How Jump Training Can Increase Speed & Agility
Jumping to Increase Performance
For elite football players, both youth and senior, increasing speed and power requires commitment and demands aggressive training. In order to increase the specific skills of both sprint and jump performance, there are several effective approaches an athlete can take.
Football is a sport in which players must run for varying lengths of time at different intensities. As the standard of competition gets higher and grows increasingly fierce, sprinting is required more often and must be done faster. Jumping while scoring goals also continues to increase year to year.
Boost Power and Acceleration
Incorporating loaded and unloaded jumps in both on/off field training are proven to increase both jumping performance and the power/speed ability of football players. The mechanics involved in jumping while training also serve to boost maximum speed and acceleration.
One thing that will give you a real edge over any opponent, is the ability to accelerate that much quicker. By performing more horizontal jump practice, players make positive gains in their acceleration skills and force production rates. For players who need to capitalize on their acceleration abilities, horizontal jumps are an imperative addition to their training program.
Vertical Jumps Maximize Speed
On the other hand, vertical jumps help players to increase their top speed whilst sprinting. Numerous studies have been performed that show a correlation between vertical jumps and the maximum speed a player can obtain. Both unloaded vertical jumps as well as countermovement jumps condition a player to run faster following the initial acceleration phase.
Loaded vertical jumps are used by athletes across many different sports. Football players also benefit from performing this exercise. Players who regularly perform loaded jump squats can increase their strength and power, as well as their top speed capability. Evidence suggests that young players (with a lower training age) see greater benefits from this exercise than senior players, who will still see improvements but to a lesser extent (because of their higher training age).
For players of all ages, jumps may be the simplest exercise to introduce into a training program that yield great results. While increasing strength and power, jumps also help increase both maximum speed and acceleration, two major components which contribute to a player’s level of success on the pitch. As players continue to increase their skill level and competition grows tougher every year, overlooking these exercises could take away that cutting edge on the pitch which is needed to win.