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05.09.2015
One important thing to note is that there are different ways used in measuring vertical leap and we’ll go through a number of them here.
There are many ways you can measure your vertical leap but for this we’ll use the simplest way so you can do it anywhere. Look for a wall that has a high ceiling that’s higher than what you can reach at your peak jump. You want to use a flat wall since you’re going to reach and touch the wall to mark your jump height.
Standing straight facing the wall, reach as high as you can with your strong hand and touch the wall with the highest tip of your hand.
Record this height with a tape measure starting from the ground to where you left the mark. Look all the marks you made on the wall and pick out the highest point and record this height starting from the ground. So when comparing your jump height with others make sure to ask them which method they used.
In the NBA Draft Combine, the players go through different skill tests so that teams get an idea of their athletic abilities. The maximum vertical on the other hand aims to record the highest point a player can reach.
The reason that two different jump measurements are used is to give scouts the ability to rate big men and the small guys. Scouts also like to see guards and wing players with good maximum vertical leaps since this gives them an edge on the open court and when driving to the hoop. The NFL draft combine also uses the vertical jump test to measure the athleticism of its prospects. For its part, it uses the standstill method where players stand flat footed underneath the jump test device. Even if they do not play sports like basketball or volleyball, every athlete understands the value of being able to jump higher, faster, and for longer periods of time.
The Just Jump system from Power Systems puts an end to the guesswork and estimation when performing vertical jump exercises. The same effort we place on programming optimal physiological or biomechanical adaptation should also be placed on how we communicate the intent. In the end the goal of coaching cues is motor outcome by guiding movements in a more efficient manner.
A plethora of research both past and present has demonstrated the superiority of externally focused cues on actual movement effects in a variety of motor tasks like agility maneuvers, exercises, sports skill, stability challenges, jumping, and much more using a number of measurements (seconds, inches, pass vs.
Technology aside, I credit a large part my results to the fact the Vertec uses an externally focused task (touching highest marker above you) while the Just Jump uses an internally focused task (have to keep your knees and hips extended so air time does not influence outcome).
What separates this concept from the above is how frequently we should provide biofeedback to our athletes.
Now we understand in most (not all) situations an external focus of attention will bring about the most effective and efficient performance. As we already know, effective verbal cuing is a critical tool for maximizing motor performance of our athletes. In the end, an internal focus can constrain the athlete’s motor program causing a conscious type of control and micro-choking episodes in movement that result in less efficient, less effective, and decreased learning outcomes in task performance be it an exercise, agility maneuver, a sports skill, or the like. So, whether we knew it or not we’ve all at one point utilized both internal and external coaching cues.
How high you are able to jump makes a big difference in athletics specially if you’re playing sports like basketball or volleyball where being able to rise above your opponents gives you an advantage. However, I like standing beside a the pointed corner of walls so you don’t jump into the wall.


Properly limbering your muscles, especially your hip flexors makes a big difference in the result. From experience, we’ve seen that usually the 3rd or 4th jumps are where the best jumps start coming out.
This vertical jump measuring device is also very portable, so you can increase your vertical jump anywhere there is a flat surface, indoors or outdoors. To be abundantly clear, I first came across this information myself in original research published by Dr. One thing scientific research does is expedite the trial and error process by evaluating what was once, or is, professional doctrine and standard operating procedure.
Indeed, poor verbal instructions by the coach can severely depress the motor performance of the athletes he is working with. An internal focus occurs when the athlete is thinking about one of their own body parts or one of their specific movements during execution of a movement task. Did the athlete actually move the medicine ball at top speed (external) or did they just focus on extending the elbows rapidly (internal) while the shoulders and rest of the body were not producing optimally because the athlete was so focused on her elbows?
At this point we might even be able to say the more externally focused a cue is the better the result, albeit this won’t work every single time. When athletes actively focus and consciously control their movements, they interrupt automatic nonconscious motor behavior processes that normally control movements in an efficient manner. The timing component of the jumping motion may have been different between jumps due to cueing which probably made the internally cued jumps less natural, impulsive, and reflexive.
Very frequent external cueing however can result in the utilization of automatic processes and reduced attentional demands that promote more reflexive and natural movement outcomes and overall better performance. If referencing tasks that athletes already have a motor program for, I skew everything towards external. Understanding attentional focus, frequency, and feedback are key components of the informational properties that make up coaching cues. Effects of verbal instructions and image size on visual search strategies in basketball free throw shooting. An external focus of attention attenuates balance impairment in patients with Parkinson’s disease who have a fall history.
Attentional focusing instructions influence force production and muscular activity during isokinetic elbow flexions. Directing attention externally enhances agility performance: A qualitative and quantitative analysis of the efficacy of using verbal instructions to focus attention. Directing attention externally improves continuous visuomotor skill performance in older adults who have undergone cancer chemotherapy.
Effect of Attentional Focus Strategies on Peak Force and Performance in the Standing Long Jump. Increased movement accuracy and reduced EMG activity as the result of adopting an external focus of attention.
The administrators then subtract the player’s reach from the highest point they reach to get the measurement.
The problem with many of them is that it is difficult to measure how high you are actually jumping, so you can track your progress as you improve. It also calculates average height plus ground time for 4 jumps, computes explosive leg power, and can also be used to improve the performance of your timed sprints by computing foot quickness (shuttle runs and dashes). Its portability and flexibility enable the unit also to be used for charting progress during rehabilitation.
This article will elucidate the literature regarding scientific mechanisms of coaching cues and then propose applications based on a blending of science, mentored experiences, as well as my own time out in the trenches.
Changing anywhere from one or two words to a whole sentence when teaching novel motor tasks or reinforcing old ones, can have significant effects on our athletes body movements.


An external focus of attention occurs when the athletes thinks about the effect of their movement while executing a performance.
You can use whatever unit of measure you like (seconds, weights, inches, etc.) to conduct your own little experiment but we have a good deal of confidence empirically and anecdotally that an external attentional focus will result in superior effect of movements.
When desiring to change (via feedback) an athlete’s body mechanics it might seem counterintuitive to not reference body parts (internal focus), yet, most research consistently supports the notion that changing body mechanics immediately and permanently is best done via externally driven attentional focus (Wulf 2007). In contrast, directing attention externally to the movement effects allows the motor control system to naturally regulate and organize motor actions. Studies like these demonstrate the efficacy of adopting externally driven coaching cues to facilitate greater movement effectiveness and efficiency. Grasp the science presented in this article and you can create your own matrix according to your own movement classifications so long as they adhere to the principles.
Accuracy is consistent because the vertical jump tester cannot be fooled by the athlete timing their jump to touch something at the peak of the jump. So if you want to be able to offer these capabilities to your clients, the Just Jump system from Power Systems should be your first choice. The following key concepts and proceeding applications can help a coach attain more desirable motor outcomes. Not only that, but this effect has been demonstrated in beginner and advanced athletes, male and female, under pressured performances, as well as patient populations (Landers et al.
That being said, real world experience has already told us all that some internal cueing can be appropriate at times, especially if it’s in progression towards external cueing. Essentially, when increased activity within a movement task occurs, we should desire an increase in motor unit recruitment efficiency, not just more motor units. As coaches, we need to be cognizant of the informational properties we give our athletes because it absolutely affects their movement depending on what we say, how we say it, and when we give it.
The link between what you finalize on paper and what is actualized in real life is you – the coach. 2002, 2010) gave external coaching cues to one group after every single task performance (100% of the trails), after only some of the performances (33% of the trails), and then did the same thing with internal coaching cues to another group (100% and 33% of the time). How you communicated the intent and how the athlete perceives the training initiative determines what ends up happening.
Both studies had similar results – the more external cues the better the task was learned, the less they used internal cues the better the task was learned, and the more internal cues they used the worse the performers did on learning the movement task.
In fact, the 100% external cueing group outperformed every other group on a transfer test of a different motor performance. 2005) had athletes perform a basketball free throw where one group was given instructions to focus on wrist flexion (internal) while the other group was cued to focus on the rim of the basketball hoop (external).
For some movements if your intent is purely activating a certain muscle, for whatever reason, then internal serves the purpose.
The internal group produced higher EMG activity than the external group in both the biceps and triceps, yet they were instructed specifically on wrist flexion. Therefore I propose the following when teaching a new motor task to one of our athletes (see below).
Obviously if the frame of reference was bodybuilding I would use a lot more internal cueing because the goal would be more localized muscular activity and it is much less about performance outcomes of the overall movement. The first group was obviously given internal cues (body part) and the second given external (effect). On average, they found internally cued subjects produced similar but yet slightly higher peak force but did not jump as far as when externally cued (see graph below).



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