By Hal Wissel
Everyone recognizes the importance of jumping in basketball, including the role that jumping plays in rebounding, blocking shots, and shooting. Jumping is more than gaining height. How quickly and how often you jump are more important than jumping height. Timing, balance in the air, and landing are also important components of jumping. You want to learn two basic jumps: the two-foot jump and the one-foot jump.
The two-foot jump is used when you are not on the move, when it is important to land in balance (such as in shooting a jump shot), and for jumping in succession, such as in rebounding. Start in a balanced stance—head over waist, back straight, elbows flexed, arms close to your body, and weight on the balls of your feet. Before jumping, flex your knees 60 to 90 degrees, depending on leg strength. If you can, take a short step before your takeoff. At takeoff, push quickly and forcefully off both feet, extending your ankles, knees, and hips. The key to attaining maximum height is an explosive takeoff. The quicker and more forcefully you push against the floor, the higher you will jump. Lift both arms straight up as you jump. A smooth, fluid action without tension results in a higher jump. Land in the same spot on the balls of your feet with your knees flexed to jump again or move.
The one-foot jump is for jumping on the move: shooting a layup off a drive, moving to block a shot, or moving for an offensive rebound. When you are moving, it is quicker to jump off one foot than off two feet. To jump off two feet, you have to take time to stop and prepare for the jump. One disadvantage of the one-foot jump is that it is difficult to control your body in the air and may result in a foul or even a collision with other players. In addition, after a moving one-foot jump, it is more difficult to land in balance and to change direction or make a quick second jump. Start the one-foot jump from a run. To jump high, you must gain speed on the last three or four steps of the approach but must also be able to control that speed. The last step before the jump should be short so you can quickly dip your takeoff knee. This will change forward momentum to upward momentum. Your takeoff knee should flex from 60 to 90 degrees, depending on leg strength. The takeoff angle should be as vertical as possible. Push quickly and forcefully off your takeoff foot, extending your ankle, knee, and hip. Remember how vital takeoff explosiveness is: The quicker and more forcefully you push against the floor, the higher you will jump. Lift your opposite knee and your arms straighup as you jump. To increase your reach, you should extend your non-reaching arm downward at the top of the jump. Use a smooth, fluid action without tension, and land in balance on the balls of your feet with your knees flexed.
Two-Foot Vertical Jump Test
Chalk your fingertips, face a smooth wall, and make a mark at the height of your two-hand standing reach. Stand with your shoulders to the wall. You are allowed one step before you jump. Perform a stationary two-foot jump as high as you can, touching the wall at the top of your jump with the fingertips of your near hand. Measure the distance between the two chalk marks using a yardstick, and record the result to the nearest half inch. Do three vertical jumps, pausing for 10 seconds between each attempt.
Two-Foot Vertical Jump Test
Vertical Jump Training
This short drill consists of a set of 3 preliminary jumps and 5 to 10 all-out running one-foot vertical jumps. You can use a partner measure the height of your jumps at a net or backboard. The preliminary one-foot vertical jumps should be progressive in effort. On the approach, use whatever number of steps will allow for your best jumps. For your first jump, try to touch the net or backboard about 12 inches below your best jumping height. On your second jump, touch about six inches above your first jump. On your third attempt, jump as high as possible. Pause 10 seconds before each jump to mentally plan for it.
After the third jump, stand under the net or backboard and reach with two hands. Have your partner use a yardstick to determine the difference between your two-hand standing reach and the mark at your highest running one-foot vertical jump, recording it to the nearest half inch.
Vertical Jump Training
Start in a balanced stance with your weight on the soles of your feet, and knees flexed. Hold the rope handles with your hands out to your sides at waist level, and your elbows in close to your body.
For forward jumping, place the rope be-hind your feet, and swirl the rope over your head from back to front. Use good wrist action, rather than too much movement of your arms. Push off the soles of your feet, and jump over the rope each time it passes under your feet. Work on jumping with quickness and balance. You can add variety by changing the method of jumping to such skills as backward jumping, skipping, jumping on one foot, and crossing arms. Keep your feet from jumping any higher than one and one-half inches off the floor, except when crossing your arms. You can start with 30 second intervals of jumping alternated with 30 seconds of rest. On each succeeding workout day, try to jump rope for longer periods, and rest for shorter periods. Gradually develop your endurance so that you can jump rope for 15 straight minutes. Record the maximum number of consecutive minutes you jump rope each day. You can also record the maximum number of jumps you can make in 60 seconds with each of the different methods of jumping.
Jump Rope Drill