Jumping Misconceptions, Pt. 1
Dumb mistakes players make when trying to jump higher.
by Hassan May Riggs / @HassanMayRiggs
Brace yourself, I’m going to challenge your vertical jump knowledge and share six costly misconceptions about jumping higher that minimize your results. Back in the late ‘90s I knew a player named Roger “Geek Squad” Mason from Birmingham, AL. He was a tiny, short guy with huge, ugly bifocals. Needless to say, he wasn’t very popular.
But none of that mattered, because he knew a little-known secret that allowed him to jump higher, quicker, faster and become a more athletic basketball player. He knew exactly what to avoid, and what to utilize to get maximum results in minimum time. As a result, he went on to play college basketball while his teammates (who once made fun of him) were forced to play intramural.
He dispelled misconceptions and found the raw truth.
This is the most powerful concept of Roger’s story. He didn’t work any harder than his teammates. He didn’t even stay in the gym longer. He simply worked differently because he had knowledge they didn’t.
So as a basketball player, what’s the lesson you can learn here? The lesson is that true power and maximum results isn’t in working harder…It’s in being able to identify the truth from misconceptions and then taking action. Let me share a few costly misconceptions that you must avoid to get the results you want.
Costly Misconception #1: Jumping higher is all about genetics
No, this is not true. But let’s be honest, genetics help a lot. If you have great “jumping genes” then you should dance in the street. But if you’re like me (and almost every other basketball player) then you should be thrilled to know that your ability to jump higher is largely based upon math and science too. So here’s the first secret you should know: There’s a proven, mathematical equation that professional athletes use to jump higher, quicker, faster and with more power than everyone else. That equation is POWER = STRENGTH + SPEED.
Consider this — a great jumper like LeBron has tremendous power because of his strength and speed. There have been other basketball players, such as Shaq or “Big Baby” who have more strength than DRose or James, but don’t have as much “muscle contraction speed” in their legs, so they can’t jump like DRose. That’s why you need to work on your strength and speed to improve your vertical jump. Both are important in this equation.
Costly Misconception #2: The only reason to jump higher is to dunk
No. Wrong again. Here’s the shocking truth. When you’re playing against high-level competition, you’ll have very few opportunities to dunk the ball. Yes, it’s exciting, it can shift momentum and it gets the crowd into the game. But let’s get real, how many times are you going to dunk in a game? Once, maybe twice? So if you’d like to have maximum impact during the game, your primary goal should be to become more athletic, rather than jumping higher to dunk.
All things being equal – if you’re more athletic than the next guy you’ll be able to get to lose ball quicker, grab rebounds, play better defense, develop killer hesitation moves, get around defenders easier, score more often and basically dominate your opponent. Chew on this for a second, Kobe only averaged a few dunks per game. But it’s obvious that his athletic ability and skill level catapults him above competitors, resulting in another NBA title.
Costly Misconception #3: All you need to do is work out really hard
False. And honestly, that’s a bunch of crap! Listen, I don’t care how much you work out or how many hours you spend in the gym if you don’t have the right technique. You need to know two things if you’re serious about jumping higher: 1) What to do, and 2) How to do it. This applies to weight training, plyometrics, isometrics and the act of jumping.
Jumping is an art and science. A lot of coaches tell me their players are lazy. But here’s what I found after sitting in on their workouts — most players never reach their full jumping potential because they don’t have the proper training, not because they’re lazy. It’s clear they’re working hard. Sheesh, you can smell the sweat. But they get minimum results because they lack the proper jumping technique. Needless to say, coaches don’t like to hear that.
Hopefully you’ll put what you learn here to use. That’s the only way you’re going to get better.
OK, now you have some tools to get more results, more often.
Hassan Riggs is a skill development coach for Team Gym Rats. For more information on how to jump higher, visit BasketballVerticalJump.com or call 800-453-5832, Ext. 107 for a free information kit on little-known jump strategies. Stay tuned next month, for Part 2 of ‘Dumb mistakes players make when trying to jump higher.’