Vertical Jump

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Coaching Concepts, Uncategorized
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Vertical Jump Comparisons

Hotspot Training offers a Vertical Jump Measurement system that operates using the time of flight to calculate the vertical raising of a person’s centre of mass.  The system runs of a 16bit processor allowing a certain degree of accuracy in timing and displays cm:mm.

The system works by using a dot that is configured to be sensitive enough to trigger when the athlete jumps up leaving the dot.  It is then triggered again when the athlete lands back on the dot.


There are some interesting debates about testing and testing equipment and what can be used and compared.

Firstly one must consider the “fair” test criteria probably first studied in school.  This is where testing environments, equipment and methods are repeatable each time a sample is collected.  If they are not the same or the conditions considered acceptable then data cannot be compared.

In the case of the vertical jump there are a few methods and testing units that are available for use.  Each operates in different ways and more interesting are that of the athlete and the method of data acquisition.  For example using the “chalk and wall” method or something like the “Vertec” the athlete looks up aiming for the target and there is no consideration to the landing or where they land.   This method could be considered a pure vertical jump as everything is in the correct plane.  Any shifts in landings will result in lower scores.  When a system involves a landing the athlete will potentially alter the mechanics. In addition the athlete has a host of variables also such as fatigue level, warm up etc that can hinder the tests (example of this later).

The main requirement for a vertical jump system is that it shows progression and improvement that somewhat correlates with current accepted methods.


The Hotspot vertical jump system was tested against two methods (chalk and wall and Vertec) and proven to correlate with progression and give indications within a few cm.  In reality the Hotspot is likely to be the more accurate of the methods due to resolution of measurement in the others.  Also the plane in which the athlete must execute is also likely to be more accurate using the small dot.

In initial tests the athlete was asked to jump using each method separately and the results read within 2cm of each other.

In another test two athletes were asked to use Hotspot and Vertec at the same time.  In both cases the results from Vertec and Hotspot were within approximately 2cm.  These heights were 52cm and 61.2cm

The Hotspot, when tested incrementally with Vertec showed correlation with the progression in height.  Vertec was set at known heights and incremented 10cm each jump and Hotspot results followed this pattern.

In a final test Hotspot was used as a training tool for an athlete to complete 5 jumps at 90% of maximum. This meant the athlete attempted to replicate effort level and jump approximately 52cm.  Hotspot readings for these 5 jumps were with 3cm of this number.

Other findings

In recent data comparison, a tennis player was tested using an electronic jump mat system and the score recorded was 32cm. According to an S&C coach who had worked with the player previously this value was considered low.  In using the Hotspot a week later the player recorded a 42cm jump.  This is a big difference and there is no way of confirming which reading is correct but feeling was that the 42cm jump is more appropriate.


The conclusion to be drawn from all this is that Hotspot is a valid training and testing option for vertical jump.  It can demonstrate improvement and correlates with that of other non-electronic systems.   There can really be no comparison between systems and modalities and whatever testing environment and equipment is chosen must remain consistent.  Hotspot, therefore offers an affordable and useable option for testing vertical jump.


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