Jumping is something that all athletes should be able to do well.
Certain sports are going to produce better jumpers due to the nature of them. Most young basketball players will have better jump height than say hockey players.
I have also noticed that better athletes usually have a better jump ability. Sorry, no data just what I have seen.
My theory is that athletes with better force production are better at playing their sport because they are quicker, faster, etc.
If you gave me two athletes with the same skills, I would want the one that is better at producing force. They are going to be more explosive. I know that sports and athletes do not exist in this kind of vacuum but that is the point I want to illustrate.
Jump training can be used to improve qualities of speed and agility. Too often athletes can get caught up with the “combine” style training. They only focus on getting their vert up. Although that is helpful, they are missing out on some great benefits.
To improve acceleration, athletes have go be able to generate power into the ground. Any kind of broad jump- single or double leg- is good here.
I like to make sure to do some doubles, triples, and maybe up to five consecutive.
Some of the equipment that we can use on these types of jumps are hurdles to jump over and bungees to provide resistance. Jumping against a resistance is going to greatly help acceleration.
To be quick, an athlete must be able to throw the brakes on. If it takes them too long to slow down, it is going to take even longer to get back going in the other direction.
Landing a jump is deceleration. Being able to stick the landing without any other movement is a good display of that.
We can again use bungees to enhance deceleration but we have to use that as assistance. The assistance helps you jump further than normal which makes the demands of decelerating that much harder.
I always like to reinforce the assisted work without the bungee as well.
The same guidelines for linear decel apply to lateral. The only difference is that lateral involves side to side jumping.
This is where a lot of athletes struggle. Most training is done in the saggital plane (forward and backward). Athletes that can master the frontal plane (side to side) will have an advantage over their peers.
Most athletes that lack quickness need to master lateral deceleration and force production. Lateral bounds are a great drill to work on both.
Multi Directional Movement
It is really important for athletes to mix multiple movements. I really like to have athletes jump through combinations of forward and lateral.
I also like to incorporate 1/4 turn jumps, where the athlete has to turn mid air. A good combination could be lateral broad to 1/4 turn broad to broad jump. 3 jumps that hit all planes of movement.
The hurdles are really good for moving through multiple movements. It gives the athletes something to get over.