whether the vertical jump is increasing or the 40-yard is decreasing. Improvement is naturally the goal for all athletes. I encourage these numbers to be used to evaluate whether an athlete needs more recovery time. If you notice that an athlete’s baseline athletic tests are dropping by 10%, it is time to reorganize their lifting/training brackets, intervals, loads and rest time. The art of recovery for an athlete, is as important as any other variable in their training regiment.
Many sports performance and speed programs will use the vertical jump test for their athletes. The Parisi Speed Schools requires every athlete to submit to an evaluation which includes several standard athletic tests (referred to as SATs). Their scores are then entered into a database that has over 700,000 youth athletes from a 20 year span. Each kid is then given a score that is a compilation of all the tests taken. The vertical jump is one of the key tests. Since many athletes are participating in tests like the vertical jump, broad jump, 20-yard, 40-yard, chin up test when they reach higher-level sports, the Parisi Speed School teaches kids the technique for testing well. The goal is to provide great athletes who harness a lot power, the technical foundation to showcase it when under testing conditions.
Local speed and sport performance coach, Brennan Cox, gives tips to improve your vertical jump.