Power is such an emotive word. It conjures up thoughts and feelings of strength, control, dominance, and physical prowess. Jumping in volleyball, or any sport, is usually talked about as being powerful. I’m sure you’ve all heard it before;

  • “Yeaaah! That jump was so powerful!”
  • “You NEED to be powerful to jump high.”
  • “Train to get your power up if you want to improve your vert…”

Although, when you take a step back and split apart what it takes to create a HUGE vertical jump, power is nowhere to be seen…

So, what is power?

In classical mechanics, power describes the way that force, distance and time work together. These three things combine to produce “power”.

So, jumping has those three things, right? You apply FORCE to the floor for a length of TIME in order to get a DISTANCE into the air… That means jumping IS powerful?!?

Not quite.

When jumping, force and time work together to act against your body mass to produce a distance (your jump height), rather than all these elements coming together to produce power. To look at “jump power”, we’d need to understand the distance the athlete moves DURING the time in their take-off. However really that distance has very little impact on jump height.

Does this difference even matter…?

In short, YES.

Although we’re only really talking about terminology, without a super clear understanding of exactly what goes into jumping high how can you expect to get the most out of the work that the athlete puts in?

Understanding the basic mechanics behind jumping high sets the context for any training related to increasing jump height. Whether it’s strength training to improve the maximum amount of force you can apply, plyometric training to develop the speed you apply that force, remedial work to ensure great jumping technique every time, technical volleyball training where the players are jumping over and over and over again, or any other type of training you deliver.

This understanding allows us to be targeted, specific and efficient with the training we do, focussing our time and energy on the things that matter to achieving our goal…

To Fly!

 


 

Interested in developing your understanding of how the develop physically capable volleyball athletes.

VolleyScience can help you!

Talk to us here about designing and delivering a bespoke workshop for you and your club to support you in building robust and efficient athletes.

 


 

Resources

WINTER, E.M. & FOWLER, N. (2009). Exercise defined and quantified according to the Système International d’Unités. Journal of sports sciences, 27(5), 447-460. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640410802658461

RUDDOCK, A.D. & WINTER, E.M. (2016). Jumping depends on impulse not power. Journal of sports sciences, 34(6), 584-585. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02640414.2015.1064157?journalCode=rjsp20