You Need Hops in Basketball – Good Jumping Ability in Basketball Improves Your Game

Recently, the need for hops has drastically increased in the game of basketball. This makes the athletic standard for each level higher. Many coaches think that they can substitute athleticism for good fundamentals. This is possible to a certain extent. If you are competing with an opponent for a rebound and you get it even though you are less athletic because you boxed out, he is most likely not that much more athletic than you. If he was a great jumper he would have gotten that rebound over you.

Think about all of the teams and players you have played with. The tallest person that can jump the highest on the team gets the most rebounds. Of course, there are other things such as heart and aggression that can go into obtaining a rebounding as well. The reason athleticism helps rebounding so much is that there are so many variables in basketball that a perfectly executed box out is rare and very difficult to do. On every shot there should be five box outs. From watching film as a coach I would say that only three out of the five actually attempt a box out every shot (this is being generous). If your team defends 50 shots a game that is 100 box outs a game that are not even attempted (this is why coaches get so frustrated with boxing out). In these 100 instances athleticism wins every time.

Now I would like to turn your attention to defense. If block shots are kept on the stat sheet, altering shots should be too. If your jumping ability allows you to alter shots, you are twice the defender. This is an important job of any big man. Players are going to get into the paint and you can only pray your big man is there to make the lay-up as difficult as possible for the offender. After a block and a couple shot alterations, it is safe to say that you have taken away the main way 99% of team score, in the paint (some teams these days run “The System” which is to only shoot 3’s). I highly recommend any coach speak with their big men about altering shots. There is also a huge mental edge gained in having a good vertical leap. Any person who tries to take it up strong against you will always be wondering if you are going to smack his shot into the fifth row. It really does hurt shooting percentages if players know they have to do something special to get their shot off against there more athletic defender (I would know, I shot 50% from 3, but only 45% from the field in college).

Finally, we now can discuss offense. The pros of great jumping ability are pretty obvious on offense. The ability to finish on bigger defenders is huge. Dunking the basketball can easily turn those 50% lay-ups into 100% momentum turners. I hear coaches say that dunking is overrated and is only worth two points etc etc. This is not true. Dunking is a big part of championship teams. The stats show that championship teams dunk the ball often. Lob plays often win games by putting the ball where only one person on the entire court can go get it. I have seen a countless number of games won, with almost no time left, because of some lob play where the un-athletic team lost because no one could match one players jumping ability. Not to mention, dunking can change the momentum of a game. One dunk, and all of a sudden it turns into the other team’s turnover and a quick three by your team. That is a potential 7 point swing (2 for the dunk, the 3 you hit, and the potential 2 points you stole to get the three).

In conclusion, having hops in the game of basketball can take you to new heights, literally. If you are a basketball player and you do not work at increasing your vertical leap as much as you are working in the weight room, you are killing your athleticism. What I recommend is that you purchase a jump program. There are many on the internet you can immediately download. These can be better than actual books because they come with videos, and personal coaching from professional trainers. There are many to choose from so you must do your research, but any program is better than no program.