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The Mentality to Jump High

It’s a journey

Training to jump higher to dunk is a journey. Realistically it will take a relatively fit and untrained person who has the potential to dunk around 12 weeks. What separates the people that achieve their potential and those that do not is the right mentality to jump high. The perseverance to endure for the long term with the trainings even though you feel like no progress is being made on your jumping ability. The discipline to stick to your training schedule even when you don’t feel like it that day.

What I’ve learnt is that discipline is easier to maintain than establish. Throughout my phases of jump training once I developed the discipline of training every week my attitudes towards it went from: it’s a chore, to a habit, to looking forward to training, to getting annoyed if something prevented me from training that day.  However, once you stop training for a while it is extremely difficult to re-establish your training patterns.

The good news is that the initial hard part of starting to train is only temporary. The human body will whine and complain initially but it has a good ability to accept its fate and eventually it will be expecting those trainings every week.

It’s important to take a long term view of your dunking journey. Even though it took me six months, I was prepared to take a year if needed or even longer, I had no cut-off date which meant any setbacks weren’t catastrophic.

What to expect

The gains in vertical jumping ability are not uniform. A 10kg increase in squat won’t necessarily result in an immediate improvement in vertical jump for that week. This is because during a training phase you are always squatting so you aren’t ever at 100%. But over time if you have improvements in all the areas discussed eventually you will see an increase in vertical. Hang in there and keep going!

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