Jump Higher Using the Ground
Hey volleyball athletes! If you’re looking to improve your game and make those jaw-dropping jumps to crush or block the ball, you’re in the right place. Let’s dig into some cool tips that revolve around how you use your feet and the ground to take your vertical jump to the next level in volleyball.
Starting Right: Your Feet Matter
First off, when you’re getting ready to jump, make sure your feet are set hip- to shoulder-width apart. This gives you a solid base to push off from and increases you jump height.
Power Up: Getting Ready to Jump
Imagine your legs are powerful springs. To jump high, you’ve got to “load” these springs by bending your ankles, knees and hips while keeping your feet flat and parallel. This means you’re storing all that good energy to help you explode upwards in your jump.
Push down to jump up: Push Off the Ground, fast!
When it’s time to shoot upwards, push down hard with your whole foot pushing quickly into the ground. (The harder and faster you can push down into the ground the better your body will respond to help you jump up higher & faster)!
Soft Landing: Keep it Safe
Now, what goes up must come down, right? Landing softly is key to keep your joints and muscles safe. Touch down first with the balls of your feet, and then let your heels come down, bending your knees to make it easy on your legs.
Soft VS Stiff Landing: a trade off
Understand that there is a tradeoff between landing with soft feet, ankles, knees and hips, and landing with some stiffness in them.
As mentioned above, when landing with these joints soft, the body can better withstand the forces created by the body weight coming down on the joints as you land. However, this can reduce the performance of the athletes vertical jump height and maybe even more specifically, vertical jump speed, when there's not an optimal level of stiffness in the feet & these joints.
In very simpler terms, stiffness for jumping and landing means how rigid or bouncy your feet, ankles, knees, and hips are, helping you jump high and land without hurting yourself.
Stiffness in the Feet, Ankles, Knees & Hips
The feet, ankles, knees & hips need to be kind of stiff when they contact the ground so you don't be on the ground too long. (If your feet and these joints are too loose, you'll be on the ground too long and you won't jump as high or as fast).
Stiffness and Performance Volleyball Blocking Example
If you're a blocker who needs to jump really fast, or perform one jump after another, then the feet, ankles, knees & hips need to stay a little stiffer (not be too soft).
The Optimal Balance
Optimal is the key word here as it relates to stiffness & softness.
The optimal amount of stiffness in the feet and these joints helps you jump more powerfully, faster and land more safely and move more efficiently. Too stiff or too loose in any of these areas might make your jump and landing less effective and could lead to injuries.
Watch the athlete bounding from foot-to-foot in the video below, as this shows great stability (joint control) & an optimal level of stiffness in his foot & leg he's jumping off of.
He gets off the ground fast due to the stiffness in his feet, ankles, knees & hips.
Arms and Feet: The Dream Team
Your arms aren’t just along for the ride - they’re helping you jump, too! Swinging your arms up when you push your feet into the ground, gives you extra upward oomph, making your jump even more higher & faster.
Wrapping it UP
Boosting your volleyball jump isn’t just about power; it’s also about smart techniques which use the ground effectively. Learn to use the ground correctly and you'll get much more vertical jump height and speed!