Top 3 BIGGEST Vertical Jump MISTAKES and How to fix them!

Hi, today we’re going to talk about how to jump higher. Lot of players get the misconception that the only way to jump higher is by lifting a ton of weights and doing a ton of player matrix.
Don’t get me wrong, those are going to help you improve your vertical jump over time. But there’s only one way to jump higher, and I’m going to show you how to do that right now.
So, only way to jump higher is by fixing your jump technique. We are going to break down technique into two separate phases so it’s much easier for you to understand.

  1. Approach (Also known as run up)
  2. The take off

The approach is the most important aspect of your jump, it’s about %90 of your jump and the same principals applies to both one foot and two foot jumpers when it comes to the approach. Now unfortunately for the approach, it usually always get overlooked.

Think about it by yourself right now..

How many times have you practiced your approach?
Probably never, so don’t worry we are going to cut out the mistakes in your approach and we are going to add the fixes. You should instantly see some gain on your vertical jump today.
First let’s cover, what are the 3 biggest mistakes players make in their approach?

Mistake #1: Stutter Step

Stutter step is when you take way too many steps in the beginning of short, choppy steps. You do not want to do this. What stutter step does is,

  1. It causes deceleration (we don’t want that)
  2. It prevents good repetition

So we want to remove the stutter step completely.

Mistake #2: Slowing Down

Next mistake we want to remove from our approach is deceleration aka slowing down. It happens when you jump, you go from your approach into your take off you want as much speed as possible (it’s called the MCV – maximum controlled velocity).

You want as much speed that you can handle. Now if you decelerate, which a lot of players do. They start off too fast by the time they take off they slow down, and they have zero power, when they get in to their take off. So in the approach you want an acceleration, not a deceleration. You want to get faster as you go, you don’t want to slow down.

Mistake # 3: Too much lean forward

Third and final mistake that we’re going to discuss today is too much forward lean. As it happens to lots of players, when they are in their approach, when they are attacking the basket, they have their chest pointed at the ground. So what this does is, when you get to your take off (we are going to talk about this more, as a take-off mistake later, but this begins in the approach), too much forward lean, you end up jumping horizontally, you end up going where your chest is at. So your chest is pointing at the ground, you are going forward instead of jumping straight up.

Approach – Fixes

How let’s get in to the approach fixes.
As we discussed earlier on vert shock review , fixing your approach starts with, adding inches to your vertical jump.

Now, whether you’re a one foot jumper or a two foot jumper both of these approaches have very similar principals. The biggest difference between a one foot jump and a two foot jump is, two foot approach is few steps shorter than your one foot approach.

But other than that, the approaches are going to be almost identical.
Now let’s talk about some keys to have a good approach…

First thing you want to make sure is you are doing in your approach is running with “dorsiflexion”.
I know that’s a big word but don’t let that big word scare you. All dorsiflexion is, when your toes are pointed towards your shin. What this is going to do is point your foot in the direction when you are running with your ball. You can see how powerful my feet is when you’re doing Plantar flexion and dorsiflexion.

Pretend you’re punching somebody. You’re going to punch somebody with your finger tips or with fists?

Now, plantar flexion is kinda like punching with finger tips while dorsiflexion is like punching with your fists. The ball of your foot is probably the most powerful part of your entire body. So we want to be running with all that power, all that explosiveness. We want to be using it as we run in our approach generating all that force through the ground to get a faster approach and get a more powerful take off as well.

Remember, you want to run and jump with dorsiflexion. So with the next fixes to the approach is going to be fix some mistakes of our approach that I mentioned earlier. Especially in no.2 & no.3. We have to fix the forward lean, we want to move up right towards the rim, and we need to have our chest up, head up. Great hack fro this is to look up at the rim. And that’s going to ensure that your head is up & chest is up. What is does is, it gives you the ability to control your momentum better. So we take all that speed horizontal to vertical. You’re taking it vertical not horizontal.

Next we want a good accelerated approach, so we are not going to slow down. We are going to speed up in the approach. So that we are hitting our Maximum Controlled Velocity (MCV) right at the take off.
The more speed and power you can control in take in to your take off, the higher your jump.

Take off – Fixes

Now, with the one foot take off and with two foot take off, there are again lot of similarities. This time there are few differences. But first let’s address the mistakes and how to fix them. Now it comes to mistakes, many of the mistakes come from mistakes in the approach. So let’s take forward lean for example.

If you have too much forward lean in your approach and what’s going to happen in your take off, your body will collapse if you jump too far forward. That’s why we don’t want forward lean. Instead we want a taller approach, taller take off where chest is up, head is up and that allows us to control our body better, so that we can take all of our momentum vertical instead of horizontal. Another mistake, which again comes from the approach, is deceleration in the take off.

Remember, in your take off you wanted to be the point at where you are fastest. You want the beginning of your approach slowest, and at that moment of take-off, you want that to be the fastest. The way to ensure this happens, is by having a “quick penultimate step”. Now this is where things get a little bit different between the one foot take off and two foot take off.

But first, let’s talk about what the penultimate is. Penultimate is the last two steps that you take in your take off. So you want those last two steps to be fast and explosive. Now with our two foot take off, we are going to use a long 3rd to last step. What this is going to do is, this is going to forces to cycle our feet through, ensuring that we have a penultimate step. So as you can see, in the picture, I have a very long 3rd to last step, which helps you to force all your horizontal momentum to vertical.

Now thing don’t change too much with one foot take off. Again, we want a quick penultimate. There is no elongated 3rd to last step in the one foot takeoff. That is the biggest different, but again we want to accelerate through our entire approach, snapping those last two quick steps to the penultimate step. Keep that foot more underneath your body not too far out of your body so that your leg has a slight knee bend, not a huge bend and take off from there.


  • Stay tall
  • Use dorsiflexion
  • Accelerate
  • Quick penultimate

So there you are, if you master your approach, if you master your take off…you are instantly going to jump higher. It’s all about fixing your vertical jump technique. So we covered how you can instantly jump higher with this article.