June 15, 2015

How to Jump Higher as a High School Volleyball Athlete

Hi Coach,

   I am a freshmen volleyball player that played JV and Varsity this last year.  On JV I played all around, and on varsity I got in to serve.  I also play club volleyball, my club coach put me as a middle hitter/blocker this year.

   My vertical now is 15-17.  This year I did not do basketball because it wasn't my favorite sport and because I wanted to improve my vertical instead of playing basketball.  So this past winter I asked my coach if she would have a vertical workout that would increase my vertical by at least 3 inches.  My coach then gave me a 12 week workout called Air Alert II Workout Chart.

  I started the vertical workout a week after my friends started basketball practice.  After about 8 weeks of doing the workout I can down with Bronchitis and was not able to do the workout that week I was sick.  My coach had told me when she gave me this workout that I could not miss one day.  So after I got over my Bronchitis, I never did the workout again.

   A couple weeks after that we tested our verticals in our weights class and mine had still stayed the same.  I thought it would at least go up 1 inch just because I did it for 8 weeks but it didn't. I was very disappointed in myself for not sticking with it.

  When basketball ended, I, my sister and two other friends got one of our P.E teachers to do workouts with everyday.  He gave us a vertical workout that lasted 15 weeks.  I was nervous about getting this workout because I couldn't even finish my 12 week workout.  After about 10 weeks we stopped because school got out.

  Everyday I get on Google and look up "Workouts to increase your vertical."  But I always end up finding workouts that are 12-20 weeks long.  Summer is here and I am trying to improve in the off season, but with camps and weights and tournaments this summer, I don't have time for a 12-20 week workout.  I was wondering if you had any short workouts that don't last 12-20 weeks long, or any tips on helping me get the vertical that I want.

                                        Thank You. L.B.

There are so many vertical jump programs out there and as you have discovered, they are usually double digit weeks to complete.  That is a function of needing a longer time period to develop muscle strength and see the results.  But, with the rise of the fitness industry, combined with the internet, there can be an overemphasis on specific physical training programs, especially for the younger athletes.

As simple as this may sound, there are 3 things you can do every day to increase your vertical - 1) get older; as you mature the more developed your muscles become because you are no where near your physical peak while in high school.  2)  Stay overall fit; eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, work on your overall body strength and conditioning (jog, sprints, push ups, sit ups, yoga, meditation, etc).  3) Jump.  Yes, jump.  Get in the sand and do 10 max jumps.  Get in the gym and do 50 small quick jumps. Get on a nice grass field and do 25 approach jumps; if you want to get better at something, then you must do it (just try not to jump on concrete or a hard surface, as to protect your knees and back).

The above three things you can do every day, by just taking a few minutes.  Don't over think it, just do it and be patient.  Time is on your side…..



  1. AnonymousJune 15, 2015

    Persistence is worth more than any specific program. Sticking with an average workout plan is better than only doing the first half of a great one. If you must miss a day then only miss one. If you miss three for illness be sure you get back in there and get back to work as soon as you can. As said above, don't make it too complicated and be sure you actually do it.

  2. I really enjoyed your short and sweet response to the letter. There are so many programs out there and it can be really confusing for the younger athletes. One thing that I have found over the years is that many people, trainers even, do plyos wrong. When you jump you want to quickly rebound off the ground so as to train your twitch fibers in your muscles.
    -The Volleygeek

  3. Hip flexibility is often overlooked. Strengthening your hips/glutes, strength training and some plyometrics you've set yourself up nicely. But I agree, good habits and "staying overall fit" is a huge factor.


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