As a child, didn’t you ever feel fascinated by the jumpers at the Olympics? There was the long jump, the high jump and the pole vault. Jumping also came in useful for the gymnasts who just seemed to roll their lithe bodies out onto the floor or explode onto vaults.
When you’re playing sports, especially basketball, the ability to jump comes in handy once again. But keep in mind that jumping creates general agility, which can be useful in other sports too. You’ll need to jump if you want to head butt a ball in soccer or smash one in tennis. So no matter what sport you play, the ability to jump higher is useful.
Combining the Jump with Other Movements
Jumping seems simple. After all, any kid can do it. But it’s really a complex movement in which you use your whole body to go against gravity. Additionally, if you’re trying to dunk, head butt or smash a ball at the same time, that’s another movement that you need to add to the jump, making it more complicated.
Fortunately, the human body is flexible and coordinated. So it’s possible for you to jump and dunk, head butt or smash at the same time.
Breaking Down Complex Movements into Their Constituent Parts
When professional basketball players get on the court, they’re doing all the above movements at the same time. Their bodies are trained to combine several complex moves and string them together. Plus, really great players can add an extra something to their moves, making them seem completely natural, no matter how difficult they are.
However, when you’re practicing, it might be a good idea to break down the individual components of the game and practice them separately. For example, you can practice the jumping and the dunking movements separately. Or the jumping and the head butting movements, depending on what sport you play.
Once you’ve mastered each aspect of the movement separately, you can bring them together, the way the professionals do.
Learning to Play a Sport by Breaking it Down
A lot of coaches train beginners by breaking the sport down into various parts. When you’re playing tennis, for example, you don’t start running around and swinging a racquet at the same time. If you did this, you’d probably end up hitting your head!
Instead, you start out by just practicing the forehand swing. Then you might include some running around and swinging at the same time. After this, your coach will add the backhand, the lobby, the smash etc. So each part of the game is practiced separately. And finally, you put it all together and become a tennis player. The same goes for other games too.
This is why it’s a good idea to practice jumping separately from the other aspects of the sport you play. Once you’ve understood the mechanics of jumping and how you’re supposed to use your muscles to jump higher, you can incorporate it into your game.
Re-Learning Your Moves
Many of us don’t learn a sport directly from the experts. We just start playing with other kids on the block or in school. If we get interested in the game, we might practice it a lot and get picked to play on the school team.
But once the game is no longer casual, we might need to re-learn some of our old moves. The things that work when you’re playing in the neighborhood might not be that useful when you’re playing on a team. Instead, they might actually get in the way.
This is why it’s a good idea to practice each move, including jumping, separately, understand the science behind it and then bring it all back together to create a killer game!