Using targets to enhance daily performance is nothing new to this industry. We often will use verbal encouragement (clapping, loud words of motivation, etc.), or visual targets (races, marking off a target point to jump or run to, distances, etc.) to enhance testing performance, but at AthleteFIT we have used technology to enhance daily training performance as well. We use our SmartJump system from FusionSport, not only to motivate our players to work harder, but also evaluate the training loads.
In the short video below, we use our jump training system to measure vertical jump, and then identify the ideal load that the player should be using during jump training. Over time we have noticed that players who train at a specific percentage of their 1RM or jump at a specific percentage of max vertical height, have better results than those that may be using too much weight, doing too many reps or jumping at lower intensities.
In this particular weighted jump training drill, the players are allowed to go up in weight (heavier dumbbells) as long as they do not get RED LIGHTS. Green lights indicate that they are jumping at, or above our standard. One Red light means that they need to stay at that weight and try to get all Greens. Multiple Red lights requires them to decrease the load, which should in turn, increase their speed and confidence (power) and therefore increase their vertical jumping performance. This protocol, usually gives us about 3-4 inches of vertical improvement in 6-8 weeks (even with trained athletes). We then move to other protocols for strength, power or speed, and then come back to this protocol later and see continued gains. Eventually the player will “Level Out” but not before they are getting close to their genetic potential.
Using this system demands that the player jump at maximal levels on every rep. It’s interesting to see the difference in players motivation and effort when training on the mats verses training without targets. We recommend using all forms of targeting when performing jump training, speed / agility training, fitness training, etc. And even if you don’t have a system like this, finding other ways to encourage maximal effort in daily tasks can result in substantial gains in performance!